Art Cleaners

Stain Removal

With the right tools and methods, most stains can be removed from washable clothes. When a spill or stain happens, blot—do not rub—with a clean towel right away. If the garment is dry clean-only, then take it to a dry cleaner—do make sure you point the stain out to your cleaner and tell them what it is so they can treat it properly. For machine-washable items, try treating the stain yourself, but always use caution. If a stain is severe or you are afraid of ruining the item, take it to a cleaner.

Soot

For cotton and polyester: Shake off excess soot—do not rub. Pre-treat with liquid laundry detergent with bleach alternative. Machine wash in warmest water safe for fabric with water conditioner and detergent with bleach alternative. For washable silk and wool: Do not attempt to clean at home – take garment to a dry cleaner.

Rubber cement

For cotton and polyester: Rub off as much as possible with fingers. Apply small amount of paint thinner to stain. Let sit 30 minutes. Pre-treat with liquid laundry detergent. Machine wash according to garment care label. For washable silk and wool items: Rub off as much as possible with fingers and take garment to a …

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Pencil

For cotton and polyester: Pre-treat stain with liquid laundry detergent. Machine wash according to garment care label. For washable silk and wool: Apply small amount of gentle liquid laundry detergent, such as Ivory Snow. Let sit 10-15 minutes. Apply small amount of water and run gently until suds form. Flush area with cool water. Take …

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Paint (water-based and acrylic)

For cotton and polyester: Gently apply laundry detergent and warm water to stained area with a sponge. When paint has softened, scrape off with a dull knife. Rinse and repeat as necessary, then machine wash according to garment label. For washable silk and wool: Same as for washables, but do not machine wash—air dry. If …

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Paint (oil-based)

For cotton and polyester: Apply turpentine and blot with towel to absorb residue. Flush with water. Rub in liquid dish soap, such as Dawn, and let sit 10 minutes. Machine wash according to garment care label. Repeat as necessary. For washable silk and wool: Apply small amount of liquid dish soap to the stain. Let …

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Mildew

For cotton and polyester: Make a paste of lemon juice and salt. Be careful—this may cause discoloration on some fabrics. Cover stain with paste and let sit 15-30 minutes. Rinse. Machine wash according to garment care label. For washable silk and wool: Using an eye dropper, apply a half-vinegar half-water solution to the stain. Let …

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Grease (automotive)

For cotton and polyester: If stain is still wet, cover with baking soda to soak up moisture. Brush off. Rub in liquid dish soap, such as Dawn. Machine wash using half the recommended measurement of detergent, and half liquid dish soap (such as Dawn). Repeat steps as necessary. Add more baking soda to neutralize any …

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Glue

For cotton and polyester: Using a dull knife, scrape off dried glue. Use glycerin to loosen up remaining residue and scrape off. Rub liquid dish soap, such as Dawn, into any remaining stain and machine wash. For washable silk and wool: Same as for cotton and polyester, but take to a dry cleaner if stain …

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Gasoline

For cotton and polyester: Do not put items stained with gasoline or other flammable materials into a washing machine. Check washing machine warning labels (usually located inside the lid) for instructions specific for your washing machine. If stain is still wet, cover with baking soda to absorb moisture and odor. Brush off excess. Rinse the …

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