Removing Tough Stains

The holidays are a fun and festive time everyone, but nothing is worse than spilling something on your best outfit. From wine spills to coffee mishaps, Kat Clobes from Saint Croix Cleaners shared “Do’s and Don’ts” on removing tough stains.

Red Wine- Red wine can leave quite a stain, and common trade says that pouring white wine over the stain will neutralize the color but that is not true! Adding white wine will just increase the sugars in your garment eventually turning that spot into a dark yellow stain that’s next to impossible to get out. The best way to clean red wine or anything with red coloring it in (like holiday favorite-cranberries) is to take an ice cube with a paper towel and let the ice cube melt over the stain using the paper towel to blot out some of the extra liquid. Make sure to have a paper towel under the stain as well to make sure the stain doesn’t bleed on the rest of the item!

Chocolate- Who doesn’t love a big piece of chocolate around the holidays, but it’s a mess when you get it on your clothes. St Croix Cleaners highly recommends bringing in your item if the stain is bigger than a quarter because cleaning it off the wrong way could set the stain. However for a little drop of chocolate, take some lukewarm water and rinse it through the stain, using paper towels above and below to suck up the moisture. Don’t use soap water on chocolate. It usually spreads the stains and sets it into the garment. Another common misconception is the club soda will get anything out. Club soda will reduce some of the color of a stain, however anything left over will be set into the clothing permanently.

Coffee- As an after dinner favorite, coffee can be delicious but difficult to get off your favorite party dress. Because coffee has dye properties in it we have to use an acid to break down the stain. St. Croix Cleaners recommends using warm vinegar water or lemon juice. Once the color has been removed from the stain you will want flush out any vinegar or lemon juice with lukewarm water. Again, make sure you don’t rub the area or you could damage your clothing!

Gravy- Finally, you can’t have the holidays without gravy. Water alone is not going to break down the proteins in gravy therefore the best thing to use is blue dawn dish soap. Gently blot with warm water, and the blue dawn dish soap to remove the stain. Make sure to use the specific Blue Dawn dish shop because it is pH neutral. Do not rub the fibers, as they may break down. All these tricks are quick ways to make sure your clothes make it through the holiday; however bring your items into a St Croix Cleaners the day after to make sure the stain is completely removed before wearing it again.

Mention TCL at any of the 18 Twin Cities Metro locations and get 20 percent off your dry cleaning from now until December 31st.

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