Q: What can I do about a stain that becomes more visible after the garment has been cleaned?
A: This type of stain is typically an oil stain or an oxidized stain. It often forms a cross-hatch pattern on garments and can become more visible after washing due to oxidation. Acting fast is key. If the stain is fresh, your dry cleaner should be able to remove the stain with pre-spotting and cleaning.
Chalky or Lighter Fabric
Q: Why does my garment look lighter or chalky around the neck, armpits or elsewhere?
A: When areas look like they have lost color and the reverse side of the fabric in the discolored areas show no evidence of color loss, it is often due to fabric “chafing”. Repeated rubbing from simple wear or from trying to self-remove a stain, will abrade the dye and break the surface fibers altering the light reflection. In some cases, a professional dry cleaner can improve the chafing by a special mineral oil bath process.
Holes in Silk Garments
Q: What caused the hole or tear in my new silk garment?
A: In many cases, this damage is caused by contact with a liquid that contains chemicals which deteriorates silk. The biggest culprit is chloride salts which are found in perspiration, deodorants, foods and skin lotions. When the solution dries, the moisture evaporates out, but the salt residue remains in the fabric and begins to break down the silk. Do NOT rub the stain! Immediate removal after contact is the only remedy, so point out the stain to your dry cleaner and have the garment cleaned immediately.
Color Streaks in Clothing
Q: If the care instructions say to machine wash, why does my clothing fade or streak after it is washed?
A: You may be interested to know that the Federal Trade Commission’s Care Labeling Rule states that all colors and components must be able to withstand the manufactures recommended care procedure without any adverse affect. Fading or streaking typically happens when the original color wasn’t made completely colorfast to the stated washing procedures.
Mysterious Stains after Dry Cleaning
Q: Why did a yellow (tan or brown) stain mysteriously appear on a garment after I had it dry cleaned?
A: When a faint yellow (all the way to a rust or brown colored stain) shows up on your garment, it is typically due to the garment’s contact with beverages or food that contain sugars or tannin. After the spill evaporates, only an invisible residue remains. Over a period of time, this residue oxidizes and turns the residue yellowish and noticeable. If you spill on your clothing, immediately take the garment to your cleaners and point out the area of the spill so they can dry clean it immediately.
Puckered or Bumpy Hem
Q: Why does my garment appear puckered or bumping along the hem or other areas?
A: This typically happens when the garment fabric separates from the interfacing (material sewn into the garment to give it extra support or shape). This is not caused by dry cleaning. The manufacturer did not use compatible materials which means that the interfacing and garment fabric have different rates of shrinkage.
Fuzzy or Faded Workout Clothing
Q: Why do my favorite workout pants appear fuzzy or faded?
A: Fabrics such as spandex, Lycra and other trade name fabrics break down after a certain period of time. Although there is no way to prevent this problem, good manufacturers will make sure that following the care instructions will get the longest life out of the clothing. Unfortunately, faded, stretched, or damaged spandex or similar materials (even if just a blend in the fabric) cannot be restored.
Underarm Rips and Stains
Q: How can I prevent the underarms of my shirts from ripping or staining?
A: Let’s face it: a shirt has a 2-year life span. After that, you will start to see problems, especially with cotton. We are often not realistic about the useful life of a garment. Dry cleaning can, however, extend the life of a garment and keep it looking newer for longer.
Bleach Spots on Garment
Q: Why does it look like my garment has bleach spots on it?
A: This type of color loss is caused by contact with a solution containing some type of oxidizing chemical—such as those contained in many household cleaning and disinfectant products. This causes a stain, and often color loss isn’t apparent until after the stain is removed. Drying or steam pressing will accelerate the action of the residue in the fabric; thus, the dye damage becomes more noticeable after any care process. It is important to note that dry cleaning and professional laundering are both total immersion processes and do not cause this type of color damage.
Streaks in Demin
Q: Why do my jeans look faded or streaked after following the cleaning directions provided on the label?
A: When it comes to jeans, you need to decide whether you want them to fade or look like new. If jeans are washed, they will fade; if they are dry cleaned, they will continue to look new. It is really a style preference that should dictate how you clean your jeans.