To prevent permanent stains, follow these basic rules for spills and spot removal:
- Immediately blot up spills, using a clean white absorbent material (tissues, napkins, towels, etc.)
- Pretest spot removal formulas in an inconspicuous area of the fabric. Put a few drops of formula on each color in the textile and, using your white-absorbent material, hold it against each color, count to ten, then examine the results. If the dye has bled into the absorbent material, or if there has been a change in the colored area, call a professional ASCR member cleaner for advice.
- Do not overwet. Work with small amounts of formulas and blot frequently. Problems result from using large amounts. Blot - do not rub or brush. Excessive agitation may cause unsightly distortion which may be permanent.
- Work from the outer edge toward the center of the stain.
- Have patience - some stains respond slowly.
- Remember, haphazard attempts at spot removal may result in indelible stains and/or permanent damage to fabrics. If there are doubts about procedures, seek the advice of a professional.
Your local ASCR cleaner/restorer is very interested in helping you take care of your own staining problems. They know that many stains will be permanent if the wrong remedies are used, sometimes resulting in the professional being unable to undo the damage. Untreated spills and spots will, with time, darken or become hidden by soil. After the fabric is cleaned and the soil removed, however, the forgotten stain will reappear to the owner's displeasure.