Probably the most common myth about getting out spots is the use of seltzer. Not only is there no benefit to putting seltzer on a stain it could actually be detrimental. Seltzer gets its fizz from injected carbon dioxide, CO2, which can become carbonic acid and actually eat away at the fibers of your clothes. On cotton, linen or polyester, water would be recommended as long as the stain does not contain oil, like in salad dressing…remember oil and water don’t mix.
Trying to rub off a stain
Though it is a good idea to dry and blot up a stain quickly once it falls accidentally on a garment how you blot is critical. If the item is silk let’s say a tie or a blouse or shirt do not rub the area. Tap only gently. Rubbing a silk can cause chaffing of the fabric and though the stain may be removed the chaffing has disrupted the fibers cause light to be reflected differently off the fabric and it will at certain angles look like a light spot or that the stain is still there.
Hair spray to remove ink
The use of hair spray, many of which contain alcohol is a frequently cited home remedy for ink stains and is one that firmly belongs in the unsafe, “old wives tales” category. The big reason you want to avoid it (even if it’s worked for you in the past) is the risk of the alcohol “pulling color” from the garment, a condition that is impossible to reverse.
Every garment can be cleaned
Unfortunately the FTC requires a label on all garments but does allow: “spot clean only”, spot clean only means an attempt can be made to remove a spot on the garment but the entire garment never gets cleaned. Plus some solutions used to remove spots need to be rinsed from the garment so cannot be used on an item with this label. “Dry clean exclusive of ornamentation” presents a problem if there is extensive beading or sequins glued to the fabric. Removing the ornamentation can incur a higher price and if it cannot be removed and re-sewn on after cleaning the item in unserviceable.
Keep sequined garments away from direct steam- steam causes them to either discolor, curl up or both! Alcohol (the kind you drink or the kind found in perfumes) will discolor sequins. Make sure your perfume has thoroughly dried before dressing and sip your cocktail very carefully. Sequins are generally sewn on using a continuous thread, so if the thread snaps, more than one sequin will be lost. Gather them up and save them. An expert tailor can restring them (like pearls) and sew them back on for you. Glued on sequins will often prove to be unserviceable. Clean or launder at your own risk. Don’t use home spot removers on sequins. They may remove color or cause them to get ‘tacky’