True Quality CleaningStraight talk about caring for fine garments & household textiles from an expert who calls it like it is. In plain English.

Why are there oil-based stains on my professionally laundered shirts?

Stained collarsHave you noticed that the collars of your white shirts have yellowed and that certain parts of the collars of your dark colored shirts look darker than the rest of the shirt?

Here's why ...

Your collars have yellowed and look darker because ordinary dry cleaners merely toss your shirts into a shirt washer. And hope that a combination of hot water and harsh, caustic, industrial grade detergents will miraculously dissolve the body oils in the collar (or elsewhere on the shirt).

Sometimes this works. Mostly it doesn't.

At a true quality cleaner, they'll first soak your fine shirts in an odorless, dermatologically friendly, fabric gentle dry cleaning fluid. Before your shirts even see the inside of a shirt washer.

And why do they do this? Because this is the only way to safely and gently dissolve oil-based stains such as body oil, oily creams and oily lotions, and other grease deposits. Without resorting to scrubbing your collars and cuffs with hard-bristled brushes and "collar-cuff solution".

This is also the only way to ensure that, when your shirt is finally pressed ( hopefully by hand and not by machine), those body oils, creams and lotions, and grease deposits don't transform or oxidize through heat into difficult-to-remove yellow stains.

And the dry clean fluid a true quality cleaner should use? The same type of fluid -- siloxane -- that they might use for "dry clean only" bespoke, made-to-measure, designer, high fashion, specialty and couture garments.

Fact is, siloxane dry clean fluid is so gentle it's been used for decades as a base ingredient in many of the personal care products you drip into your eyes and rub into your skin on a daily basis. Personal care products such as shampoos, antiperspirants, deodorants and moisturizing creams. It's even in the cooking oil McDonald's uses for their french fries. But that's a story for another day.

So next time you drop off your fine shirts at your local dry cleaner, ask them if they soak your shirts in a gentle dry cleaning fluid before tossing them into the shirt washer. If the answer is no, they're only doing half the job. In which case, they ought to be only charging you half the price.

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