Spots & Stains
Special fluids and solvents are used in a dry
cleaning machine to remove soil and stains from fabric. It is called “dry
cleaning” because the fluid contains little or no water and does
not penetrate and weaken the fibers in the way water does. Advantages
include the ability to dissolve greases and oils in a way that soap and
water cannot. Natural fibers, such as wool, dry clean beautifully, but
when washed in water, can shrink and distort. Silks are generally more
color and finish stable when dry cleaned, although one must be very knowledgeable
to properly spot clean these garments. Synthetic fibers such as polyester
also respond well to dry cleaning, as oily spots will come out easily.
Many stains, however, must be treated by skilled "spotters" using a variety
of techniques and chemicals to be safely removed.
Not all stains
Many people bring clothes to the dry
cleaner because they have stains that they have been unable to
remove at home. Professional dry cleaners have special solvents
and equipment that can remove many stains fairly simply but often
times attempts at home stain removal make the situation more
difficult if not impossible. Not all fabrics or dyes are made to
withstand the use of cleaning or stain removal agents. Unfortunately,
not all stains can be removed despite our best efforts!
What you should do:
Tell us all
you can about your stains!
Be honest about your stains. This will
insure the best chance for removal. Professional dry cleaners have
seen them all so be sure to give accurate and honest information.
Check your care labels. If you remove care labels then it is a
good idea to save them for reference when the time for cleaning
becomes necessary. We receive many garments without care labels
making it difficult at times to provide the best possible service.
The more information you provide the better. When dropping off
your garments be sure to point out stains and communicate as much
as you can about the nature of the stain; What is it? When did
it happen? Have you made any attempts to remove the stain yourself.?
Real Nasty Stains:
Watch out for
those invisible stains!
Many stains are caused by oily substances,
foods, or beverages that may become invisible when they are first
spilled and dry. Exposure to heat (as in dry cleaning) or the passage
of time causes a yellowish or brown stain to appear. This is caused
by the oxidation of sugars in the staining substance. It is similar
to an apple turning brown once it is peeled and exposed to the air.
We've all had that happen! If you know you have a spill of this type
point it out to your cleaner! If these types of stains are not pretreated
the heat from drying or pressing may set the stain making it impossible
When an oily stain has been exposed to heat over a passage of
time the stain "oxidizes". Like when you hang clothes in the
closet for months before wearing them again. This stain is identified
by its irregular shape and brownish color. Oily stains usually
can be removed in dry cleaning with few problems but once they
become oxidized removal is almost impossible.
Don't "SWEAT" it!
Sweat in your
washable garments (Well, do your best at this one!)!
Perspiration can be a big problem on
some dry cleaned garments. Silk garments can become discolored
and deteriorate with perspiration especially in the underarm area.
Dry clean only garments and "sweat" really don't make for a practical
combination. People that perspire heavily should take extra efforts
to protect their garments and clean them more often.