Does club soda really work on spills? Everyone “knows” club soda is the ultimate remedy for instant stain removal, but is it really all it’s cracked up to be? Our association The Dry Cleaning & Laundry Institute (DLI) recently completed an in-depth study of the merits of club soda versus plain old water in stain removal, and as members, we’re pleased to share their findings. The quick answer is that club soda can be a help in the short term, but it is not the miracle stain remover it is made out to be.
When applied immediately to 10 commonplace food stains DLI tested, both club soda and water removed anywhere from some to most of the stain. However, neither treatment will completely remove the stains: and if left untreated the remaining stain residues can become permanent over time. On the 10 common spills that DLI’s stain removal experts used for the test, they found that after blotting a spill with either club soda or water some or most visible traces of the substance were removed; however, an analysis under ultraviolet light showed that at least a portion of nearly every stain remained after club soda or water was used.
Therefore, although it is okay to try and rinse out the stain with water alone immediately after contact with clothing, it is then also advisable to take the garment to a professional cleaner who can completely remove the last traces. Point out to our Customer Service Representative the area of the stain, the type of staining substance, and what attempts you made to reduce the initial spill. If this is not done as soon as possible, the invisible remaining residue can oxidize over time and leave a permanent discoloration later, which in some cases on certain fabrics cannot be removed.
There are also some stains that club soda actually makes worse. Ballpoint ink is almost always made up of water and solvent components. If water or club soda is tried to remove this kind of stain, it could set the stain permanently into the fabric. With ballpoint ink stains, and other combination stains, it is best to bring it to Best Care’s professional stain removal experts.