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45-47 Toorak Road,
South Yarra, Victoria 3141
03 9867 8787
1300 Dry Clean


Tips, Help & Advice

Stains – Misnomers & Misconceptions:

Milk has been used by many people as a spot removal for such stains as ink and blood. As a drycleaner there is one incident explains the danger of this substance as a spot remover:
A customer brought in an expensive antique satin set of drapes which had been stained by ink. The customerhad attempted to remove the ink by using milk. We treated the stained area and were successful in removing the ink; however, the milk had set and could not be removed. Milk is an albuminous substance that can set in fabrics and become impossible to treat. It should never be used as a stain remover.

Soda water is often touted as a successful stain remover by restaurant personnel and airline attendants. By popular belief, the bubbles in soda water provide some mystical properties capable of removing stains. Soda water has the same properties as water and nothing more. The bubbles do not act as a stain remover whatsoever.

Alcohol does provide some good stain removal properties; however, it is also an agent that will alter dyes and discolour fabrics. Many deodourants contain alcohol and most of us are familiar with the discolouring properties of this toiletry.

Lemon juice is advocated by some for the removal of rust stains. While it is sometimes effective, it should be noted that after a period of time, the lemon juice will oxidise and may cause a stain that cannot be removed.

Ice has been advocated as a remedy for chewing gum stains. The ice stiffens the gum and allows it to be picked from the fabric. This may work in limited cases, but it should be pointed out that gum dissolves easily in drycleaning solvent a much safer remedy than picking at the fibres of a delicate fabric.

Soap and water has been advocated for the removal of all stains; however, drybased stains such as glue, paint, oil, and nail polish cannot be removed using soap and water. Many times I have encountered situations in which people have literally rubbed holes in fabrics in an effort to remove a stain. In some instances, soap and water can actually set or prevent the stain from being removed. This is due to the alkali content, which will oxidise stains such as coffee, tea, soft drinks, liquor, and fruit juice.

Hot Iron for Wax Using a hot iron to remove wax from a garment is a sure way to fuse, melt, and damage most synthetic fabrics. Wax dissolves in drycleaning solvent and can be readily and easily removed by any drycleaner.

Hair spray can be an effective agent in removing ink stains; however, hair spray contains alcohol and other ingredients with properties that can be dangerous to many dyes and fabrics.

Nail polish remover is used by many people to remove make-up and other stains; however, nail polish remover often contains acetone which can dissolve certain fabrics such as acetate.

Colour-safe bleach does not exist. There is no such thing. Any bleach can remove colour and damage dyes on fabrics.

The best way to remove stains while ensuring the safety of your garments is to bring them into the store for expert – personal advice. We have the skill and experience to handle almost any cleaning challenge.

Text about stain removal misnomers and misconceptions cited from:
Dan Eisen who has over thirty-five years experience in the garment cleaning industry. He founded the East Coast School of Drycleaning, was Chief Garment Analyst at the largest garment lab in New York City, and has lectured on textile care at the Fashion Institute of Technology.