Spot Treatment Technique (Sponging) for Apparel fabrics

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Spot Treatment Technique (Sponging) for Apparel fabrics

A spot treatment confines the stain to a small area and keeps it from spreading. This method is sometimes called "sponging." For spot treatment you need a supply of absorbent material such as, clean rags or paper towels, and a drycleaning solvent, spot remover, or aerosol pretreatment spray.

Follow these steps:

  1. Pad the working surface with clean rags or paper towels that can be stained as you work.
  2. Place the stained area or spot on the garment face-down over the padded surface.
  3. Dampen a small white cloth with solvent.
  4. Use the dampened cloth to pat the stain from the wrong side. Feather the edges of the stain working from the outside toward the center to keep the stained area from getting larger.
  5. As the stain transfers to the absorbent material beneath, move it to a different place on the absorbent material so the stain has a clean place to exit into.
  6. Repeat this procedure until all traces of stain are gone. Launder to remove any ring that might be left by the solvent.

Special thanks to Iowa State University for allowing us to reproduce this information.

Reproduced with permission from the Cooperative Extension Service, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, 50011.

Prepared by: Janis Stone,
Textiles and Clothing Specialist,
Iowa State University

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You really should consider washing your clothes if they are dirty.  Learn more about washing clothes.

Clothing Care and fiber Content Labels

fabrics Labeled "Dry-clean Only"

A Note about Modern fabrics

Garments with Contrasting Colors or Trim

Removing Stains from Washable fabrics:

Spot Treatment Technique (Sponging) for Apparel fabrics

Chemical Solvents and Supplies

Follow These Safety Precautions

Classification of Stains

What to Do if You Don't Know

Stains Needing Unique Treatment Methods

Common Remedies to Avoid

How to Identify and Prevent

Additional Stain Removal References

Learn about washing clothing.

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