Steve’s Blog April 8th

In March I appeared in People Magazine’s Style Watch issue, the one with Reese Witherspoon on the front. No, I was not photographed with the latest Jimmy Choo or Prada bag, or caught without makeup running from paparazzi, while out on a shopping spree …

I was doing something earthy, teaching people the difference between water-based and oil-based stains and how to keep whites bright! Examples of water based stains are soda, coffee, perspiration and such – anything that has water in it. Oil based – salad dressing, body oil – and most makeup … stains that may come off your face and hands with soap water, but not off your clothing with soap and water! 

Water-Based Stains
Water-based stains, depending on the size of the spill, can be easy as pie to remove from washable clothing just by throwing the stained clothing into the washer – even if they require a little pre-soaking first. But, the same spills and stains, if bigger than a 50-cent piece, can be a real challenge to remove from dryclean-only clothing (because drycleaning solution has very little water in it). Drycleaners can still remove the stains, but it requires more hand spotting and care.

Oil-Based Stains
On the other hand, oil-based stains have a heck of time coming out of washable clothing in the washer, because water doesn’t remove oily stains very well. However, if the stain is reasonably fresh, it usually comes right out in drycleaning. Did you get all that? That is the “straight poop” on stains … but, with a number of exceptions!

Here’s the bottom line … if you have collar and cuff soil, underarm perspiration and other stains on dryclean-only clothing, be sure to get it cleaned ASAP and be sure to point out the stains to your drycleaner. If the clothing is washable, then wash it within 48 hours, whenever possible.

If you get oily stains on washable clothing – even french fry grease on your kid’s cottons – and you want that clothing to last a long time, then invest in drycleaning and get those stains out!


The Clothing Doctor