901.387.0255 Info@DCSCBartlett.com

Answers to Common Stain Removal Questions

Stain Removal Tips

Stain removal is an important part of a dry cleaner’s skill set, and we have a number of different stain removal agents that are specific to particular stain types. If you get your garment to us quickly…within a few days…and you know the type of stain that we are attempting to remove, the chance of a successful outcome is greatly increased.

Though the specifically formulated stain removal agents used by a professional drycleaner may not be available to you, there are some stain removal products recommended by The Clorox Company below that can be purchased at retail. The largest component by percentage in their OxiClean category of stain removal detergent additives is non-chlorine, colorfast oxygen bleach (Sodium percarbonate). Note that treating stains at home with an oxygen bleach detergent additive like OxiClean does not expose you and your family to toxic chemicals, because powdered oxygen bleach is made from natural soda ash or borax and hydrogen peroxide.

As long as you don’t set your stain at home by subjecting the stain to heat via your home dryer or an iron, remember that there are additional stain removal agents in a professional drycleaner’s toolbox…so don’t give up when we might be able to help.

A Word About Stains

There’s no escaping it:

  • Fresh stains are easier to remove than old ones.
  • Avoid machine drying or ironing until you’ve exhausted all stain removal efforts.
  • Time and heat can set some stains permanently.
  • Laundry tests show using Clorox® bleach for stain removal produces the best results.
  • For washable, non-colorfast clothes substitute powdered or liquid color-safe bleach, like Ultra Clorox 2®.
  • Don’t forget the prewash soil and stain removers like Clorox® Oxi MagicTM stain remover, that release stains and help detergents work more effectively.
stain removal

Solutions for Common Stains

milk and egg product stain

Milk or Egg Products

Rinse well in cool water. Presoak with detergent and powdered Ultra Clorox 2® in cool or warm water. Follow package directions for dis-solving bleach. Launder in cold water with detergent and Clorox liquid bleach.

remove blood stain

Blood

Rinse in cool water and pre-treat with Clorox Oxi Magic stain remover or Ultra Clorox 2. Rinse and repeat if necessary. Launder in cool water with Clorox liquid bleach. Be sure to test for colorfastness. If fabric is not colorfast to regular bleach substitute Ultra Clorox 2.

remove candle wax

Candle Wax

Harden the wax by either applying ice or placing the garment in the freezer. Scrape off as much of the frozen wax as possible, then launder with Ultra Clorox 2 and detergent in the hottest water recommended for the fabric. Repeat the laundering procedure until all the color from the wax is gone. Do not dry the garment until the wax color is completely removed.

remove baby formula

Baby Formula

Soak in cool water. Pretreat with Stain Out or bar soap and rub gently. Wash with detergent and Clorox liquid bleach, or Ultra Clorox 2.

ballpoint pen ink stain

Ink: Ballpoint

Apply Clorox Oxi Magic stain remover or rubbing alcohol. Rub on detergent and launder with Clorox liquid bleach and detergent in hottest water recommended for fabric. Repeat if necessary.

marker stains

Ink: Felt Pen

May be impossible to remove. Apply Clorox Oxi Magic stain remover and rub on detergent. Rinse. Repeat as necessary. Launder with Ultra Clorox liquid bleach and detergent in hottest water recommended for fabric.

deoderant stains

Perspiration, Deodorants

Launder with Clorox liquid bleach and detergent in hottest water recommended for fabric. If stain has caused color change, try to restore by using ammonia on fresh stains, vinegar on old stains. Do not use ammonia or vinegar with liquid bleach.

brighten dingy clothes

Yellowing Dinginess

Launder garment in the hottest water recommended for the fabric with Clorox liquid bleach and detergent. If the garment is not colorfast in regular bleach substitute Ultra Clorox 2.

remove pollen stain

Pollen

Vacuum, do not brush, as much of the pollen from the garment as possible. Pre-treat the area with UltraClorox2. Launder normally with Ultra Clorox 2 and detergent.

remove grass stain

Grass

Apply Clorox Oxi Magic stain remover and rub gently into stain; let sit 5 minutes. Then wash with detergent and Clorox bleach or Ultra Clorox 2 in the hottest water safe for fabric.

remove makeup stains

Makeup

Apply prewash stain remover such as Clorox Oxi Magic and gently rub into the stain; let sit for five minutes. Then wash with detergent and Clorox liquid bleach or Ultra Clorox 2 in the hottest water the fabric will tolerate.

remove scorch stains

Scorching

If the damage is severe it may be permanent. Mild scorching can be treated to improve the color by brushing the scorched area and pre-treating it with detergent or Ultra Clorox 2. Then launder normally in detergent and Ultra Clorox 2.

remove coffee wine stain

Coffee, Tea, Wine, Soft Drinks

Pretreat with liquid Ultra Clorox 2. Launder right away with detergent and Clorox liquid bleach in hottest water recommended for fabric.

remove mildew stain

Mildew

Mildew can damage the cellulosic structure of fibers as well as many man-made fibers. If the fabric shows no sign of permanent damage treat the mildew by first brushing the area to remove as much of the organism as possible. Pre-treat the area by rubbing with Ultra Clorox 2. Launder in the hottest water recommended for the fabric plus Clorox liquid bleach. Test for colorfastness. If the garment is not safe in chlorine bleach substitute Ultra Clorox 2.

butter stain

Grease, Butter, Margarine, Oil, Mayonnaise, Ice Cream, Chocolate

Apply Clorox Oxi Magic stain remover stain remover and rub into stain. Launder with detergent and Clorox liquid bleach in hottest water recommended for fabric.

remove ketchup stain

Gravy, Mustard, Ketchup and Other Tomato-based Products

Presoak in powdered Ultra Clorox 2 and detergent in warm or hot water. Launder with detergent and Ultra Clorox liquid bleach. If oily stain remains, use Clorox Oxi Magic stain remover on stain and launder again.

remove crayon stain

Crayons

To remove crayola stains, the Crayola Company recommends: Place the stained surface down on a pad of paper towels,
spray with WD-40, and let stand for a few minutes. Turn the fabric over and spray the other side. Apply liquid dishwashing detergent and work into the stained area. Replace towels as they absorb the stain. Wash in hot water with a laundry detergent and bleach for about 12 minutes (use “heavy soiled” setting if there is no minute timer on your machine), and rinse in warm water.

remove fruit juice stain

Fruit-Flavored Drinks, Juices

Soak in cool water. Rub bar soap into the stain or pretreat with liquid Ultra Clorox 2. Wash right away with detergent and Clorox liquid bleach or Ultra Clorox 2 in hottest water recommended for fabric.

remove dye that bleeds

Dye That Bleeds

Dye transfer is caused when unstable dye colors “bleed” from one fabric to another. Their removal is often difficult. To minimize problem, sort loads by color, and always remove clothes from washer as soon as rinse cycle is complete. Re- launder affected items right away with detergent and Clorox liquid bleach. If color remains (on all-white fabrics only) use a packaged color remover or stripper sold under the “Rit” label.

remove vomit stain

Diaper Stains, Vomit

Rinse off soils. Follow presoak instructions (see sidebar). Launder in hottest water safe for fabric with appropriate bleach, To kill bacteria that contribute to diaper rash, add liquid bleach to the wash cycle.

salad dressing stain

Mayonnaise, Mustard, Salad Dressing

Pretreat, launder in hottest water safe for fabric, using appropriate bleach.

liquid medicine stain

Vitamins, Liquid Pain Relievers

Pretreat and let sit for 5 minutes. Launder in hottest water possible, using appropriate bleach.

salad dressing stain

Mayonnaise, Mustard, Salad Dressing

Pretreat, launder in hottest water safe for fabric, using appropriate bleach.

liquid medicine stain

Vitamins, Liquid Pain Relievers

Pretreat and let sit for 5 minutes. Launder in hottest water possible, using appropriate bleach.

Sorting Clothes Avoids Most Laundry Problems

Even in an all-baby-clothes washload it’s important to sort clothing to prevent more work for you later. Sort loads by:

Color

Whites and pastels together Same-color brights
Dark colors together Multicolored clothes that have lots of white and dark colors are best washed separately the first time. If the dye does not bleed or run it can be washed along with whites the next time.

Fabric Type

Separate delicate or lightweight fabrics from heavy ones Lint producers (towels) from lint attractants (corduroy)

Heavily Soiled

These clothes need special treatment. Always wash soiled diapers separately because they have very high levels of bacteria.

laundry tips

Useful Smoke Damage Tips

These procedures are useful in handling smoke damage of textiles:

Washable textiles with mild smoke damage should be hung outside, at least three inches apart. To allow for greater air circulation, do not close fasteners such as zippers or buttons. Fresh air, particularly with at least a light breeze and sunlight are natural partners in helping to remove smoke odor from clothing. An electric fan can be used to supplement the air flow through the clothes. Clothing should be left outside four to eight hours, with repeated airings if smoke odor is still strong.

Wash items in the hottest water possible safe for the fabric with liquid household bleach (sodium hypochlorite), if not suitable with liquid household bleach then use a color-safe bleach.

Check items for odor. Usually several washings are needed to fully remove odor. Once odor is eliminated, line dry in the sunlight. Do not dry in the dryer because heat will set any lingering odor.

Note: For severely smoke-damaged textiles, consult the services of a professional drycleaner that specializes in fire restoration. If damage is severe, they may not be salvageable.

smoke damage

Washing Tips

When one or more of the following factors is out of balance, dull or dingy clothes are often the result.
  • Use the warmest water recommended for fabric.
  • Hot water cleans better than cold. Cold water is fine for rinsing.
  • Don’t scrimp on detergent or laundry additives
  • Measure, don’t guess. For heavily soiled clothes, more may be needed.
  • Avoid overloading the machine.
Also set water level high enough so that clothes have plenty of room to circulate and rinse properly. You want to make sure dirt and detergent go down the drain, not back on the clothes.
laundry tips

Drying Tips

  • To make sure stains are gone, air-dry stained clothes first.
  • Dryer heat can permanently set some stains. If stains remain, treat and wash again.
  • Avoid overloading the dryer — clothes take longer to dry and wrinkle more.
  • Don’t overdry clothes.
  • Overdrying can increase wrinkles and shrinkage. Remove stretch items from the dryer when just barely dry.
  • Air-dry plastic pants, bibs and rubber items. Heat can cause rubber to deteriorate and plastic to harden.
  • Remove clothes as soon as they’re dry.
  • Hang or fold right away to prevent wrinkles and time-consuming ironing.
clothes drying tips

By Textile Industry Affairs

Shirts $1.99

Dry Cleaning $3.39