The Art of Stain Removal

Stains come in all shapes and forms and removing them can be one of the most frustration tasks if you don’t know exactly what type of stain you are dealing with.  Stains are easier to remove if you catch them shortly after they happen as they haven’t soaked all the way through or dried yet.  For this reason carrying a stain treatment product with you at all times can quickly eliminate stains before they have settled in.  Many companies have been releasing products like portable stain pens and erases and they are quite effective in stain warfare. 

Myths of Stain Removal
There are many myths and home remedies people use when trying to remove tough stains from their possessions.  You need to be very caution and do your research regarding these home remedies as most of them will not only be ineffective, they also pose a potential risk to your fabric.   Some of these myth remedies that can harm your fabrics include dishwashing soap, vinegar, hair shampoo, salt, milk, candle wax, and even hair spray.  Some of these techniques may appear to work but in reality when they work it is in a way that causes damage to your fabrics or leaves unwanted reside that is difficult to remove.

Identify the Fabric
Before you begin any type of stain treatment program you must first know if the product you are trying to wash is machine washable, any restrictions with that type of fabric, or if it needs to be dry cleaned.  You can gather all of this information by reading the label that is attached to the item that has been stained. 

Dry Cleaning Items
If the item you are trying to clean has a dry-cleaning tag attached to its label than you will need to have the item cleaned professionally or you will risk causing irreversible damage. When you drop off your product you should give the clerk any information you have on the stain including what caused the stain, how long the stain has been there, and if you have attempted any cleaning procedures yourself.  This information will help the dry cleaner assess your stain properly and gives you the best chance to get the results you want.

Washable Fabrics
If you have gotten a stain on something that is machine washable you can follow these steps to help remove the stain.  As soon as the stain has happened you should use a cloth or paper towel to remove any of the liquid that has yet to settle into the fabric.  You should avoid using hot water on stains as this can cause most types of stain to set and make them almost impossible to remove.  Instead set your washing machine to cold and allow the fabric to run for the entire cycle.  If you are going to use a stain treatment product you should test it on a low visibility area to ensure that it is not going to ruin your fabric. 

When you are attempting any type of stain removal it is important that you follow all of the instructions listed on the products you use and on the labels of the fabrics you are trying to clean.