Posts by Blue Heron Web Design

Stain Removing Tips

No matter how bad you want to, do not rub a stain – pat only, rubbing will push the stain further down into the fabric.  Patting will move the stain into the rag or napkin you are patting with. Rubbing damp silk will damage the material. Read more →

How to Remove Beverage Stains

To remove coffee, tea, soft drinks wine, alcoholic drink, or fruit juice stains, first rinse stain in cool water.  Preferably before the stain dries.  Pretreat with prewash stain remover or a mild laundry detergent and white vinegar.  If still there after laundering, try an enzyme detergent (like ERA)or go back to the first step.  Presoak if possible.

(coffee, tea, soft drinks, wine, alcoholic drinks, fruit juice) – Rinse stain in cool water.  Preferably before the stain dries.  Pretreat with prewash stain remover or a mild laundry detergent and white vinegar.  If still there after laundering, try an enzyme detergent (like ERA)or go back to the first step.  Presoak if possible.

Remove blood, egg, urine, vomit, feces or other animal-type stains

Scrape off any residue then soak freshly stained garment in cold water for 30 minutes and rinse.  Gently rub detergent into any remaining stain. Rinse, and then launder. If any stain remains or the stain was dry, soak in lukewarm water with an enzyme product (like ERA) and then launder.

Remove fruit, mustard, grass, tobacco or other plant-type stains

Rinse with cool water and treat with a mild detergent and white vinegar before washing or presoak in an enzyme product (like ERA) in the warmest water safe for the fabric.  Then launder as usual.  May need to repeat if stain is not completely gone.

Remove grease, motor oil, salad dressing, butter, cooking oil, cosmetics, or crayon stains

Light stains can be pretreated with a spray stain remover, heavier stains require a mild laundry detergent mixed with household ammonia, or detergent mixed with a detergent booster.  Launder in hottest water safe for the fabric. Remember pat only no rubbing. Will have to repeat several times for heavy stains. Very heavy oil may require a solvent based stain removal product – see candle wax.

Remove Perspiration or Sweat Stains

Treat with prewash stain remover, or dampen stain and rub with bar soap. If the color of the fabric has changed slightly, apply ammonia to fresh stain or white vinegar to old stain, rinse. Launder in hottest water safe for that fabric. Stubborn stains may respond to pretreating (soak) with a enzyme product (like ERA), then launder using an all-fabric bleach.

Removing Candle Wax or Lipstick Stains

Gently lift off larger pieces. Treat with a solvent based stain removal product (K2R, Goof-Off). Again pat from the back side into a cloth. Then wash in the hottest water safe for that fabric. Test colored items first.

What is Dry Cleaning?

The dry cleaning process uses only about 1% water and a few other additives such as optical brighteners and sizing in a liquid solvent bath with the action very similar to the agitation of a commercial washing machine.  The major difference is that virtually all of the solvent is recovered back into the machine where the solvent is filtered and/or distilled for reuse.

Why does wool shrink?

Woolen-BlanketWool fibers have a barb on them similar to a rose stem.  When wet with water and agitated, wool fibers slide around and the barbs get caught together either shrinking the weave or felting it.  Dry cleaning solvent does not allow for the fibers to slide around thus preventing this problem.

Why does cotton shrink?

100%Cotton-Pride-CleanersCotton fibers swell up when wet with water which in effect shortens the length of the fiber.  The temperature of the water has no bearing. If the fiber is then dried quickly, the fiber permanently retains the swelled up and shortened attitude.  If dried on low heat or no heat cotton will usually not shrink.  This removes the water slowly and returns the fibers to their pre-wet size. Read more →