Tips + FAQ

Winter Stains on clothing; salt, snow and rain (Part 1)

It's winter conditions in most parts of the country, so we all have to live with slush, snow, or rain — and the impurities that accompany "foul" weather. Shoes and clothing can be ruined by salt and other debris on streets, sidewalks, stairwells, and inside subways. The question is what to do in the face of such conditions.

  • Salt stains are probably the worst and most dangerous offenders. Salt absorbs into fibers, dries fast, and causes stubborn rings.
  • Slush and "street splash" can contain salt, dirt, drinks and assorted debris. Dried salt stains are usually white and show quite prominently on clothing and leather shoes.
  • The impurities from in rain and slush can cause stubborn stains on pant cuffs, long hems and dangling scarves and belts.
What to do:
  • If the stains are fresh, you can wet the stained area with a small amount of warm water to break up the rings. Then blot (do not rub) the area until you can get the item to the drycleaners. Do not put the garment near a heater or inside a dryer.
  • Be sure to point out the stained areas to your drycleaner so they can pre-treat them.

Next month: Caring for stains on shoes and boots

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