Milt and Edie’s Drycleaners in Burbank, CA, runs a high volume drycleaning plant and their
customers rely on fast service and high quality.
They guarantee their customers two-hour service or the customers do not have to pay for
their drycleaning. Customers have access to cleaning services 24 hours a day and utilize the fast
two-hour service.
The staff is able to produce this
work because they are the most
skilled spotters I have ever met.
Milt, who is the owner, invites me
to come out several times a year to
constantly train and update their
The following is a description of the methods used to save time and maintain quality.
Spotting board setup
Many spotters waste time by fumbling for chemicals not clearly labeled and not sorted
The spotting board setup at Milt and Edie’s Drycleaners is well organized with properly labeled
spotting bottles. Any spotter can utilize the spotting bottles in a well organized manner.
Stain identification made easy.
A great deal of time is often wasted when spotters use the wrong method of stain removal.
Many drycleaners complicate the stain identification process.
I teach spotters a very simple stain identification method. If you break the stain down to
dryside and wetside staining the system becomes easy.
Dryside stains are stains that do not mix with water. These stains include grease, oil, paint,
lipstick, makeup, and glue. Most of these stains are hard and stay on the surface of the fabric.
The only difficult stain identification is oil which looks like tannin. The easy identification is to
hold the garment up to the light and look for a translucent staining which indicates oil.
Wetside stains, such as tannin and protein, appear irregular. Oil stains frequently form a T or
cross due to its thick viscous nature.
Tannin and protein are the only two wetside stains. You do not have to specifically identify
tannin and protein. You use the tannin method first to avoid setting any stains with protein
The other factor is that tannin stains are much more common than protein stains. Protein
stains are usually easy to identify due to location.
Dryside method
All dryside stains require using the following:
Oily type paint remover and solvent.
Mechanical action.
Wetside method
The wetside procedure becomes easy by following this concept.
Spot into a clean towel. This keeps the wet area local and also indicates poor dye fastness on
Keep the steam gun four inches from the fabric to avoid setting the stain and adding more
time to the stain removal process.
Use a nonionic lubricant mixed with anionic. This will remove any dryside residue left in the
stain. Use the tannin method first, then the protein method. If the protein method is used first it
will set the tannin stain.
Learn feathering. This process avoids rings that would have to be drycleaned to remove. It is
also interesting to note that the tannin stains appear more frequently than protein stains.
Tannin stains
Tannin stains are vegetable stains and include fruit, juice, liquor, beer, medicine, tea and
Protein stains
Protein stains are body stains which are perspiration, eggs, blood and urine.
Wetside stain removal (tannin and protein)
Apply lubricant (anionic and nonionic).
Mechanical action.
Tannin formula.
Mechanical action.
Protein formula.
Mechanical action.
Comment. Writing down the stain removal procedure makes it seem long and tedious. It is
not since most of the stains are removed in the initial steps since they are not set.
The fast process for difficult stains
These stains include mustard, chocolate and ink. You can avoid the dryside method by using
nonionic detergents for stain removal.
Most drycleaners attempt to avoid rings by using air from the steam gun and vacuum. This
method can be time consuming and might be dangerous to the fabric because the steam gun is
held too close to the fabric.
In order to feather, you must hold the steam gun away from the fabric and break up the ring
by working small sections at a time.
When you break up the ring take a clean, dry towel and wipe each section outward so the wet
area blends into the dry area.
You can then hang the garment up and let it dry naturally before giving to the presser for
touch up.

National Clothesline
National Clothesline
A quick and efficient spotting system
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Dan Eisen is the former chief garment analyst for the Neighborh