National Clothesline
National Clothesline
Some chemicals need time to work more effectively
Spotters have a big burden trying to get the work out on time. They are under the gun by counterpeople, pressers and management.
Allowing chemicals to work on a stain does not mean that you are taking more time. This procedure simply allows the chemicals to work more effectively while you are doing something
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else. This will make spotting easier and in the long run save time.
Hydrogen peroxide
This is a very common agent found on most spotting boards. Hydrogen peroxide 3% 10 volume is simply water with extra active oxygen. It is accelerated by heat and ammonia. It is used as a last step to remove last traces of dye, protein and tannin.
The spotter applies it to the stain, adds ammonia and then heats and flushes the area.
This is not the most effective way of using it since the minute you apply ammonia and heat the peroxide dissipates. Re-applying several times is not the most effective way to use it.
More effective uses. Spray on hydrogen peroxide and walk away. Reapply several times and then flush. You will find that this will work better.
Sodium perborate and sodium percarbonate
These are mild alkaline oxidizing bleaches. Many cleaners use them by heating the water, soaking the garments for a few hours. They then take out the garments and rinse them.
More effective uses. Garments should be soaked in this bleach with warm water only. This is an overnight bleach and the garment should be soaked for that length of time.
This bleach is designed to release oxygen slowly over a long period of time. The garments are then rinsed and must be neutralized in an acid bath with acetic acid. Without neutralizing, you lose the full effect that the bleach has in whitening and removing stains.
Enzymes (RSR)
This is a powdered enzyme that is the safest way of removing protein and albuminous stains.
Some cleaners will sprinkle on the enzyme, heat with a steam gun and then flush. They not only destroy the enzyme but they do not allow enough time for it to work.
More effective uses. Put a half-teaspoon of digester in a pint bottle with also half-teaspoon of lubricant.
The water should be warm, between 100° to 120°F. Put it on the stain and then walk away. Reapply every 20 minutes and then flush when the stain begins to loosen.
Oily-type paint remover and amyl acetate
Cleaners will attempt to remove plastic-based and dryside stains by applying oily-type paint remover, amyl acetate and mechanical action.
More effective uses. The oily-type paint remover and amyl acetate need time to soften the stain.
Apply the dryside agents to the stain and leave it on for a few minutes to soften the stain. Then apply mechanical action to loosen the stain before drycleaning.
Plastic based stains do not respond immediately to amyl acetate. There is a certain amount of time necessary to soften and make stain removal effective.
Soaking out stains
Sometimes a spotter will work on a difficult ink or dye stain with lubricant and acid. This is often a very time-consuming method.
More effective use. Soak the garment in water, lubricant and acid for a few hours. The soaking process works very well in loosening the stain and avoiding local spotting procedures.
The garment after soaking can be wetcleaned in a routine manner.
Bob Edwards, regional vice president of A.L. Wilson Chemical advocates letting his products stay on the stain for a period of time before attempting spotting or cleaning. Laundry Targo, a wetside nonionic, can be applied to a fabric and left on for a period of time, then worked on and followed by wetcleaning.
He has also found that his protein and tannin formulas, when left on a stain for a period of time, will soften the stain and make stain removal easier.
Herschel Podgur, president of Cleaners Chemical C., manufactured a new chemical called Oxxy-Spot. Oxxy-Spot is a peroxide-based pre-spotter that cleaners have reported to me as having successful results. They have claimed that the results are best obtained when the product is sprayed on a soiled area, left for a few hours or even overnight and then drycleaned or wetcleaned. The soil and oxidation was removed effectively.

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Dan Eisen is the former chief garment analyst for the Neighborh
Hanger