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Stubborn Stains

Your textile furnishing was treated to expert, professional care during its recent cleaning. An extra effort was made to treat all stains before and/or after cleaning. Even with the best of cleaning and spot removal efforts, however, certain stains may not have come out completely. These tenacious stains were absorbed by the fibers, just like a dye, and have permanently discolored or recolored the fibers in the stained area. It is also possible that the prior spillage or stain produced a damaging chemical change to the fiber and its original dyed color. Such color changes are usually permanent and cannot be reversed or returned to their original color. Some common causes of permanent stains on textile furnishings are discussed below.

Many common spills will permanently stain certain fibers and affect dyes. Pet urine stains are a very common occurrence, and can lead to permanent discoloration. This discoloration may be visible before cleaning or it may become evident during or after the cleaning process. Spills of coffee, tea, cola and other drinks can also cause permanent stains, especially on wool, some nylons, cotton and silk. Even "stain resistant" nylon carpets can be permanently stained by hotcoffee, hot tea, and other common foods, bleach household chemicals or medicines.

Many over-the-counter acne creams and medications may cause lightening or color changes on textile furnishings; however, these changes may appear during or after cleaning. The primary cause of these discolorations is the presence of benzoyl peroxide (a bleach). Benzoyl peroxide is a powerful color remover, but often does not become fully activated until the moisture in the textile (usually carpet) is increased, usually during cleaning or humid weather. There are numerous other household chemicals that may produce stains, such as some pesticides, ammonia, strong cleaners, chlorine bleach or peroxides, chlorine from pool or spa water, furniture scratch remover, shoe dye, chemical preservatives, cosmetics and many more.

We have attempted to identify the source of any residual stains or discolorations and have treated them accordingly. Unfortunately, not all stains can or will come out, even with the best professional stain removal and/or cleaning methods.

An additional service offered by some cleaners is spot dyeing of discolored areas. This may provide a closer color match to the surrounding, unstained areas, but is only possible on some textiles. Stronger stain removal treatments may also be possible but with these come the added risk of further color change or color loss. Many cleaners avoid these specialty procedures because of the difficulties and risks involved. Some cleaners will undertake these measures in selected cases, with the permission and signed damage release from the customer, for an additional service charge.

To lessen the possibility of staining, immediate action should be taken when any spillage or accident occurs. Blot up all liquid or scrape up as much of the spilled substance as possible. Then, put a thick layer (1/2"-1", 1-2 cm) of clean, white absorbent material or toweling over the area and weigh it down with a large book or suitable weight. Replace the absorbent material often in order to absorb as much of the spill as possible until no more stain removal is evident. Then call us to learn how to safely treat the area before it becomes a permanent stain. Our skilled professional technicians can give your textile furnishing the best cleaning and stain care possible.

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