Out, Out, Damned Spot!

Deutsch: Home Washing Machine and Wringer

Deutsch: Home Washing Machine and Wringer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Stains are an aggravating part of life, but especially distressful when they occur on a designer blouse or your favorite jacket. No matter how well you care for your garments, the time will come when you will spill, splash, drop, or spatter some undesirable substance on these garments. Knowing what to do can make the difference between salvaging the item or having to throw it away.When your clothes become stained, it is important to know how to treat the stain. You need to take into account the type of stain (cola versus salad dressing), and whether the garment is washable or dry clean only.  Cola or juice are known as water-based stains; anything oily or greasy is, understandably, know as an oily stain.

The most important thing to remember is that if you spill something on your clothing, you should blot the stain with a clean cloth–do not rub it. If you rub the fabric with a dry or wet cloth, the color of the fabric will fade and the fabric will become rougher, so always dab or blot stains.

In addition, if the stain is water based, it probably will not come out with dry cleaning. Instead, the garment should be spot cleaned. Conversely, if the stain is oil based, it will not come out in water; the garment should be taken to the dry cleaner.

The following tips help you know what to do to handle stains:

Water-Based Stains on Washable Clothing: If the clothing has a wash label, immediately throw it in the washing machine. If this isn’t possible, blot the stain to absorb the spill. In most instances, applying water is the right thing to do; if the stain spreads or becomes a ring, this indicates the stain will come out in the wash. Stains from fruit should be washed within 24 hours.

Oily Stains on Washable Clothing: These stains cannot be spot treated, but should be blotted. A number of products claim to be good at removing these types of stains, but dry cleaning is the most effective method of removal.

Water Based Stains on Dry Clean Only Clothes: The only way to safely remove these types of stains is to blot them with a dry white cloth.

Oily Stains on Dry Clean Only Clothing: These stains must be dry cleaned. Any attempt to clean them will result in a low probability of improvement and a high probability of ruining the garment.

By knowing how to handle stains when they first occur, you will be well equipped to protect your investment in your clothes.

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