A lot of people are interested to know if it is possible to remove stains through dry cleaning. So, can dry cleaners remove stains?
Stains require prompt and immediate treatment to ensure their successful removal. Sadly, hand washing may not be that effective when it comes to removing stains. It often leaves you with no choice but to try dry cleaning.
If you are wondering if dry cleaning can remove stains, the truth is that this can be answered properly only if you understand first what dry cleaning means. Dry cleaning is basically the process of cleaning clothing and textiles with the use of a chemical solvent aside from water. All types of stains, which include the most terrible ones, can be easily removed if special equipment and solvents are used.
Factors Considered for Proper Stain Removal Through Dry Cleaning
In order to successfully remove stains, there are several factors that must be considered.
- Nature of stain
Oily substances, beverages, and food may turn invisible once they dry out but may transform into a yellowish or brownish stain once exposed to air or after some time. This is because of the oxidation or caramelization of sugars found in the staining substances. If there are invisible stains on your clothes, make sure you inform the dry cleaner about it for them to treat it using the correct method. This kind of stains is treated before dry cleaning since the heat of drying or finishing can make the stains set, making it impossible to remove them.
Perspiration can also leave behind some rather stubborn stains, particularly on silk and wool. Any type of clothing that is constantly exposed to perspiration and body oils may become yellowish, discolored, or odoriferous for good. Removing such stains can be extremely hard since they tend to react with the sizing and dyes of the garment.
People who tend to sweat a lot are recommended to have their clothes dry cleaned as often as possible or use perspiration shields instead.
- Colorfastness of dye and type of fabric
You need to remove that not all types of stains can be possibly removed from your clothes even after you put in your best efforts. As a result of the different natures of fabrics, you can only use dry cleaning as a way of protecting your clothes from damage. There are stains that can get oxidized and absorbed to the fabric and removing these might be impossible. Complete stain removal may also be impossible if the fabric’s dyes have the tendency to bleed because these dyes and the stains are going to be removed together. Dyes that easily bleed are the ones with poor colorfastness.
Simply put, dry cleaning cannot remove stains under the following circumstances:
- The stains are set in the fabric, are oxidized, and are very old.
- The stains are stronger than the dyes.
- The fabric’s dye is soluble which means that it will be completely removed together with the stains.
- The fabrics are of delicate nature, limiting the degree of the stain removal process.
Types of Stains That Dry Cleaning Process Can Remove
All hope is not lost if your shirt is splashed with oil while cooking, you spilled your coffee on it, or a pen has leaked in its pocket. Full service dry cleaners can get rid of most types of stains as long as you act immediately and inform them of the presence of the stain.
The moment you bring your clothes to the dry cleaner, let them know about the stain, what it is exactly, when it happened, and whether or not you have tried removing it on your own. This is because there are home remedies that can damage the fabric or make the stains set further. If your dry cleaner doesn’t raise these questions, it is time for you to look for a new dry cleaner.
So far, stains have two basic categories and these are oil-based and water-based stains. However, these categories can be further broken down into the following:
- Dye stains
A dye stain is made up of both ink and vegetable dyes together with some other substances like fabric dye and mustard that can occur when washing your clothes at home.
Obviously, these stains can cross over into several categories and turn into combination stains. For instance, coffee with milk stain is a dye and protein stain at the same time while butter is oil and protein stain alike. Dry cleaners can apply the right the process with two or three steps for removing the stains.
- Oil, fat, and grease stains
Fatty, greasy, and oily stains tend to be notoriously difficult to remove at home yet reliable dry cleaners will be able to do the job. Motor or cooking oil, petroleum jelly, butter, many food items, and some skincare products like hair care products and lotion belong to this category.
- Protein-based stains
These protein stains are from organic materials like eggs, dairy, meat, sweat, and blood. To get rid of these stains, dry cleaners use enzymes with the ability of “digesting” these proteins.
- Tannin stains
A few of these stains are some of the most common and these are composed of several water-based stains, including alcohol, coffee, tea, and wine, and more. Majority of these stains contain other ingredients that need extra attention like dairy or sugar.
Once stains have set or bonded with the garment’s fabric, this may irreversible damage your clothes. Even if you have removed the visible stains, there might be fabric discoloration with the stain becoming a permanent one.
How Do Dry Cleaners Remove Stains?
Here are the steps that dry cleaners follow when removing stains on clothes:
- Dry cleaners first place the clothes or garment on a spotting board to help them find the stains or spots easily. The vacuum system is used to hold the cloth in place. It is a crucial step when it comes to removing stains from clothes.
- Many dry cleaners also apply steam on clothes to help them with easy stain removal. Steam is often used since this is safe for practically all types of materials. It doesn’t cause any damages on most kinds of garments or clothes. Steam can even help get rid of stains thanks to its high temperature. After all, it is not a secret that hot temperature can help free your clothes from all stains. The combination of vacuum system and steam is the best solution for removing stains from all types of materials.
- Dry cleaners may also use some extra tools and these include tamping brush and spotting bone. These tools are often used for removing different kinds of stains on any type of materials during the process of dry cleaning. Spotting bone is typically used for applying the spotting agent on the stain. On the other hand, tamping brush is being used for removing and loosening stains from garments or clothes. The primary purpose of this tool is to tamp your clothes to easily loosen up the stains. Expert dry cleaners only use such tools for proper stain removal from clothes.
- Dry cleaners also use additional products for removing stains from garments and clothes. There are different types of stain removal products available in the market right now. These products come in handy for easy stain removal from clothes. It is important to choose and use only the best products for stain removal that are made using high quality ingredients. This is to help prevent future problems. When you let dry cleaners work on your stained clothes, you can be sure that they have the right knowledge on how to use these products with extra care.
- This is the final step in the process of dry cleaning. Dry cleaners finish off the procedure by inspecting the clothes or garments one last time. This is a step that they need to do to ensure that there are no leftover spots or stains on your clothes. In this step, the dry cleaners will thoroughly and carefully check your garments or clothes. They will also make sure that you are fully satisfied with the result once you get back your clothes. Thanks to this step, you don’t have to worry about your clothes at all. The most reliable dry cleaning companies can easily and effectively remove stains from your clothes.
These are the steps that dry cleaners follow when removing stains from the clothes of their clients. You can count on these experts to keep your clothes stain-free in the safest way possible. But, if you want to get the best results, it is important that you compare several cleaning companies first so you can be sure that your favorite clothes will be in safe hands. You might also want to check the customer reviews of the dry cleaners to ensure that you will be working with the right company.
If you want to get rid of those stains effectively and professionally, it might be time to give dry cleaning a try.