Basic Stain Removal Instructions

Stains ruin clothing more quickly than anything else. Here are some general stain removal guidelines that should help you maintain the good condition of your clothing:

- Treat stains as soon as they occur. Most stains can be removed right away before the liquid has a chance to permeate the fibers of the fabric. If your garment is washable, pretreat it appropriately and launder it in cool water. Check to see that the stain has been removed before drying it. If the garment is a dry-clean only, take it to the cleaner as soon as possible and tell them about the stain, what caused it, and how long it has been there.

- There are many stain removal products on the market. Read the labels carefully and make sure you know the fiber content of your garment prior to applying any type of stain removal product. In fact, it is wise to test the solution on an inside seam or hem of the garment first to make sure it will not affect the dye of your fabric. If you see a color change, do not use it on this garment.

- If you are using bleach, do not spot bleach. Chlorine bleach is very strong, and it will begin to disintegrate the fibers of the garment. The stain might be gone, but you'll soon end up with a serious wear spot, and eventually a hole there instead.

- Color-fast bleach is more of an enzyme cleaner. It is still better to soak the entire garment in the solution rather than spot treating it. This way you will avoid uneven color removal from the garment.

- If you use home dry-cleaning materials, never put these solvents in your washer. It could cause a fire. Also, make sure any garments you have pretreated in this way are totally dry before placing in the washer, for exactly the same reason.

- Never mix chemicals. Never. You can try one stain removal solution, rinse, dry, check for stain removal. Then move on to another option. Don't combine them. You could produce poisonous gas.

- Launder pretreated clothing as soon as possible to avoid color removal of the garment by the stain treatment.


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