Q: After cleaning, a blouse exhibited small, dark stains on the collar, shoulders, and upper sleeve areas. What caused these stains, and can they be removed?
A: Most likely, these stains are a result of the use of hair spray or hair preparations. In many cases, the stains are invisible when they first contact the fabric; however, age and/or the heat of the cleaning or finishing process may cause them to become visible.
Once the stains are visible, they are difficult to remove. In some cases they may be removed through traditional stain removal procedures. Try these steps to remove the stain:
- Apply volatile dry solvent and an oily-type paint remover to the stain
- Flush with volatile dry solvent and dry
- Apply water or steam and a neutral synthetic detergent
If these steps fail to remove the stain, try using a tannin formula or 28% acetic acid. If the stain remains, flush with water or steam and apply a protein formula. Often, the only way to remove the last traces of a stain is by using bleach. Remember to test the garment for colorfastness before attempting any type of stain removal treatment. In some cases, the stained area may be too large for local stain removal. It may be necessary to wetclean the item to remove the staining.