Picture yourself in a restaurant, in the office, on a flight, or at a social event. And oh no! Something just spilt, splashed or splattered on your favorite outfit or suit.
Before you can say “Where’s the club soda,” everyone around you is volunteering an opinion on a quick-fix miracle cure.
Here’s a word of caution: Before you take the “advice” of those around you, or before you do something you’ll later regret, consider this...
Family members, friends, business associates, restaurant waiters and airline personnel are not skilled stain removal technicians.
Specifically, they know absolutely nothing about how to treat your specific combination of
Their “advice” may sound plausible because it often involves “stuff” you’ve heard about: ammonia, baby wipes, baking soda, club soda, coca cola, corn starch, dishwashing liquid, hairspray, hand soap, hydrogen peroxide, hot or cold water, laundry detergent, lemon juice, lighter fluid, meat tenderizer, salt, vinegar, WD-40 ® or white wine.
Or commercial products such as Oxiclean ®, Urine Gone ® 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 newspapers.
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 a few years back.
So what do you do?
Here’s our best advice …
Clearly, those around you are 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.
This last comment applies to restaurant servers in particular. As soon as you see any restaurant server rushing over to your side with the club soda, thank the server for their concern with a polite "No thanks".
Hopefully, this “cool off” period will
Here's a sobering thought: By attempting to “treat” the stain yourself, you’ve got a 50:50 chance of ruining the garment.
In other words, if the quick-fix miracle cure works, you’re just plain lucky. If it doesn’t work, you’ve possibly ruined the garment.
Most of these quick-fix miracle cures just spread the stain, create "rings", bleed the dyes, and “pull” the color out of the fabric.
Furthermore -- and most importantly -- they make future removal or restoration by a skilled stain removal technician a difficult (and occasionally) impossible task.
Here’s another thought: Many of these spills, splashes or splatters are oil-based stains.
The indiscriminate application of a water-based solution (such as club soda) to an oil-based stain is futile.
Most water-based solutions won’t dissolve an oil-based stain. It’ll merely spread the stain around and make the stain more difficult to remove.
We can’t begin to recall the number of ruined garments we’ve seen accompanied by the comment: “I know I should have headed your advise but someone suggested.......
Our advise: Gently blot the spill, splash or splatter with a white cotton napkin or towel.
Never wipe. Never rub. Never scrub.
Let’s 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.
Then leave it alone.
The next time a spill, splash or splatter occurs remember our advice: ignore the advice of others, and do nothing you’ll later regret.
You could say that knowing what NOT to do is more important than knowing what to do.