Stains and Storage


Time waits for nothing--including your stained garments. Studies undertaken by the International Fabricare Institute (IFI) have proven that the sooner you bring your stained garment into a professional dry cleaner, the more likely it can be removed.

Age of Stain: Probability of Removal:
Within 24 Hours 90% or better
Within 7 Days 79.8%
Within 21 Days 53.1%

Something else to keep in mind is that by attempting to remove a stain with your own stain removal remedy on certain fabrics and substances, you could be unknowingly setting the stain, making it difficult or even impossible for your professional dry cleaner to remove.

At Maxwells Drycleaning, we have the equipment, experience and chemical agents superior to any household solution you might try. Don't take chances with your garments-- take them to Maxwells Drycleaning.

Storing garments for the Off-Season

As New Zealand has changing seasons, people's wardrobes change according to the weather and temperature. This means that, for an extended part of each year, groups of garments are put away until their season arrives. Improper storage of your off-season wardrobe, though, can cause irreparable damage. Following are some typical problems you may encounter, and advice on preventing the damage.

Yellow Stains: Stains that are invisible when they occur, left on a garment during storage, will oxidize with age and appear as yellow, orange, or even brown. Juices, soft drinks, beer, white wine, tea or coffee, and other beverages or foods containing sugars can cause stains to develop during storage. The longer the stain is allowed to age, the more difficult it will be to remove. Natural fibres tend to retain stains more tenaciously, too, like cotton, wool, and silk. Prevention is the best "cure". When you get a stain, take the garment to your cleaner as soon as possible, and point out and identify the stained area. Maxwells Drycleaning has special stain removal agents that may remove, or at least minimise, the stain.

Mildew: Mildew will develop on garments that are stored in damp or humid conditions. It has a musty odour and appears as black, grey, purple, or yellow specks with an irregular pattern. Mildew not only stains, it actually deteriorates the fibres of your garments, especially natural fibres such as cotton, linen, wool, silk, and leather. Once established, mildew growth can only be completely stopped by washing in chlorine bleach. Unfortunately, this is not safe on many fabrics and can remove colour. To prevent mildew, store your clean, dry garments in a well-ventilated, climate controlled, dehumidified area.

Insect Damage: When stains are left on garments, especially food, beverage, perspiration, and body oils, insects like clothes moths, carpet beetle larvae, and silverfish are attracted to the stain. Consequently, their efforts to eat the staining material will cause damage to the garment's fibres. Sometimes, a hole is apparent immediately; sometimes damaged fibres are flushed away during a subsequent cleaning, causing the hole to appear. There is no way to repair this type of damage, but you can help prevent it by having your garments cleaned before storing them in a cool, dry place.

Light Fading: Many dyes are sensitive to prolonged exposure to sunlight, and even to a light left on in a wardrobe. Silks are especially susceptible, and fading can occur in a relatively short time. Light fading is typically evident on only one side of the fabric, and also only where an edge is exposed to the light source. Fading cannot be corrected, so do not store items in direct sunlight, and remember to turn off wardrobe lights.

Dye Sublimation: This type of damage is comparable to a dye transfer or dye bleeding, but occurs when certain dyes vaporize and are carried to other garments through direct contact or by air currents. This streak-like staining develops slowly over longer time periods, and can be accelerated by heat. The dye sublimation usually occurs from dark coloured acetate and is more noticeable on lighter coloured garments. Storing dark garments separately from light garments helps to prevent the occurrence of this type damage.

Overall, our advice is to ensure that all garments are professionally cleaned before being put away for the offseason and to store your garments in a cool, dry place.