Stains on clothing and linen can feel all but inevitable. Fortunately, quick action can save time, money, effort, and grief. Spot stain removal can be quite effective, provided you stick to certain basics. These rules apply to every type of spill or mark, and will help you deal with blemishes more effectively.
The sooner you treat the source of damage, the better. Most materials will take a bit of time to fully integrate with the fabric – once the stain has set, it will likely leave a permanent mark.
Recognize the Surface and Staining Agent
This is perhaps the most important step to take – the wrong cleaning agent for your particular material will not only fail to remove the stain, but may also damage the fabric further (cleaners that “eat” away at proteins like blood or grass, for instance, will dissolve material like silk and wool, which are proteins themselves). First, identify the type of fabric on which the mark has occurred, and then consult the label of your cleaner to see what it’s compatible with. It’s best to do this sort of research before disaster strikes, as every second counts!
Manually Remove the Cause
Before treating the fabric with a stain remover, you’ll want to first manually remove as much of the offending material as possible. If it’s something solid, brush or gently scrape it away; liquids can be blotted with an absorbent cloth or tissue. Be careful of applying too much pressure here, as that can cause the stain to spread further or become more deeply integrated.
Using excessive force like wringing, grinding, squeezing, or folding will only make the blemish penetrate deeper into the fabric. If the stain isn’t coming off quickly, stay patient – vigorous rubbing can make things worse. The right cleaner should remove spots with a gentle and consistent motion (pro tip: start from the center and move outwards); if it doesn’t, you may need to try another agent.
Test it in Advance
Unless you are absolutely certain about the fabric and type of cleaning agent you are using, you should always carry out a sample test. Try the cleaner out on an inconspicuous part of the garment or linen, such as a hem or seam, and see if it causes any apparent damage to the material or smears the stain further.
For more information on stain removal, or for professional laundering assistance, contact Classic Touch Cleaners today.