Why Some Stains Don’t Disappear

One of the dry cleaners worst feelings is not being able to remove a stain. The unfortunate reality is that some stains are permanent and become part of the fabric. Continued attempts to remove them can cause dye loss or fabric damage, known as “chafing” or “fraying”.

Most stains are removed by the dry cleaning machine and require no additional effort from the dry cleaner. A group of stains, called “stubborn stains”, require the attention of a stain removal specialist called the “spotter”. Spotting stubborn stains requires a high level of skill, knowledge, and experience.

The Spotter’s Dilemma – When presented with a stubborn stain, spotters are eager to do everything humanely possible to remove it. A combination of strong stain removing solutions and unique mechanical actions are required to get them out. Initially the spotter will try using the mildest stain removal methods and solutions first. If the stain remains, they will try something a little stronger. They will continue to repeat this process until either the stain is successfully removed or the fabric begins to show early signs of dye loss or chafing. At this point, they will stop working on the stain because they risk damaging the fabric.

The Process to Permanent – A stain can consist of virtually any liquid substance that comes in contact with your clothes. Time usually determines whether a stain can be removed or not. Almost all stains can be removed if treated quickly enough. However, most stains will become permanent if left untreated too long. When first coming into contact with fabric, most stains will initially remain on the surface and can be removed relatively easily. Over time, stains permeate the fibers and begin to react with the fabric’s dye. A chemical change takes place and the stain literally changes the color of the fabric. Stains often turn light fabrics darker or dark fabrics lighter. These color changes in the fabric are almost always permanent. Once this takes places, even if the spotter removes the original stain, the fabric where the stain was is now a different color. It looks like the stain is still there, but it’s not. What you are seeing is the permanent damage that the stain caused.

Heat causes the same type of stain “setting” that time does. You should never apply heat of any kind to a stain. Do not iron a stained garment and do not put it in the dryer.

If unsure how to treat a new stain, simply bring it to Discount Cleaners and we’ll be happy to assist you!

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What’s The Deal With Home Dry Cleaning Kits?

dryelHome dry cleaning kits like Dryel can be an effective way to stretch your dry cleaning dollar. By “freshening” your clothes between visits, they reduce the frequency of going to the local dry cleaner.

These home-use kits use the heat in your dryer to generate steam inside special dryer bags, which activate perfumed sheets that mask any unpleasant odors on your clothes. They also include a water based stain remover for pre-treating stains before you put the clothes in your dryer.

However, the instructions for these home-based kits explain that they are strictly designed as a complement to professional dry cleaning, not a replacement. Dirt removal is limited to the pre-treatment step. Home dry cleaning kits don’t remove your sweat residue or the natural body oil excreted from your skin that build up on your clothes from normal wear. They also fail to remove things like ketchup, lipstick, makeup, ink, vegetable oil, butter, and shoe polish.

People who dislike strong fragrances should avoid using these kits as well. The odor of the perfume used in these products will cling to your clothes for an extended period of time.

If you’ve used these, what kind of results have you seen? Discount Cleaners would love to hear your experiences using Home Dry Cleaning Kits.

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