Non-ionic lubrication for better stain and soil removal

LUBRICATION-This is the most common method of stain removal and removes more stains than any other procedure. It is the action of removing stains by using an oily substance that softens the stain and fabric. Lubricants help break up the stain, emulsify the stain and lift it from the fabric. Lubricants suspend the staining matter, preventing it from re-depositing onto the fabric. When mechanical action is applied to the fabric with a lubricant the fabric is protected from damage when brushed or tamped. If mechanical action is applied to a fabric without a lubricant the fabric will chafe and produce other fabric damage.


Unlike anionic and cationic lubricants with negative and positive ionic charges non-ionics are neutral. This means that the lubricant will not break down in combination with other lubricants or chemicals. Non-ionic lubricants are produced from oils derived from citrus products. Manufacturers also add other cleaning ingredients to the lubricant. Many non-ionic lubricants have a citrus scent. This lubricant has an ability to remove oils and greases effectively. This makes it a useful product in wetcleaning and also for removing difficult stains on the spotting board.


This type of staining contains oils and pigments. The usual procedure is to work this stain using dryside and then wetside tannin. Non-ionic lubricants can eliminate this procedure and do a very effective job in less time.

  1. Apply non-ionic lubricant
  2. Mechanical action
  3. Flush with water or steam
  4. Then use tannin method followed by bleach

This stain contains mustard seed and flower extraction. This stain has a high oil and tannin content. The surface of the mustard stain should be brushed off with a dry brush and work as follow:

  1. Apply non-ionic lubricant
  2. Mechanical action
  3. Flush with water gun to prevent setting the stain
  4. Work as a tannin stain followed by bleach

Contains coconut butter, tannin, protein, coloring and flavoring.

  1. Apply nonionic lubricant
  2. Mechanical action
  3. Flush
  4. Tannin procedure
  5. Protein procedure
  6. Bleach


Non-ionic lubricants work very well on grease and oil stains. This avoids the problems of spotting and drycleaning the garment prior to wetcleaning. Non-ionic lubricants, however do not work as well as oily type paint remover on difficult oil stains.


Non-ionic lubricants are not as effective on insoluble soil but works very well on greasy types of soil. This means that on certain difficult soil stains you will have to mix some nonionic lubricants with anionic lubricants.


Nonionic lubricants provide fabrics with a soft feel and is effective when soaking or bleaching a fabric. When soaking a wool or silk add one or two ounces of nonionic lubricant per gallon of water. This will also provide better penetration of the bleaching agent and even after rinsing the fabric will have a softer feel and appearance.


Nonionic lubricants work more effectively when it is applied to a fabric and sufficient time is allowed to soften the staining or soiling matter before mechanical action is applied.


Nonionic lubricants are usually formulated neutral. Addition of ammonia in the lubricant increases the cleaning action and makes the lubricant more aggressive in stain and soil removal.

Mix in a bottle 4 parts water, 2 parts ammonia and 2 parts lubricant.


Mix 4 parts water, 2 parts acetic acid and 2 parts lubricant


Nonionic lubricants are usually safe to the dyes on wool and silk but bright and vivid colors should be tested. Nonionic lubricants may affect surface dyes and prints more readily than other lubricants. It is also not safe to trimming and beading that is glued on to a fabric.

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