.Summer is here, the weather is beautiful, and the weekends are full of outdoor activities for family and friends. And, the food!   There is nothing like summer foods -" barbecue, ice cream, fresh fruit -" all the things that you love to eat and that love to stain your clothes.

It is always best to bring your clothes to your local DELIA'S Cleaners for professional stain removal as quickly as possible, but, sometimes, that's simply impossible.   To help prevent damage and permanent staining, it is important to know about different types of stains.

Types of Stains

Water-based stains usually come from drink spills of all kinds, sugary fruits and goodies, and anything else that is made of mostly water. Even these can be tricky, though. Watermelon juice, for example, dries without leaving a mark, but over time it will reappear. When that happens, it's too late, the stain is set. Coffee is another challenging stain as it may contain milk (protein stains) and other additives.

Oil-based stains may come from vinaigrette dressings, gravies, french fries, oil splatters, bike grease, and anything else that contains little or no water. These require special treatment that can break down the grease.

Stains from ink, lipstick, and paint often need professional care and may require both water and oily-type stain removers.

Stains that contain color, such as chocolate and red wine, also require extra steps.

Why Should I Care?

Because stains vary greatly, their treatments vary as well. You should never use the same treatment for every type of stain. You should never put water on an oily stain, even in an emergency. If your garment is dry clean only, water can spread the stain, cause rings, make the dye bleed or fade, or set the stain permanently. This can happen even on water-based stains.

The Club Soda Myth

Club soda is one of the first things people reach for, even if the stain is oily. Of course, you now know that's a mistake! Club soda is effective on some drink spills and assorted food stains. However, it can also -�set-� stains, spread stains, and make future removal difficult.

As always, the best way to remove any stain is to take it to your local DELIA'S Cleaners.