Spray before you dress. This is some the best garment care advice you can heed.

Why? Because everyday items like sunscreen, perfume and deodorant can stain your clothes. You may not see these stains right away, which makes them even more dangerous to your clothes. These “invisible” stains typically only show up after clothing has been dry cleaned or laundered, meaning after they've set permanently.

  • Almost all perfumes, colognes and body sprays contain oils or alcohol, both of which can lead to stains. Those with a higher concentration of oil and those that contain dyes for added color, are more likely to leave stains that are very difficult to remove or lighten. Scents with higher alcohol concentrations can cause “reverse stains.” In this case, the colors of the fabric fade or appear to have been bleached. These reverse stains are nearly always permanent.
  • Deodorants and antiperspirants can stain your clothes simply by reacting with your body's perspiration. Products that contain aluminum salts used to block the sweat glands cause the most problems with clothing. Stains from this type of personal hygiene product are usually greasy and often white. They can be especially visible and frustrating when they appear on black or dark clothing.
  • Many sunscreens contain an ingredient called avobenzone. This, among other ingredients in these products, can lead to stains during the cleaning or washing process. In addition, many sunscreens also contain oils, which can lead to the same type of stains as perfume. Unfortunately, the majority of us who use sunscreen apply it after dressing, often just before going out in the sun, which is why so many summer clothes stain so quickly.

The best way to avoid these invisible stains is to apply perfume, deodorants and antiperspirants or sunscreen and allow them to dry completely before you dress. While this may not be practical with sunscreen, try to avoid clothing as much as possible especially with spray-on sunscreen.

If you notice these or any other stains on your garments, bring them to DELIA'S Cleaners as soon as possible. Our stain experts will do whatever we can to eliminate or minimize the stain. Remember, not all stains can be completely removed and the sooner we are able to treat them, the better the potential outcome.