Dealing With Stains This Holiday Season

November 23, 2015

Dealing with Stains This Holiday Season

Who doesn’t like a holiday party, with all the good food, drinks, and friends? (Sometimes also family members, but likely only certain ones). Unfortunately, that same mix can mean disaster for clothes. A careless hand or a running nephew can send spoons and drinks flying, staining the shirts and jackets we spent so much time and money to find. So, what should you do if you ruin something this holiday season?

For Your Good Clothes

If you’ve stained something important, send it to Rave FabriCARE. They’re a speciality cleaner in Arizona with a ton of high-end, in-house equipment. Unlike most local cleaners – which are really just drop-off points for the same low-quality, undiscriminating cleaning plants – Rave treats things according each stain’s composition (which is what you want). You only have one shot at cleaning something well, so it’s important to make that first try count. 

Prices are a bit higher than your local cleaner, but not that much more. You’re looking at an average of $25 for dry cleaning and $10 for laundering (depending on the job, of course). To prepare items for shipment, visit this page to fill out Rave’s service order and inventory forms. They also recommend *not* pre-treating the stain with anything, as you can set-in the damage. Just gently blot it with a cotton napkin or towel (never wipe or scrub).

For Inexpensive Items

Of course, shipping things to and from Arizona will add about twenty bucks to your expense. If you have something inexpensive, that added cost might not be worth it to you, so here’s how to tackle something locally:

  • If you have an oil-based stain, such as turkey grease or salad dressing, you’ll need to take the garment to a local dry cleaner, as they’ll be able to use special solvents. Don’t launder first, as you can set-in the damage. Just gently blot out the stain with a cotton napkin as soon as it happens (again, never wipe or scrub).
  • If it’s a water-based stain, such as coffee or wine, you can try laundering at-home (assuming your garment is washable). For best results, pre-soak the garment in OxiClean. Jesse has a great guide on how to do so, and America’s Test Kitchen explains why OxiClean is better than other pre-treatment cleaners

Of course, if all else fails, you can chalk the damage up to wabi sabi (or something like that).