Color Loss on Khaki Pants

Q: My spotter is having a terrible time with color loss on the natural and khaki color fabrics. She uses oily type paint remover and flushes it out before drycleaning, but a faint color loss appears. If I can't figure this problem out soon, I will have to consider refusing these items for stain removal.

A: The khaki colored cottons sometimes present problems during stain removal procedures. This type of color loss is usually due to flushing the oily type paint remover with steam prior to drycleaning. There are risks associated with mixing dryside agents (oily type paint remover, volatile dry solvent, amyl acetate) with wetside agents (steam, neutral synthetic detergents, protein or tannin formulas, etc.). Chafing of the surface fibers can occur due to rubbing the fabric while it is wet or using the steam-air gun too close to the fabric, resulting in a light area. Also, remember that steam can accelerate the action of oily type paint removers causing color loss. Another risk that can result in a color loss is drycleaning a fabric that retains moisture from a stain removal procedure.

Suggested Reading
DLI Standard, Gold, and Premier members may access more information on this topic in the following bulletin, and many more, available in DLI's Encyclopedia of Drycleaning Online:

  • Wetcleaning No. 4: Khaki Pants (also available in Spanish)
  • Technical Operating Information No. 771: Restoring Color Changes
  • Textile Analysis Bulletin Service No. 368: Color Change from Drycleaning