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“Spot Clean Only” Care Label

Q: I received a garment that had a care label stating “Spot Clean Only.” Is this a valid care label? How should I handle this garment? A: The Federal Trade Commission considers this a valid care l...

Posted By Harry Kimmel | 4/26/2016 3:00:52 PM



Q: I just pre-spotted the front of a ladies dress with a little acetone in order to remove either a glue or nail polish plastic-type stain. The stain dissolved, with no noticeable damage to the dre...

Posted By Harry Kimmel | 1/15/2016 1:36:08 PM

Avoiding Spotting Mistakes

Spotting Bottles

Mistakes can easily be made if spotting bottles aren’t clearly marked. A story that illustrates this point is the one about the person who was working on a delicate dye restoration. After spending tim...

Posted By Harry Kimmel | 12/6/2017 8:33:29 AM

Battling Ink Stains

Caption: Various stain removal products can be applied to the stain over a towel, and the stain should be blotted with a clean towel. Q: We’ve been having problems getting ink stains out of garm...

Posted By Harry Kimmel | 11/9/2015 9:30:51 AM

Blotting Ink Stains

Ink Stain

Q: I have heard a lot of talk about “blotting” ink and cosmetic stains to remove the oily components. Is this a new process, and what does it mean? A: When attempting to remove ink, mascara, and...

Posted By Harry Kimmel | 2/1/2016 8:59:14 AM

Caring for Needlepoint


How you clean any needlepoint or embroidery piece depends on the condition of the piece, the nature of the materials used, the results of colorfastness tests, and the type of soiling. Whether you wetc...

Posted By Harry Kimmel | 1/11/2018 12:00:11 PM

Chemical Damage of Nursing Home Items

Nursing Home

Q: I recently started to launder cotton items for several nursing homes and have noticed that the fabric seems to wear rapidly. An analysis report indicated that the pH is alkaline and that bleach ...

Posted By Harry Kimmel | 4/5/2016 3:24:48 PM

Cleaning Santa Suits

Santa Suit.Jpg

Can Santa Claus suits including the hair and beard be safely drycleaned? Santa Claus suits are usually not designed to be drycleaned. If the suit is synthetic it may be safe, however check for colorf...

Posted By Harry Kimmel | 12/12/2017 8:31:10 AM

Cleaning the Stain Removal Board

Spotting Board

Nothing is more frustrating than having completed a stain removal procedure on a garment only to find a fresh grease stain from a dirty stain removal board. Setting up a daily cleaning schedule can...

Posted By Harry Kimmel | 5/24/2018 1:19:36 PM

Color Loss From Bleach

Color Loss from Bleach

Caption: Accidental contact with an oxidizing bleach caused the color loss spots on the front of this shirt. Q: After drycleaning a light blue blouse I noticed small areas of color loss on the l...

Posted By Harry Kimmel | 11/30/2015 9:46:36 AM

Color Loss on Khaki Pants

Khaki Pants

Q: My spotter is having a terrible time with color loss on the natural and khaki color fabrics. She uses oily type paint remover and flushes it out before drycleaning, but a faint color loss appear...

Posted By Harry Kimmel | 8/24/2015 11:09:35 AM

Crayon Stains


Q: A customer brought in jeans with crayon all over them. The jeans had been dried while the crayon was still in the pocket. Can these stains be removed? A: Crayon stains are similar to candle wax ...

Posted By Harry Kimmel | 5/30/2018 1:57:09 PM

DLI App Eases Stain Removal, Customer Relations

App image

Association’s newest member benefit offers complete spotting strategies for hundreds of common stains, plus a range of technical bulletins. By Ian P. Murphy NOTE: Since this item's publication, ...

Posted By Harry Kimmel | 3/28/2016 10:56:02 AM



Q: Why do draperies sometimes develop large yellow or tan rings after drycleaning? A: Many drapery fabrics have sizings or finishes applied during manufacture for stability, luster, and desired han...

Posted By Harry Kimmel | 4/26/2017 12:01:54 PM

Dye Migration on Leather/Cloth Combos

Leather Trim Dye Bleed

Leather trim may be used on a variety of garments. In many cases, the leather trim can bleed after cleaning. Therefore, it is very important to check the care label before cleaning. Oils and dyes u...

Posted By Harry Kimmel | 8/17/2017 1:46:35 PM

Elastic Stains

Elastic Stains

Q: After cleaning, a skirt showed discolorations around the elastic area. What happened? A: These stains usually occur on garments that contain a rubberized elastic. Often, the rubberized material ...

Posted By Harry Kimmel | 4/26/2018 9:20:32 AM


Q: What does "fogging" mean? A: Some stain removal procedures require fogging for them to work effectively. To fog an area, place the area over a towel, and apply the stain removal agent. Purge ...

Posted By Harry Kimmel | 10/6/2015 11:11:23 AM

Got Milk Stains?


Q: I have a milk stain on a garment. How do I remove it? A: Milk stains contain albumin, a component in many foods of animal origin. Eggs, milk, blood, urine, perspiration, certain types of glu...

Posted By Harry Kimmel | 12/2/2015 10:06:16 AM

Hair Spray Stains


Q: How can I remove stains caused by the use of hair spray? A: First start on the dry side, apply volatile dry solvent (VDS), and tamp. Then dry the area. This may be all that is needed. If the s...

Posted By Harry Kimmel | 5/5/2016 10:53:57 AM

Handling Flood Damaged Items

The disastrous floods that occurred in various parts of the country are leaving an impact on the drycleaning industry. Many cleaners have inquired about mold and mildew stain removal. Microorganis...

Posted By Harry Kimmel | 9/7/2016 10:55:43 AM

Home Remedies for Lipstick, Gum and Chocolate

Lipstick kiss

Customers may sometimes inquire about home stain removal tips. Here are three home stain remedies cleaners might share. Customers should know that trained professionals with specialized equipment can ...

Posted By Harry Kimmel | 10/25/2017 9:38:26 AM

Home Stain Removal

Wine Stains

Q: One of my regular customers called for advice on how to remove wine from an everyday tablecloth. What advice can I give my customers about home stain removal? A: Many customers have items that t...

Posted By Harry Kimmel | 8/7/2017 10:22:12 AM

How to Remove Eggnog and Gravy Stains


With the holiday season behind us, many cleaners may receive questions about advice on how to remove eggnog and gravy stains. When advising customers on the removal of stains, let them know that yo...

Posted By Harry Kimmel | 1/2/2018 2:23:58 PM

How to Test Color and Trim

Colorfast test

With today’s wide variety of colors and trims, it is important to test for colorfastness and cleanability before processing garments. A simple test can be done for colorfastness by wetting an unexpose...

Posted By Harry Kimmel | 8/24/2017 10:22:19 AM

Incontinent Pads

Incontinent Pads

Q: After repeated washing, incontinent pads show thinning of the facing. This damage is more apparent at the outer edges. What causes this damage? A: This type of thinning results from normal use ...

Posted By Harry Kimmel | 8/10/2016 3:43:27 PM

Ink Stains on Acetate

Ink Stains

Q: How do you remove ink stains from acetate? A: The regular procedure for removing ink stains is as follows: volatile dry solvent oily-type paint remover volatile dry solvent steam or water ...

Posted By Harry Kimmel | 8/7/2018 9:06:54 AM

Lava Stains

Lava Lamp

Q: My customer brought in an outfit with oily-looking goop on it. She told me that her lava lamp tipped over and the "lava" spilled onto her clothes. How do I proceed? A: Lava lamps contain paraff...

Posted By Harry Kimmel | 9/22/2016 9:41:00 AM

Liquid Digester

spotting board

Q: I keep a liquid digester on my stain removal board but it never seems to remove any stains. I apply the digester, tamp it, and then immediately flush with steam. Could I be using it incorrectly?...

Posted By Harry Kimmel | 5/3/2016 8:26:55 AM

Mysterious Color Loss

Dye Bleed

Many times garments contain dyes that are completely colorfast to drycleaning solvents and to water. However, a component of the dye can be disturbed and/or removed by the use of moisture pre-spotters...

Posted By Harry Kimmel | 2/9/2017 10:14:19 AM

Mysterious Underarm Discoloration


Q: I just took a blue silk blouse out of the cleaning machine and where the perspiration has discolored the underarms, holes have appeared. This has happened before and the customers always think i...

Posted By Harry Kimmel | 4/7/2016 2:11:53 PM

Perspiration Stains

Q: Is there a way to remove perspiration stains? A: Stains from perspiration are usually found on the underarm area of a garment. However, any area that contacts the body may have such stains. Per...

Posted By Harry Kimmel | 9/19/2016 11:17:19 AM

Perspiration Stains

Underarm Stains

Perspiration contains fats, oils, and cholesterol which tend to oxidize and turn yellow. This slow, progressive process develops with age and with the heat that is necessary in finishing procedures. ...

Posted By Harry Kimmel | 7/18/2017 12:13:02 PM

Perspiration Stains on Silk

Underarm Stain

Perspiration stains usually appear as yellow stains in the underarms and on the back, and may have a noticeable odor. Perspiration is composed of mainly water, but it also contains other substances, s...

Posted By Harry Kimmel | 5/1/2018 11:47:51 AM



Photo: Redeposition can cause rings in stain removal. Redeposition occurs in drycleaning when soils in the solvent resettle or redeposit on clothing instead of being carried off to the filters. So...

Posted By Harry Kimmel | 5/15/2018 9:41:12 AM

Removing Candle Wax Stains

Candle Image

Q: What can I tell customers about removing candle wax from a linen tablecloth? A: DLI advises that if a customer asks you about home stain removal of candle wax stains, advise them to first remove...

Posted By Harry Kimmel | 4/24/2018 11:02:56 AM

Removing Grass Stains

Grass Stain

Grass stains can be difficult to remove but proper stain removal procedures can increase your likelihood of success. Remember, not all dyes or fibers are the same, so it is necessary to test for color...

Posted By Harry Kimmel | 7/31/2018 10:18:03 AM

Removing Mud Stains

mud stains

Q: How do you remove mud stains? A: Most mud stains can be removed by washing the item according to the care instructions. Let the mud dry, then brush off as much as possible using a soft bristle b...

Posted By Harry Kimmel | 8/31/2016 12:49:33 PM

Removing Mud Stains

Mud Stains

Most mud stains on washable items can be removed by washing the item according to the care instructions. Let the mud dry, then brush off as much as possible using a soft bristle brush. Wash as usu...

Posted By Harry Kimmel | 9/12/2018 11:42:50 AM

Removing Nail Polish

Nail polish stains can be challenging to remove. Nail polish contains a plastic base and coloring matter. Plastic stains require the use of dryside stain removal agents and are one of the most time-co...

Posted By Harry Kimmel | 7/16/2018 10:18:11 AM

Removing Scorch Marks

Iron Stain

Q: My customer was ironing a white cotton/linen skirt at home and left the iron on it too long. She noticed a stain that she believes is scorch. Now she has brought the skirt to me. How can I remov...

Posted By Harry Kimmel | 2/25/2016 1:38:20 PM

Salt & Pepper Fabrics

Salt and Pepper Yarns

Caption: Salt and Pepper garments can pose tough stain removal challenges. Q: I am having trouble removing a stain from a fabric that has very dark yarns mixed with very light yarns. The light y...

Posted By Harry Kimmel | 12/8/2015 9:18:40 AM

Shoe Polish Stains

Shoe polish

Q: How do you remove wax shoe polish from the cuffs of a pair of pants? A: Test the color of a garment before starting any stain removal procedure. Place the garment on the spotting board over a w...

Posted By Harry Kimmel | 10/9/2015 12:03:45 PM

Silk Color Problems


After drycleaning, mysterious, local color loss sometimes occurs. Testing shows that the dye and sizing in the fabric are not affected by drycleaning solvents or water. Instead, the dye and sizing are...

Posted By Harry Kimmel | 11/1/2016 2:36:07 PM

Spotting with Bleaches


When spotting with bleaches, keep in mind that bleaching is a process that changes the color of a substance to a colorless state through a chemical reaction. This means that the stains or dyes are not...

Posted By Harry Kimmel | 3/12/2018 2:00:34 PM

Stain Removal and the Care Label Rule

Stain Removal

Most clothing sold in the United States must have a care label attached. The instructions will give a care procedure "necessary for the ordinary use and enjoyment of the product." A cleaner is not req...

Posted By Harry Kimmel | 8/13/2018 8:29:13 AM

Stain Removal Board Organization & Maintenance

Spotting Board

Keep your stain removal boards clean and well-organized with these tips: Organization Place the agents in order according to category to minimize the risk of picking up the wrong agent. Separat...

Posted By Harry Kimmel | 9/6/2018 9:11:46 AM

Stain Removal on Satin

satin weave

Satin is a weave, not a fiber. The fabric has a shiny, smooth surface because yarns pass or float over four or more yarns during the weaving process. This unique characteristic of the weave is also th...

Posted By Harry Kimmel | 5/8/2018 2:19:23 PM

Stain Removal With Chlorine Bleach


There are many stains that may require the use of bleaching agents to remove the last traces of the stain. In many cases, sodium hypochlorite (chlorine) bleach can be used. The use of chlorine blea...

Posted By Harry Kimmel | 7/11/2017 10:26:00 AM

Sunscreen Stains


Q: After cleaning, a garment exhibited a series of brownish stains. What caused these stains, and can they be removed? A: One source of these stains is sunscreens and suntan lotions. As more people...

Posted By Harry Kimmel | 6/26/2018 1:30:50 PM

Taking Care of Spotting Boards


When was the last time you took a good look at your spotting boards? Do they need to be cleaned or repaired? The spotting board must be kept in good operational condition at all times. It should be...

Posted By Harry Kimmel | 7/5/2017 8:50:09 AM

Tannin Formula

Coffee Stain

Q: I just prespotted a small coffee stain on a white linen blouse with tannin formula and then drycleaned it normally with a light colored load. When the blouse came out of the drycleaning machine ...

Posted By Harry Kimmel | 3/28/2016 12:29:06 PM

Towels and Stain Removal


The use of white hand towels on the stain removal board is an absolute necessity. Following is a list of the many uses of towels. Testing for colorfastness. Apply a small amount of the agent to ...

Posted By Harry Kimmel | 5/31/2017 7:57:01 AM

Wetcleaning and Spotting White Silks


DLI’s Garment Analysis Laboratory has seen many white silks that are yellowed from alkaline spotters and detergents. The lab had two cases in which off-white silk wedding gowns were wetcleaned in an a...

Posted By Harry Kimmel | 8/1/2017 2:00:13 PM



Q: A customer brought in a home-laundered shirt with a yellowed collar, cuffs, and front placket. What caused this and can it be corrected? A: The care label probably warned against the use of chl...

Posted By Harry Kimmel | 5/8/2017 2:24:37 PM
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