Tip of the Month

Each month our experts provide you with tips on proper garment care that you can use to improve the life of your wardrobe. If you have a questions about any item in your wardrobe, chances are we can help you with the answer. This month’s tip is:

Stains and Stain Removal
When there is a sudden spill or mishap, it is very tempting to try to remove a stain on your own. But spot removal at home should be undertaken only with great care. Improper use of water or using other chemicals or home remedies to attempt to remove a spot at home sometimes sets the stain or damages the color. Water can loosen soil or sizing and displace it, causing a “ring” that looks worse than the original stain.

Though it might be tempting to try them, home remedies often end up doing more damage than good. Club soda is a popular remedy for removing stains, but there is actually danger in applying club soda to certain fabrics, as water in the soda can shrink, felt or warp clothes that are made for dry cleaning. It also can cause dies to bleed, possibly causing an even bigger problem. Milk is also a popular home remedy, but milk should never be used as a stain remover as it is actually more difficult to remove a milk stain than ink or blood. Lemon juice is not the best stain remover, either. Although sometimes effective, lemon juice is acidic and can cause oxidation and discoloration that might not be noticeable at first, but might yellow or brown over time.

Good first aid for stains is to blot up the staining substance at once. Don’t rub a stain. This may make it penetrate further into the fibers and may damage the fabric surface. Then consult a stain removal guide or call one of our staff members before attempting further action at home. And never return a stained garment to the closet. Spots and stains set with age, and food spills attract insects, which can do permanent damage.

Whenever possible avoid using products near your garments that can create stains or remove fabric dyes.

  • For instance, alcohol in perfumes and clothes can be damaging to silk. It is a good idea to use these products and let them dry before you get dressed. Silk should never be rubbed when wet.
  • In addition, be careful with products that contain bleaching agents that can cause color loss or weaken fabrics. Skin care preparations containing benzoyl peroxide can cause permanent loss of color on towels and clothing. Chlorine bleach as well can cause color loss and weaken fabric, create holes, etc. Exposure to acids, such as in car batteries, can also cause disintegration of fabrics.

If you have other questions about stain removal, please ask when you visit us at Park Avenue Discount Cleaners or feel free to call.

Please click on a category below to read tips featured previously on our Tip of the Month page: