Prevent Delayed Stains from Crashing Your Party

August 30, 2015

It’s a whole lot easier to get rid of unwanted guests before they become permanent residents. Mysterious stains sometimes appear on clothes after a period of time in storage. Faint stains may also appear worse or stains “invisible” to the naked eye may show up only after the garment is cleaned. Making sure clothing is properly cleaned before storage is the best defense against these problems. This is true for all garments including wedding gowns. Club soda and water are good short-term solutions to stains, but they do not remove all of the staining material. It is risky to store a garment that has not been fully cleaned. Be sure to tell us about any stains or spills when dropping off clothes at our stores or in your Utopia Cleaners reusable garment bag for dry cleaning pickup and delivery in Cambridge, Boston, Winchester, Newton, Arlington and nearby communities.

soda stain on clothing

The Drycleaning & Laundry Institute, the trade association for professional drycleaners, conducted several tests to show how hidden stains can resurface after cleaning if not addressed prior to cleaning. First, by spilling a juice beverage on a sweater, the Institute observed there was no visible stain after it dried. Then, the Institute cleaned the sweater and the heat of the cleaning accelerated the oxidation of the sugars and tannin residues that were in the juice. The “invisible” stain becomes readily apparent after cleaning.

Next, the Institute stained a blouse with an alcoholic beverage that oxidized and left a faint stain. In this case cleaning removed the stain, but then the blouse shows a loss of color that resulted from contact with the alcohol. Some products that contain alcohol include perfume, skin freshener, after shave, cologne, hair spray, lotions, and some medicines.

The best short-term prevention is to thoroughly rinse all affected areas with water, taking care to blot and not rub the stained areas. That will get you through the night. After that, it is best to get the garment to us as soon as possible to prevent permanent damage or color loss. Please inform us of any spills when you drop off your laundry and dry cleaning so we can attend to those stains and hopefully prevent any delayed staining.