3 Types of Stains and If You Should Worry or Not

It is amazing how a little Alfredo sauce can completely transform a plate of noodles, and simultaneously ruin your favorite silk blouse. Spills are a package deal anywhere food is near. From the dinner table to a five-star restaurant, no one is immune to the wayward elbow, the child reach-over, or the clumsy customer. However, not every stain equals an emergency. Most food stains are easily removed with a good hot washing, and even the most stubborn stains can be removed if treated correctly. If you need professional help, cleaning linens is one of our areas of expertise.

Green Light Stains

These stains are everyday mishaps that are easy to take care of. Generally, a simple washing with a quality detergent will take these stains right out of most fabrics without any lasting damage, tinting, or evidence left behind.

Gum – Gum is a sticky stain, but not one that requires a major intervention. Freezing is the best way to get gum to “un-stick” and once the gum is gone, clean as usual.

Blood – While this is rare in a restaurant setting, it does happen. The good news is blood is easy to remove with a little hydrogen peroxide.

Ice Cream, Milk, and Dairy – Because dairy products come from an animal, they are referred to as “protein stains”, these are easy to remove with a little stain remover and a soak in cold water.

Caution Stains

These stains can be easily handled, but may require a little pretreating to help the process along. Generally, even the most extensive stains in the caution category can be eliminated if they are treated correctly.

Coffee – Use hot water to dab a coffee stain immediately after spilling to prevent the faint yellowish stain that never seems to go away. You can also use commercial grade spot remover if the stain is older

Berries – Blueberries, raspberries, and cranberries wreak havoc on linens. Pretreating is essential with white vinegar and dishwashing liquid.

Tomato Stains- Spaghetti sauce and other tomato-based sauces will set if they are heated, so you must avoid hot water and hot air until they have been soaked in cold water with vinegar.

Chocolate – Chocolate reacts the same as tomato in heat – they both set in permanently when heated. Always treat chocolate with cool water and blot with ammonia and dishwashing liquid.

Emergency Stains

There are only a few emergency stains that may mean the end of your linen life. These stains generally require a professional intervention as soon after the incident as possible, and even then – the chances of complete removal are often slim.

Mustard – Mustard is more wet than people think, which means it spreads quickly. It also acts as a dye when it touches fabric, so it is a particularly tough stain to get out.

Red Wine – The dreaded wine stain. Red wine also dyes fabric on contact, making it nearly impossible to get out. The best chance is to treat immediately with baking soda and club soda.

Grease – This may be the toughest stain to remove. It soaks in, stakes its claim, and seems impossible to remove. Dishwashing liquid or rubbing alcohol may make a significant difference, but it can take a lot of time and patience to get grease out of fabric completely, if ever.

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