WHAT CAN WE DO?
- A stain on a garment can be a serious problem and it is one of the main reasons that clothes are brought to Ben’s. Here we can attempt to remove stains using stain removal procedures that we considered to be safe. However, not all stains can be removed without damaging the garment.
- The stains may be too set in to the fabric,
- Fabric of a delicate nature can limit the degree of removal.
- The dye in the fabric may be soluble,we may end up removing the dyestuff as well as the stain.
- Because of the many unknown factors relating to staining, fabrics and dyes, we cannot always guarantee stain removal without damage. Some spots will not come out, despite our best efforts. However, the more information we are given, the greater the chance of a satisfactory result.
FOOD AND DRINK STAINS
Most stains occur from spillage of food and beverages. The wearer will often sponge the affected area in an effort to remove the spillage, when the area dries there is no noticeable stain. Later on, with exposure to heat or with the passage of time, a yellow or brownish stain may appear. This is usually caused by the oxidation of sugar. You have probably seen this happen very quickly when you have eaten an apple and watched the core portion turn brown after exposure to the air. Most beverages, from lemonade to beer, contain sugar.
Another type of oxidation stain occurs when an oily substance, such as a cooking or vegetable oil, is exposed to heat, or ages in a garment for an extended time. Treated early, such substances are easily removed by the cleaning process. However, once they become yellow or brown they become much more difficult to remove.
Albumin, found in natural food such as meat, eggs, milk or fish can make stains difficult to remove. Coffee and tea contain tannin, which can also produce stubborn stains. Again, these marks may disappear after the area is sponged but removal is often incomplete and the stain may reappear at a later date. Tomatoes also contain tannin, which is why spaghetti sauce causes such problems.
Other stains can be caused by food colourings or natural dyes . Wines can cause blue, purple, red, brown or even black stains. Curries and mustard contain turmeric, which also causes a stubborn stain.
INK AND PAINT STAINS
After food and drink, ink and paint stains are probably the most common. Some ink stains are permanent and are impossible to remove; others can be removed, as can many stains from paint, nail polish, and cosmetics. However, heavily built up and dried paint is often impossible to remove. In every case, successful stain removal depends a great deal on the type of fabric and the colour fastness of the dye.
Perspiration also causes stains and this is a particular problem on silk garments. Perspiration left in a silk garment can damage the textile and weaken it so that it tears easily. Repeated exposure of a garment to perspiration and body oils can develop into a permanent yellow discoloration. In addition, perspiration can react with the dye in the fabric, which makes it more difficult to remove the stain.