The Thanksgiving holiday is near and the conversation is all
about food and food preparation.
But along with Thanksgiving comes the risk of food and other
spills on your fine garments and table linens. There's the turkey,
gravy, cranberry sauce, wine and coffee. Even lipstick marks on
napkins and candlewax on table cloths and runners. And don't forget
those grass and sand stains from touch football in the backyard as
you're burning off those holiday calories.
But Thanksgiving wouldn't be the same without the obligatory TV
news segment featuring some local dry cleaner dispensing advice
about how to remove gravy or cranberry sauce stains from a garment
or table linen.
My advice? Ignore that advice.
Here's what you should know ...
There are 5 important things to bear in mind when it comes to
treating those Thanksgiving holiday stains:
Clearly, they're just trying to be helpful in an awkward
situation. Unfortunately, they're not skilled stain removal
technicians, and don't have the technical knowledge, tools,
chemical agents, and specialized equipment necessary to "treat" the
garment or table linen.
Their "advice" may sound plausible because it often
involves "stuff" you've heard about: ammonia, baby wipes, baking
soda, club soda, coca cola, dishwashing liquid, hairspray, hydrogen
peroxide, hot/cold water, laundry detergent/soap, lemon juice,
lighter fluid, meat tenderizer, salt, sun, vinegar, WD-40, water or
white wine. Commercial products such as OxyClean and Wine Away. And
let's not forget those "guaranteed" spot removers promoted on late
night TV, at supermarket check outs, and in TV guides and tabloid
Truth is, their "advice" is probably nothing more than a
mixture of folklore, old wives tales, home remedies, and hazy
memories about something they'd heard from someone at Thanksgiving
a few years back.
Most of these quick-fix miracle cures just spread the stain,
result in the formation of rings, bleed the dyes, and "pull" the
color out of the fabric. Furthermore, they make future removal or
restoration by a skilled stain removal technician a difficult, if
not impossible task.
I can't begin to recall the number of ruined garments and
table linens we've seen accompanied by the comment: "I know I
shouldn't have done anything, but..."
I'll repeat that: Never wipe. Never rub. Never scrub. Just
gently blot the fabric to absorb as much of the spill, splash or
splatter as possible. They leave it alone and take it to a true
quality cleaner who is recognized for their stain removal and
So if you have tablecloths and napkins with grease stains, for
example, you need to dry clean first. Otherwise you run the risk of
oxidizing these grease stains when you put those table linens
in the dryer and apply heat. Oxidized oil stains manifest
themselves as yellow spots on your fine table linens.
When in doubt, consult your true quality cleaner.
How can I help you?
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