[dropcaps]T[/dropcaps]oday I am happy to present a guest post from Harry Carr of MainCleaners offering cleaning tips. I thought it would be apropos as we have all been wearing our holiday attire and want to make sure it is in pristine condition before packing it away for the season. Take it away, Harry…
You know that accidents happen but unfortunately, a splash of barbecue sauce would stick on an expensive piece of clothing, rather than on a plain cotton t-shirt, you bought on a sale and you have at least ten of the same kind. You must have dealt with a stubborn stain on a fabric at least once and you know how difficult it is to remove, especially if you have to treat oil, grass, ink, blood, etc. The more informed you are about the proper treatment of different fabrics, the higher your chances of removing the stain are. Let’s check the right cleaning technique for the most widespread clothing materials and the do’s and don’ts of the cleaning process:
- No matter what kind of stain you are dealing with, the most important thing is to prevent it from settling into the fibres. Although it is possible, in most cases, the removal of the stain once it has settled is utterly difficult. Treat the piece of clothing with cold water as soon as you notice the stain. If you have a travel size stain remover at hand, don’t hesitate to use it. If you are out and about, applying cold water to the stain will make it more visible, but at least it will prevent it from settling into the fabrics.
- Avoid exposing your expensive piece of clothing to heat as the heat will most probably accelerate the stains’ bonding.
- If you have a suitable detergent, do not scrub it vigorously into the stain. Contrary to a popular belief, the forceful scrubbing will not remedy the situation.
- Picking the right solvent is also important. You need to have an idea what would be able to dissolve the stain and whether it is likely to cause any damages to the cloth.
- If your dress is made of cotton, you got lucky (as far as staining an expensive piece of clothing is considered luck). At least cotton can endure soaking, heating, drying. If your dress is white, you can easily remove the stain with bleach. For any other colour, you can use lemon juice, vinegar, baking soda. If these turn ineffective, use chlorine bleach but be very careful and dilute it well.
- Woollen clothes require a more gentle approach. Make sure the stain removing detergents you use are suitable for treating wool. Main Cleaners Camden Town advise you to avoid soaking the dress in hot water or using any solutions containing bleach. The most sensible thing you can do is to take your woollen dress to a dry cleaner before treating it with any kind of detergents.
- Synthetic materials can be tricky, though. If you have to deal with polyester or rayon, you have nothing to worry about. They are more durable than cotton. However, you have to be careful not to apply hydrogen peroxide onto them. In most cases, a solution of laundry/ dishwashing detergent, dissolved in water, works just fine.
- Silk is a delicate material and if you have to deal with a stain, you can treat it with water. However, don’t let it dry, but wash the dress. It would be great if you have a glycerine stain removal at hand. You just have to double check it will not cause additional damages, so test it on an inside patch first.
Treating stains requires patience and determination. The sooner you act, the higher your chances of complete removal of the stain are. Once again, having some knowledge about the fabrics you are going to treat can help you a lot.