How Do Dry Cleaners Remove Stains?

Everyone loves the idea of the local dry cleaners getting those ugly spots and stains out of their favorite piece of clothing. If you’ve ever wondered how they do it, here’s the scoop.

There are safe ways to remove stains at home, including using a stain remover before putting clothes in the machine. These products loosen stains, making them easier to wash out.

But dry cleaners don’t go to the supermarket and grab a spot remover. They use methods referred to as “pre-spotting.” These processes are applied before a garment is thoroughly washed and dried. The processes include:

Dry Cleaners Remove StainsDry Clean Spotting Board

Using a spotting board has four approaches:

  1. Steam: Steam cleaning is one of the most common ways used to remove stains. Steam is applied to the garment area, loosening the stain.
  2. Hot Air: After steaming, garments will be wet and could need drying before the final cleaning method can be applied. Hot air performs the same function as a blow dryer, drying the area before it is then fully cleaned.
  3. Vacuum: These machines are controlled by a pedal. The garment is attached to the spotting board using air suction. The process allows the dry cleaner to perform accurate removals of blotches and stains.
  4. Spotting Gun: This cleaning instrument is managed by several foot pedals. Controlled by the dry cleaner, the device applies heat or steam to stained garment areas, gradually breaking stains down.

Tamping Brush

This process uses a tamping, or soft, brush to loosen stains and gradually remove them.

Spotting Bone

The spotting bone is an utility that serves as an agent for loosening the stain’s grip on fabric.

How Pre-Spotting is Performed

  1. In general, the experienced dry cleaner may know how to tackle a difficult stain simply by knowing its origin. A good dry cleaner will talk to the customer about possible outcomes before doing anything.
  2. The dry cleaner will always use the mildest treatment first in order to protect the fabric. They will gradually work their way up the treatment ladder, using more aggressive methods. They will do everything they can to avoid fading, color loss or other damage.
  3. The garment is set on the spotting board. Suction is applied to hold it.
  4. The dry cleaner then uses steam on the stain and an appropriate remover designed specifically for a particular stain or fabric. They may use a tamping brush or spotting bone during the process.
  5. The dry cleaner may understand the process could require repeated application before seeing any results. Once the stain has been loosened enough or completely removed, hot air will be applied to complete the stain removal process.
  6. The final step will be to perform a regular cleaning of the garment, using whatever procedures apply to the specific fabric, color and other factors.

Dry cleaners use a variety of spotting agents – cleansers – to remove stains. There are agents for food, wine and other beverages, pet stains and odors, and more. The spotting agent is applied and the dry cleaner follows instructions for its use. If you need a lot of clothes dry cleaned, you should call a Chicago dry cleaner delivery service.

Some agents require immediate tamping with the brush or use of the spotting bone. Others may need to sit and soak into the fabric.