When it comes to stains, there are some instances where it is better to let your dry cleaner do the work. This applies especially if the stains are numerous or cover a large area, if the stains require a chemical procedure for which you are not equipped, if the fabric is fragile or highly sized, or if you are not sure what the stain is or have doubts about the fabric.However, you can often remove small stains satisfactorily at home. Here are some tips to keep in mind.
- Read the care label carefully on all garments before attempting stain removal.
- Do not attempt home stain removal with either water or cleaning fluid without testing first for colorfastness.
Apply a small amount of the product to an unexposed seam or area of the garment. Let stand for about five minutes, then rinse. If the color is affected, don't use the product.
- Never rub a stain, especially when attempting to remove a stain from silk. Always blot the stained area to help remove the staining substance without spreading it. This will also avoid damaging the fabric.
- Never store a garment with spills or stains on it. The warmth of a closet and atmospheric exposure can contribute to setting a stain.
- Bring in a stained garment as soon as possible, preferably within a few days, to prevent the stain from setting.
- Be particularly aware of stains from oily substances, food, and beverages. Although these stains may be invisible upon drying, they can turn yellow or brown with time or after a cleaning process - making them some of the most difficult stains to remove.
- Do not iron stained or soiled clothes; this will set stains and drive the soil deeper into the fabric. Always have stains removed and soiled clothes cleaned or washed before ironing.
- Do not attempt stain removal on leather, suede, furs, vinyl, fabrics that are heavily sized like taffeta and organdy, nets, satins, and fabrics with fugitive colors.