Oops!  Someone in your household just accidentally dribbled something on a clothing or household item.  What’s the first thing you do?  Do you wipe it, let it sit on the fabric and/or spray it with the first “stain removal” product you can get your hands on?  If you say yes to any or all of the above, you could cause that stain to set for life, ruining the item.

Avoid ruining another investment and read our top five ways to set a stain for life before the next Oops.

1.    Treat all stains the same.  If you use the same treatment on every stain before identifying which of the four types of clothing stains you have, there’s a good chance some stains will be set for life.  However, to increase the probability of getting the stain out, identify which type of stain you have and treat accordingly.  Click here to read about the different types of stains and how to treat them.

2.    Rub, wipe, and rub some more.  Rubbing or wiping the spill that’s on your item instead of blotting will spread the stain out and push it deeper into the fibers, making it harder to remove completely.  Use hot water to try and wipe clean and you’ll increase the likelihood that the stain will be set for life.  You should blot gently and follow these treatment tips depending on the type of stain you’re trying to remove.

3.    Let stains sit overnight.  Letting the stain sit in the dirty clothes basket until it’s time to wash a full load will help the stain “set” in to the fabric.  It will be difficult to lift the stain entirely out of the fibers when you finally get around to laundering the item.  The sooner you act on spills and potential stains the better your chances of removing the stain.

4.    Dry items in the dryer before checking that stains are gone.  Heat can set stains permanently.  Once you toss the item into the dryer, the stain is set for good.  If the stain remains after the first wash, pre-treat and wash again before drying to try and remove the stain.

5.    Store your off season items dirty.  Storing your seasonal items “dirty” without laundering them first allows sweat, body oils, cologne, hidden spills and grime to “set” in to the fibers over a long period of time.  Next time you want to wear the item, the stain will be so old and set in, it may be set for life.  Clean items before putting them away for the season.

If you’ve done any or all of the above, or if you’ve tried to remove stains at home without success, there’s still hope.  We have removed our customer’s tough, set in stains even after they’ve tried some of the at home remedies.

Bring your items to any of our locations or let us come pick them up for free and we’ll hand them over to our stain removal specialists.  Be sure to tell us what the stain is and what chemicals you’ve used on the fabric and our specialists will use their trained expertise and their arsenal of tools to try and remove the stain.

– S.O.