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 appears. If I can't figure this problem out soon, I will have to consider refusing these items for stain removal.
Have you ever received complaints about white garments turning gray?
One of two problems usually causes this discoloration.
Most whites are treated with fluorescent whiteners or optical brighteners during manufacturing to achieve a desired shade of white. Brighteners decompose with age, exposure to light, or, in some cases, the heat of cleaning. Washing the item in bleach will also destroy the brighteners. Decomposition causes the white fabric to appear dull and dingy, or have a slightly yellow or green color.
Have you ever drycleaned an item in a normal process only to notice localized areas of color loss on a certain item? What went wrong? In many cases the color loss was caused by contact with an oxidizing agent - such as a bleach - prior to the cleaning process.
Oxidizing agents are found in hair care products, acne preparations, medicines for the skin, home bleaches, disinfectants, scouring products, and other cleaning agents. The discoloration may not show up until the item is exposed to the heat in the drying cycle or the heat of steam finishing.
The most common question faced by drycleaners when they receive a bedspread or comforter is whether it should be washed or drycleaned. Complaints of color loss or change of finish frequently accompany the cleaning of these items. Color loss usually becomes apparent when the cleaned bedspread no longer matches a coordinating uncleaned accessory, such as a pillow sham or drapery. The difference can range from slight frosting or fading to an overall change or catastrophic change of all colors.
Q: I just finished drycleaning a blue down-filled ski parka and now it looks like it has oil splotches all over the fabric. What happened and what can I do to fix it?