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General Tips
  • Never iron fabric with a deodorant stain, as this will permanently damage the fabric.
  • Be very careful not to get suntan oils on garments as many of them will permanently stain.
  • Do not attempt to remove cosmetic stains yourself, as the color in cosmetics runs easily and enlarges the stain.
  • Never wash an egg stain in hot water - this will cause the stain to set.
  • The safest form of mild bleach for whitening all natural fibers is white vinegar.
  • A common fatal error is the use of acetone in home stain removal. Acetate fibers will dissolve in acetone - Don't attempt your own stain removal.
  • Some water spots on fabrics such as taffeta or silk can be removed by holding the fabric over steam (as from a kettle) and then ironing gently while damp.
  • If the stain is still wet, do not rub it, or you will spread it. Simply try and absorb excess moisture with paper towel or cotton towel.
GUM : To remove chewing gum from kids clothing - harden the gum on the garment with ice; it will become brittle, and can be chipped off, wash thoroughly to remove any sugar.
CANDLE WAX : Place the stained area between paper towels, or pieces of brown paper, and press with a warm iron to absorb the wax.
PERSPIRATION : Soak the stain area in a warm white-vinegar water.
CRAYON : Crayon stains appear as built up, shiny and stiff stains in a variety of colors. Normally, drying--not washing--will cause these kinds of stains. Your first discovery of the stains will occur when you open the dryer door to find otherwise clean clothes covered with a myriad of colored stains. The stains will appear after drying because the heat from drying melts the crayon material. The easiest way to solve this problem is to take the garments to your dry cleaner, who usually can remove them by running the garments through a dry cleaning machine. If any of the stains remain after cleaning, they can generally be removed by your dry cleaner through traditional stain removal procedures.
BRITTLE LEATHER : Sometimes dark marks appear for no apparent reason on the surface of leather or suede. These spots usually have a splatter-like appearance where the leather has become hard, shrunken, and puckered.
CHLORIDE SALTS : Chemical testing over the years of many, many similar situations almost always reveals the presence of chloride salts in the damaged areas. Textile research has shown that chloride salts of any type will weaken silk yarns over a period of time. Chloride salts are present in many foods, beverages, medicines, table salt, and salt water, as well as perspiration and some deodorants. The location of your damaged area definitely indicates that perspiration and/or deodorant have deteriorated the silk yarns to the point that the agitation of cleaning caused the weakened yarns to tear. Unfortunately, there is no practical way to predict or prevent this type of damage from occurring during acceptable cleaning.
BLOTTING INK : When attempting to remove ink, mascara, and similar stains, it is suggested you *blot* the area when working with dry side agents. This process involves placing the garment over a towel, and then applying volatile dry solvent, oily type paint remover, and/or amyl acetate. Next, take another towel and wrap an area around your finger, and blot/press the towel-wrapped finger on the stained area. Lift your finger, and examine the towel to see if any of the oily residue has softened and transferred onto the towel. If the stain starts to spread, flush with volatile dry solvent, reapply oily type paint remover, and blot. Continue this process until the stain no longer blots or transfers onto the towel. While performing this process, make sure you move the towels frequently to prevent the staining from transferring back onto the garment. When the stain no longer blots, dry clean or flush thoroughly with volatile dry solvent to remove all traces of the dry side agents. After the oily residues have been removed, it may be necessary to continue onto wet side stain removal procedures to remove the remainder of the stain.

Rolling with the Seasons : The colder months are rolling in slowly and the seasonal summer stains are being put on ice and replaced with the stains and hassles of winter. As the temperature begins to drop, it is time to consider the end-of-summer changeover and prepare yourself for some of the festivities of the fall and winter months. Out with the summer season and in with winter. Here are few tips and considerations to think about when rolling with the seasons.

Cleaning Out the Closet : After a long slumber, your fall and winter clothes will need to be awakened and taken out of storage. Depending on how careful and attentive you were last spring when packing them away, you may have had some unwanted visitors over the summer months and will want to check your garments for signs of insect damage. Insects such as moths, beetles, and cockroaches tend to feed on clothes that were not cleaned properly before storing. Look for small holes, worn areas, and discolored lines on the portions of the garment that had spills or stains that were never removed. The odor from moth balls or crystals is difficult to remove. Try airing the garments by hanging them outside in the shade. If this does not completely remove the odor, cleaning the garments may help.

Winter Wardrobe : The content of your wardrobe will change along with the changing seasons. Short skirts and short sleeve shirts will be replaced with winter coats and scarves. Following some of these cleaning tips might be found useful. When it comes to cleaning, the first and easiest step to take to ensure the best cleaning is to follow the care labels. Many of your garments will be hand or machine washable. Minimize agitation to prevent matting and pilling of napped fabrics. Knits may require blocking to return them to their original size. Follow recommended drying temperatures. Other materials, such as wool, fur, and leather, will require the assistance of a professional cleaner due to special cleaning and pressing procedures. Make sure to point out any known stains when you leave them with the cleaner.

Halloween Costumes : Along with the cooler weather and good food that accompanies the winter months, you are also sure to be plagued by unforeseen stains during the celebrations of the winter months. Halloween is the first of the festivities to arrive and getting stains out of some costumes can be a hair-raising experience. If a care label is present on the costume, follow the instructions carefully. Many of these garments, however, are custom made with various fabrics and trims and have no care instructions. If that is the case, carefully examine the garment for possible trouble spots. Many stains caused by cosmetics, paints, hair coloring, and even foods and beverages will get best results when pre-treated. Many waxes or crayons, unfortunately, are not easily removed by home stain removal and may need solvent-based treatments to remove the stains. Consult your dry cleaner if you are not sure what the best procedure would be.

Quick tips to remember : For some costumes, unusual trims or features may need to be removed prior to washing or Dry Cleaning. Hand washing may be safer for some costumes. After washing, hang costumes to dry instead of tossing them in the dryer. Next time you change over from summer to fall, think about these tips and considerations and spend your winter months getting the best out of your winter wardrobe.
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