National Clothesline
National Clothesline
Non-ionic lubrication in stain removal
Lubrication is the most common method of stain removal and removes more stains than any other procedure. Lubrication is the action of removing stains by using an oily substance that softens the stain and fabric.
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Lubricants help break up the stain, emulsify the stain and lift it from the fabric. They also suspend the staining matter, preventing it from redepositing onto the fabric.
When mechanical action is applied to the fabric with a lubricant, the fabric is protected from damage when brushed or tamped. If mechanical action is applied to a fabric without a lubricant, the fabric will chafe and produce other fabric damage.
Non-ionic lubricants. Unlike anionic and cationic lubricants with negative and positive ionic charges, non-ionics are neutral. This means that the lubricant will not break down in combination with other lubricants or chemicals.
Non-ionic lubricants are produced from oils derived from citrus products. Manufacturers also add other cleaning ingredients to the lubricant.
Many non-ionic lubricants have a citrus scent. This lubricant has an ability to remove oils and greases effectively, making it a useful product in wetcleaning and also for removing difficult stains on the spotting board.
Non-ionic lubricants for difficult stains
Ink. This type of staining contains oils and pigments. The usual procedure is to work this stain using dryside and then wetside tannin.
Non-ionic lubricants can eliminate this procedure and do a very effective job in less time.
Apply non-ionic lubricant.
Mechanical action.
Flush with water or steam.
Then use the tannin method followed by bleach.
Mustard. This stain contains mustard seed and flower extraction. This stain has a high oil and tannin content.
The surface of the mustard stain should be brushed off with a dry brush and work as follows:
Apply non-ionic lubricant.
Mechanical action.
Flush with water gun to prevent setting the stain.
Work as a tannin stain followed by bleach.
Chocolate. Contains coconut butter, tannin, protein, coloring and flavoring.
Apply nonionic lubricant.
Mechanical action.
Flush.
Tannin procedure.
Protein procedure.
Bleach.
Wetcleaning oil stains
Non-ionic lubricants work very well on grease and oil stains. This avoids the problems of spotting and drycleaning the garment prior to wetcleaning.
Non-ionic lubricants, however, do not work as well as oily-type paint remover on difficult oil stains.
Soil
Non-ionic lubricants are not as effective on insoluble soil but work very well on greasy types of soil. This means that on certain difficult soil stains, you will have to mix some nonionic lubricants with anionic lubricants.
Softening agent
Non-ionic lubricants provide fabrics with a soft feel and are effective when soaking or bleaching a fabric. When soaking a wool or silk, add one or two ounces of non-ionic lubricant per gallon of water. This will also provide better penetration of the bleaching agent and even after rinsing the fabric will have a softer feel and appearance.
Time factor
Non-ionic lubricants work more effectively when applied to a fabric and sufficient time is allowed to soften the staining or soiling matter before mechanical action is applied.
Special wetcleaning pre-spotting agents
Increasing cleaning action and protein stain remover. Non-ionic lubricants are usually formulated neutral. The addition of ammonia in the lubricant increases the cleaning action and makes the lubricant more aggressive in stain and soil removal.
Mix in a bottle four parts water, two parts ammonia and two parts lubricant.
Tannin formula. Mix four parts water, two parts acetic acid and two parts lubricant
Fabric safety
Non-ionic lubricants are usually safe to the dyes on wool and silk, but bright and vivid colors should be tested. Non-ionic lubricants may affect surface dyes and prints more readily than other lubricants.  It is also not safe for trimming and beading that is glued on to a fabric.
Check with your supplier for sources of non-ionic detergents.


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