There is a good chance that you have spilled some coffee, cooking oil or wine on your clothes, you know how hard these are to remove, and you may have also tried submerging it in water overnight to no success.
That is why some people turn to professional services like dry cleaners, as some types of clothes can't withstand your washer or dryer.
Even though many stains can be removed here, non-oil-based stains and pet hairs may be an issue where they could be refused.
That is why it's a good idea to see what dry cleaning can do for your clothes and how they do this, which you can find out more about below.
What Stains Can Be Removed By Dry Cleaning?
The first thing you should do with any stain is to try and leave it before you get it seen by a dry cleaning service, as some remedies that use vinegar and baking soda might work better for other stains, and if not used right, could set the stain or cause damage to the clothing.
So you've taken your clothing to this service and need to point out what it is, and this is where they are broken down into different categories, which are:
- Grease and oil stains- These leave streaks on your clothing and can come from cooking oil, motor oil, skincare products, and other greasy foods.
- Dye stains- Anything with a bold color that is likely to leak onto clothes, which includes pen ink, fabric dye, grass and fruit dyes, and even food coloring.
- Protein-based stains- These specific stains can come from your sweat, blood, dairy, and meat products, and even deodorant marks.
- Tannin stains- These are the everyday stains that can be picked up more frequently, such as coffee, tea, soft drinks, wine, and juice stains.
Problems Of Dry Cleaning
Even though dry cleaning can cover a lot of stains, as we have mentioned, pet hairs may be refused by your dry cleaner as they can be difficult to remove and may require specialist treatment.
This is also the case for those stains that have been present on the clothing for a while, and fabrics that contain plastic, polyurethane, and PVC cannot be dry cleaned as they will deteriorate during the cleaning process.
This can apply to garments like lingerie which can be made up of a delicate material that could get out of shape and lose its texture and color, so it's best if you try to handwash these first and speak to a dry cleaner if you have any concerns about them.
Cleaning Dry Clean Only Clothes At Home
This is possible as you can find dry cleaning kits, steam irons, mesh laundry bags, and wrinkler releasers that work on dry clean only clothes. You can also find stain removers which you can test on an area of the fabric to see if it comes out.
After using some odor-release spray, you can put your garments into the mesh bag and use them in the dryer, but you want to avoid doing this for fibers like rayon or silk as the stain remover can damage them.
One of the benefits of a dry cleaning kit is that you can use absorbent pads, so the stain doesn't transfer over to other clothes.
This can then be transferred to a bag with a towelette with a cleaning solution on it. Then it can be used in the dryer for 30 minutes.
Are There Any Drawbacks?
Most kits you find out there are ideal for water-based or light stains, so anything with oil or dye can still be present however often you try to wash it out, and it may only work to neutralize odors and might not fully clean your dry cleaner clothes.
Dry cleaners are preferable because they have solvents and other options that are more effective in removing stains that are tougher to remove.
This works by the solvent being drained, filtered, and recycled, so the clothes are rinsed, which is usually water-free.
With home kits, you also don't get the pressed finish you might be looking for in pants or suit jackets, and any fumes have the potential to over-perfume your clothes, so they might be more of a temporary solution until you can get them professionally cleaned.
How Do I Make Stains Easier To Remove?
If you are dropping off any clothing, it's a good idea to show your cleaner the stain instead of handing them a bundle, so if they need to make any considerations, they can do so in confidence, and you won't risk having any of your clothes ruined.
Also, suppose you have any buttons, delicate fabrics, or embellishments on your clothes. In that case, these can be separated and reattached if possible, saving you from leaving it to chance, and you'll be less likely to have to make repairs to your own.
One aspect that can go overlooked is the care instructions on the clothing, as this is a sure way of how to clean it, where it can tell you how to clean it, what temperature to use, and whether it's suitable for handwashing or not, which can save you a lot of hassle.
If you decide to use a kit, ensure that you test the stain remover in an obscure spot before treating the main area, as a reaction, when you apply it or as it drys, it will make it even harder to remove the stain (see also 'How To Remove Coffee Stains From Clothes').
There are pros and cons to each method, as the dry cleaners aren't the most environmentally friendly, as there are cleaning solutions that produce fewer fumes, which also means a safer work process.
If you check the cleaning instructions on any of your clothes, you can keep them clean and fresh for longer, which can only be a good thing.