Getting a stain on a garment is always a headache. Spills of red wine or a good grass stain can have you sprinting for the washing machine to get the clothing in there before stains set. But what about stains that have been on the clothes for several hours or days? What about a stubborn stain that won’t leave your favorite shirt? Let’s learn some stain-fighting tips straight from industry professionals.
Note: You can’t get every trace of every stain out, especially if the stain has set on the fabric. Most stains can be removed but some can only be faded, you will have to live with the clothing or consider tossing it.
Stains on Dry Clean Only Fabrics
If you have a stain on a dry clean fabric, get it to your dry cleaners as soon as possible. The longer the stain remains on the clothes, the harder it will be to remove. A dry cleaner can go after stains with powerful solvents and detergents that won’t degrade your clothing.
Stains on Other Clothes
The faster you can address the stain, the better. Immediately flush the stain with warm water to get out excess. You can pretreat the fabric with a commercial pre-treater or vinegar. Always test pre-treatment on the clothing so you know it won’t fade or leave blotches. Always blot any pre-treatment onto the stain, never rub it.
Allow the pre-treatment to work on the stain for a few minutes then immediately introduce the garment to the wash. This technique works on fresh stains and can even work on stains that have already set in. Quick timing doesn’t guarantee the stain will fully disappear, but it gives you a fighting chance.
Why Does the Stain Reappear?
There are some stains from food or beverage that may appear to be taken care of when you wash them but reappear after a few hours out. What’s going on here? Latent oils and substances on the clothing may appear gone but reappear thanks to oxidation or caramelization. If you have a reappearing stain you may need a more thorough washing to take care of business.
Stains are a bother, but they can be dealt with. Stains on dry clean only garments should be taken immediately to the dry cleaner while stains on other clothing should be immediately pre-treated and washed. Address set-in stains as you would fresh stains and see what results you can get. There’s never a promise that the stain will come out, but you give yourself a fighting chance with speed and thoroughness. If you can’t get it out, bring it to a Denver dry cleaning shop to get it done for you.