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

We tried and tried, but we couldn’t

Upper right 3206It's truly amazing how many garments we see on a monthly basis with stain tags hanging from the hanger or attached to a dry cleaner's original invoice.

You know the one's I'm talking about. Those tags that say "sorry, we tried but we couldn't remove the stain on this garment".

Really, Mr. Dry Cleaner? You tried and tried, but you couldn't remove the stain?

This is my question: You say you tried but do you even have the technical skills to remove those stains in the first place?

Take this not-too-expensive rayon, polyester and spandex, white two piece suit with black trim brought in by a new client.

Someone had spilt red wine down the back of the blazer and onto the lower reaches of the slacks. She took it to her "regular cleaner" where some gum-chewing high schooler told her that she was confident that they could remove the stain. The client told me that she was reassured when she was told that they "were the best in town to handle difficult jobs."

From the photos shown below, it is quite clear what they did. They tossed the suit into the dry cleaning machine, recited a prayer, and pressed the start button. And when the stain failed to miraculously disappear, they reached for their stockpile of "sorry tags" and then profusely apologized for not saving the suit.

Voila! Mission accomplished. Next garment please!

So what to do?

The client brought the suit to us with the following plea: "Please save my suit. It's not expensive but I love wearing it."

The problems we faced were 4-fold:

  1. The wine stain had been transformed from a red stain to a grayishly blue stain due to contact with dry cleaning solvent in the dry cleaning machine.
  2. The stain had probably been set from contact with heat in the dry cleaning machine and on the press.
  3. The white suit was rather dingy due to "cleaning" in filthy dry cleaning solvent.
  4. The black dye on the trim was a "bleeder". This meant that any contact with water or wet steam would cause the black dye to bleed onto the white fabric, ruining the suit even further.

The before and after photos below reflect the transformation from dingy and stained to pristine white:


We tried 2288 We tried 2290
We tried 2291 We tried 2292
We tried 2293
We tried 2294
We tried 2295 We tried 2296



We tried 3186 We tried 3190
We tried 3189 We tried 3191
We tried 3188 We tried 3192
We tried 3197 We tried 3200


After - no dye bleed

We tried 3195 We tried 3194
We tried 3196
We tried 3198 We tried 3201


Who says that you must always be satisfied with your dry cleaner's assertion that a stain is impossible to remove?

Impossible by whose standards?

How can I help you?

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1 comment(s) for “We tried and tried, but we couldn’t”
  1. Gravatar of Gentleman's Gazette
    Gentleman's Gazette Says:
    Great job on this one! Most dry cleaners in the US seem to run the garments through a standard process, and if it does not work, they do the same thing again.
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