Approximately 70% of stains on garments brought into drycleaning shops are water-based. Ideally such staining should be treated before the garment is drycleaned and kit chemicals, such as protein and tannin removers, can be used.
Around 90% of the stains that remain on garments after drycleaning will be water-based and these developed stains are usually removed with cold water. It is important to decide whether the size of the stain can managed on the spotting table. The larger the stained area, the less suitable it is for treating on the post-spotting table.
Most modern steam spotting tables are equipped with a high pressure water spray or sprays. Detergents and chemicals should NOT be used in this type of spray equipment.
High-pressure water sprays are extremely effective when used in conjunction with the vacuum at removing the small, manageable stains that can appear after drycleaning. Food stains and stains such as blood may be heat-set if treated aggressively with the steam gun, making the stain difficult or even impossible to remove. Water sprays avoid any risk of heat setting and generally wet-out a significantly smaller area of fabric than a steam gun.
Water has a property known as surface tension that makes it difficult for water to penetrate some fabrics – wool in particular. To avoid this problem add one drop of washing liquid to the water spray’s reservoir as this will reduce the surface tension and make it easier for water to penetrate the fabric.
Finally, dyes on garments that carry care labels such as circle P, must be fast to cold water. If localised colour loss results from the use of any other spotting chemical, the cleaner is normally responsible but If in doubt, do a colour test – even with cold water.