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Leather Care Services Chicago
Stain Removal Tips

Stain Removal Tips Get the Garment Professionally Cleaned ASAP
Time, heat and light contribute to "setting the stain". Bring in a stained garment as soon as is possible. Preferably within a few days to prevent the stain from setting. Professional dry cleaners have access to chemicals and treatments that are not available to the public. More so, we know how to use these chemicals safely to remove stains from valuable garments. Before attempting a home remedy, always remember to factor in the price/value of the garment to determine if it isn't wiser to let a professional attempt to restore the garment to its original condition.

Do not iron stained/soiled clothes
This will set stains and drive the soil deeper into the fabric

Don't rub a stain
A better idea is to blot the stained area with a dry, absorbent cloth underneath. An even better idea is to get the garment to us ASAP and have professionals remove the stain.

Butter
For light butter stains, pre-treat with a liquid laundry detergent. Place the stain face down on clean paper towels. Apply liquid detergent to the back of stain. Replace paper towels frequently. Allow air dry, then rinse launder in hottest water safe for that fabric. Before drying, inspect the fabric, and repeat the treatment and washing if the stain remains. Don't even think of trying this with silks.

Candle Wax
Removing the wax is not that difficult, but removing the wax dye is. For small areas, first harden the wax with ice. Then, remove same carefully with a dull knife. Place remaining wax/dye/stain between clean paper towels and press with a warm (not hot!) iron. Replace towels frequently to absorb as much of wax/stain as is possible. Use fabric-safe stain remover on remainder of stain, let dry and then launder.

Cheese
Cheese stains should be soaked and agitated in cold water before washing. If stain is dried or old, scrape or brush off any crusted matter and soak for up to several hours in cold water, using a detergent or an enzyme solvent. Launder in warm (not hot) water. If stain remains, soak an additional 30 minutes and re-wash

Chocolate
As a home remedy, treat the stain with a pre-wash spray or pre-treat with a product containing enzymes. Launder. If stain remains, re-launder with a bleach that is safe for the fabric.

Coffee
In an emergency situation, flush stain immediately with cool water or soak for 30 minutes in cool water. Blot, don't rub, the stain with detergent and launder. Launder with bleach that is safe for the fabric. Do not use soap (bar, flake, or detergents containing natural soap), since soap can make a stain permanent. With cream - Cream is an oily substance that is best removed by dry cleaning. For a home remedy, flush stain immediately with cool water if possible or soak for 30 minutes in cool water. Sponge stain with a dry cleaning solvent. Air dry. Blot, don't rub, with detergent, then launder with bleach that is safe for the fabric.

Cooking Oil
Light stains can be pretreated with a spray stain remover, liquid laundry detergent, or a detergent booster. Place heavy stains face down on clean paper towels. Apply cleaning liquid to the back of stain. Replace towels frequently. Let air dry, rinse. Launder in hottest water safe for that fabric. Before drying, inspect, and repeat the treatment and washing if the stain remains.

Dye Stains
Dye stains can be very difficult to remove. Soak the garment in a diluted solution of an all-fabric bleach, but check the garment care label for color fastness first. If use of bleach is acceptable, soak, then rinse. If the stain remains and the garment is colorfast, soak the entire garment in a diluted solution of liquid chlorine bleach and water.

Gravy
Treat the stain with a pre-wash spray or pre-treat with a product containing enzymes. Launder. If stain remains, re-launder with bleach that is safe for the fabric.

Ink
Resign yourself to likelyhood that the garment is lost. However, if you must try it yourself, you generally need to act fast to have a chance. The first step is to force water through the stain before it dries to remove excess ink. Allow to dry. Sponge the stain with dry cleaning solvent (read the directions carefully, it is toxic). Allow the fabric to dry. Work a liquid detergent into the stain with your finger. Rinse. Soak the stain in warm water with 1 to 4 tablespoons of household ammonia. Rinse and repeat if stain is lessening. Launder. Some inks on white fabric may be removed with a dye stripper. Follow package instructions. For stains on colored fabrics, check for dye fastness in a hidden area before using.

Lipstick
Place face down on paper towels. Sponge area with dry cleaning solvent, or use a pre-wash soil and stain remover. Replace towels frequently; rinse. Work light-duty liquid detergent into the stain until outline is removed. Launder. Repeat treatment if needed, using an all-fabric bleach, because it is less damaging to colors and fabric. Use liquid chlorine bleach for tough stains, if fabrics are colorfast to bleach.

Make-up
Place face down on paper towels. Sponge area with dry cleaning solvent, or use a pre-wash soil and stain remover. Replace towels frequently; and rinse. Work light-duty liquid detergent into the stain until outline is removed. Launder. Repeat treatment if needed using an all-fabric bleach, because it is less damaging to colors and fabric. Use liquid chlorine bleach for tough stains, if fabrics are colorfast to bleach.

Mildew
Mildew is a growing organism that must have warmth, darkness, and moisture to survive. Mildew actually eats cellulosic fiber and can also damage manufactured fibers, causing permanent damage and weakening of fibers and fabrics. To treat mildew first brush or shake off mildewed area. Pre treat stain with heavy-duty liquid detergent. Then launder in hot water with heavy duty detergent and bleach safe for fabric. Let dry in the sun.

Milk
Fresh stains should be soaked and agitated in cold water before washing. If stain is dried or old, scrape or bush off the crusted matter and soak in cold water using a detergent or an enzyme pre-soak. Launder in warm (not hot) water. If stain remains, soak an additional 30 minutes and rewash. On dry clean only items, trust the label.

Nail Polish
For stains from nail polish, apply nail polish remover to the back of the stain while laying the fabric on white absorbent towels. Replace towels frequently. Then rinse and launder. Never use nail polish remover on acetate, triacetate or modacrylic, as they will dissolve.

Odors
For washable garments, most odors should be removed by normal laundering. For stubborn odors sprinkle the clothes with baking soda, let stand, and then vacuum. Launder.

Perspiration
Perspiration, like other stains, can "set" into a fabric. Sparing use of antiperspirants and frequent washings immediately after wear can minimize this type of damage. Wearing an undershirt or perspiration pads, can also keep stains off your shirts or blouses. These types of stains can be difficult to remove. The buildup of aluminum chloride or zinc salts may be impossible to remove. Old stains are more difficult to treat because they have been set, particularly from being heated in the dryer. For washable fabric, treat light stains with a liquid detergent and then launder. Pre-treat heavy stains with a pre-wash stain remover. Allow to stand 5 to 10 minutes. Launder using an all-fabric bleach. If fabric has discolored, you might try treating fresh stains with ammonia and old stains with vinegar.

Rust
Removing rust stains can be difficult. Rust stains cannot be removed in normal laundering. Your professional dry cleaners has access to rust removing chemicals that are not available to the consumer. Small stains may be removed with a few drops of a retail rust remover. Follow package instructions. Do not let dry between applications. Rinse thoroughly and launder with a liquid laundry detergent and oxygen bleach, following directions. Do not use chlorine bleach, chlorine bleach will make the stains permanent.

Salad Dressing
In an emergency, light stains can be pre-treated with a spray stain remover, liquid laundry detergent, or a detergent booster. Place heavy stains face down on clean paper towels. Apply cleaning liquid to the back of stain. Replace paper towels frequently. Rinse. Let air dry for a few minutes. Launder in hottest water safe for that fabric. Before drying, inspect, and repeat the treatment and washing if the stain remains.

Smoke, Soot
At home, shake off excess soot outdoors. Launder in washing machine using a heavy-duty phosphate-based detergent or heavy-duty liquid detergent - as recommended by manufacturer, one cup of water conditioner, and 1/2 cup of all-fabric bleach. Use water setting appropriate for the fabric. Air dry. Inspect for smoke odor. Repeat as necessary. Three or four washes may be needed for cottons and cotton blends.

Tar
Don't try to remove this stain at home. We have solvents to dissolve tar that are not available for home use.

Tea
In an emergency situation, flush stain immediately with cool water; or soak for 30 minutes in cool water. Blot, don't rub, the stain with detergent, then launder. Launder with bleach that is safe for the fabric. Do not use soap (bar, flake, or detergents containing natural soap), since soap can make the stain permanent.

Urine
IOn washable fabrics, soak stain in cool water. Pre treat with pre-wash stain remover, liquid laundry detergent, or a paste of powdered detergent and water. Launder in hottest water safe for the fabric, using a bleach safe for that fabric. Do not use soap (bar, flake, or detergents containing natural soap), since soap could make stain permanent or at least more difficult to remove.

Wine
We use special chemicals to remove the tannin found in red wine from your garments. At home, soak stain in cool water. Pre treat with pre-wash stain remover, liquid laundry detergent, or a paste of powdered detergent and water. Launder in hottest water safe for the fabric, using a bleach safe for that fabric. Do not use soap (bar, flake, or detergents containing natural soap), since soap could make stain permanent or at least more difficult to remove. Note: Older stains might respond better to treatment with an enzyme product, than regular laundering.


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