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Can Dry Cleaners Get Stains Out? Insights and Tips From a Fairfield County, CT Dry Cleaning Expert

can dry cleaners get stains out

Picture this - you've just sat down to a nice meal in your brand-new white shirt. You pick up your glass to sip some red wine, only to spill half of it down the front of your shirt. Now you're faced with trying to figure out how to remove the stain from your new blouse.


There's no need to panic in these situations. Many people look to their local dry cleaners to wash delicate clothing items and help them with challenging stains. You may be asking yourself, "Can dry cleaners get stains out?"


In this blog, we'll address whether or not dry cleaners can remove stains from your clothing and other stained items. We'll discuss what types of stains they can help with and how quickly you need to act.


Can Dry Cleaners Get Stains Out?

Yes, dry cleaners can remove many types of stains. That's because dry cleaners utilize professional cleaning solutions and solvents instead of water when cleaning your items. This process is not only gentler on delicate fabrics but is tougher on stains.


One thing to remember when you bring your item into the dry cleaners is to let them know that it's stained. Let them know some of the following details:

  • The stain's cause

  • When it got stained

  • If you tried to remove it


This information helps the dry cleaner create a path forward to remove the stain. They'll know what treatments to apply to the stain to ensure it gets removed.


What Kinds of Stains Can They Remove?

Dry cleaners can remove some stains very easily. Let's discuss some of the most common stain categories.


Protein-Based Stains

Protein-based stains are fairly straightforward to remove. However, these stains can coagulate and get into textile fibers at low temperatures. Common types of protein-based stains include:

  • Eggs

  • Blood

  • Sweat

  • Dairy products

  • Meat


Many people attempt to remove these stains at home with hot water. Protein-based stains can set into your fabrics at low temps. This can result in you accidentally setting the stain or damaging the fabric.


One thing you can do that won't cause damage is to remove as much of the stain as you can with the edge of a blunt knife. Once you do that, take your shirt to the dry cleaners. They can use powerful enzyme treatments that work to digest the proteins so they easily wash away.


Oil-Based Stains

It's no easy feat to try and remove an oil-based stain yourself. Oil and water don't mix. That means water won't do much to loosen the oil that's embedded in the fabric.


Common types of oil-based stains include:

  • Butter

  • Cooking oil

  • Greasy food

  • Motor oil

  • Skincare products

  • Petroleum jelly


Dry cleaners use specialized solvents to dissolve the lipids in the oil and lift them off the fabric.


Dye Stains

Dye stains are the most dreaded of all. They can be one of the hardest stains to remove. Some of the types of dye stains dry cleaners can remove include:

  • Candy

  • Permanent marker

  • Pen ink

  • Tumeric

  • Mustard


Tannin Stains

Tannin is naturally occurring in many plants. It can be challenging to remove once it sets into the fabric.


It's important to act fast when you encounter a tannin stain. Tannin stains become more challenging to remove the longer you wait. They are more difficult to get out if they include dairy or sugar.


Tannin-based stains can include:

  • Tea

  • Alcohol

  • Red wine

  • Coffee

  • Grass

  • Soft drinks

  • Juice


While you'll need to take this garment to the dry cleaners to adequately remove the stain, one of our stain removal tips is to pre-soak the item in cold water. Don't apply any soap as that can make the stain permanent.


Water-Based Stains

Dry cleaners can use specialized solutions and advanced solutions to remove water-based stains. They'll typically pre-treat the area with an enzyme solution that's designed for water-soluble stains. Examples of water-based stains are:

  • Mud

  • Drinks

  • Washable ink


Combo Stains

It's important to remember that some stains fall into multiple categories. For example, butter includes protein and oil. Makeup stains contain dye and oil.


It's important to stress to your dry cleaner what caused the stain on your garment. That information will help them determine the best way to remove it.


Are There Some Stains Dry Cleaners Can't Remove?

While dry cleaners are experienced at removing a wide range of stains, they can't work miracles on your clothing. Dry cleaners may be able to lighten old, tough stains, but not remove them completely.


Stains on delicate fabrics or ones that are old might be set into the textile fibers. It can be challenging to remove them without damaging the fabric. Professional cleaners will ask you about removing the stain if they think it'll harm your item. 


What Are the Benefits of Going to the Dry Cleaners?

The ability to remove almost every stain isn't the only advantage of going to dry cleaners. Maintaining the integrity of the fabric is another benefit. Traditional washing methods tend to use harsh detergents and agitate the fabric.


Dry cleaners can use solvent-based cleaning agents to use the stain without using vigorous mechanical action or high temps. Your garments will retain their texture, strength, and shape when you go to the dry cleaners. 


Tips When Dealing With Stained Clothing

We recommend taking all stained clothing to the dry cleaners so they can receive a stain treatment. There are a few things to remember when something gets stained. Our top fabric cleaning tips include:

  • Tackle stains before they dry out

  • Blot stains with a clean, dry cloth

  • Some home stain remedies can make it worse

  • Don't put the garment in the dryer 


Trust Minute Men Cleaners to Remove Tough Stains

We hope we've answered the question, "Can dry cleaners get stains out?" Don't be tempted to try and remove a stain yourself. Doing so could result in your garment becoming damaged or even ruined.


Minute Men Cleaners is here to remove stains from your clothing. Our decades of experience enable us to tackle even the toughest of stains. Contact us to learn more about our dry cleaning services.

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