Vikki Vi Classics Stain Removal Test - The Exciting Results!
Posted by Jen Anderson on
As a plus size woman, I've given up putting a napkin on my lap. If I drip or spill anything, it's not going to make it that far. My chest catches everything. At home, I'll wear an apron and at restaurants I'll keep my napkin on the table so I can daintily dab the corners of my mouth while I lean over my plate - or I'll tuck it into my collar hobo-style. Despite all this, I still get stains front and center and I've developed some excellent stain removal skills.
But the acetate/spandex blend we use for Vikki Vi Classics (aka slinky) doesn't behave like most fabrics. It drapes beautifully and lasts for ages, but getting out an oily or greasy stain can be more difficult with this material than others. We tell people to avoid those kinds of stains while wearing Classics because anything strong enough to get out the stain will also remove some of the dye.
So when clever customer Pat commented that she removes salad dressing stains from her Classics with Woolite Dark with no ill effect, I got curious.
The Mythbusters say that the difference between science and messing around is writing things down. So here we go: I tested six different stain removers, so I used six different swatches of our signature fabric. I dripped canola oil on the fabric and dabbed with a paper towel because that's what you'd do after getting a little salad dressing on your clothes.
Very Important Disclaimer: I tested swatches, not actual garments that someone had worn. Sweat, perfume, lotion, etc. may interact with a stain remover and affect your results. But if you get some oil on your classics, trying to remove the stain may be preferable to not being able to wear the clothes anymore anyway. This is all a suggestion more than an official recommendation.
I sprayed a stain with Shout and some dye appeared on the paper towel I had underneath. It didn't get the stain out when I treated the stain right away, so it was disqualified from the second round.
I also tried Grandma's Secret Spot Remover and it got out the stain, but the dye ran in both rounds.
I've had success with both of those products with other fabrics and other types of stains, but they don't play well with slinky.
Woolite Dark, regular Woolite, and Dawn dishwashing liquid each got out their assigned stains without removing any dye. For all three, I placed the swatch on a paper towel, poured a little liquid on the stain, rubbed it in with my finger, and then swished the swatch around in a bowl of water.
I'd use these to pretreat a stain right before throwing the garment into the washing machine, or rinse it out by hand.
My personal secret weapon is a block of savon de Marseilles that I've had for years. It's a special kind of soap made in Marseilles, France (hence the name). I wet the stain, rub the fabric on the block of soap, and rinse. Then wash as usual.
I still suggest you do everything you can to keep oil and grease stains away from your Vikki Vi Classics. Ounce of prevention/pound of cure and all that. As I mentioned in the Very Important DIsclaimer, what works in lab conditions may not work in the real world. But if you're facing the possibility of having to throw something out, these are the products you may want to try.
Now - in the mood for a bargain? SHOP SALE
Loving all the comments. Especially from Ellen who was cured of putting Vikki Vi in the dryer. That made me laugh. But seriously – Spandex does not like the dryer and slinky doesn’t like the tumble action. So – keep both your slinky and jersey out of the dryer. When you don’t have a nice flat surface, you can double over a rack for a similar effect. Good luck!
Thank you so much, Jen! Fashion and science…very impressive and helpful! And thanks to everyone for sharing her stain treatment regimen.
To add my two cents, recently I conferred with Danielle about a BLACKBERRY stain on my almost new avocado top. (I wasn’t even eating it yet! My hands were full and when it started to slip away I instinctively clutched it — guess where.) I had read Pat’s earlier suggestion about Woollite Dark but a) I didn’t have any and b) my garment was BRIGHT not dark. After I returned from that trip I conferred with Danielle — who also told me about the Woollite suggestion — and I knew about Dawn as a “go to” stain remover, especially for oily stains. Eventually I decided that, sigh, I had nothing to lose because I couldn’t wear it as it was. So, AS I ALWAYS DO, I first wet the stain a little and then I rubbed on some Tide Ultra Stain detergent with my fingers and threw it in the wash with the rest of the measured liquid. I washed it on Delicate but with a soak and “extra heavy soil” time. Obviously cold water and low spin. It worked!!! I did put a “color grabber” sheet in the machine — did the same thing when I later gave the same treatment to a medium blue Classic top — and in both cases there was some light color on it. (NOTE: These grabber sheets are supposed to keep released dye from one garment from settling back onto others in the same wash so maybe that little loss of color would have settled back onto my top if I hadn’t used the grabber..) But I don’t think it’s a significant loss and most important whatever loss there is was from the entire garment, not just from the stain, which makes a bad problem worse in my opinion. Also, I can’t detect any difference in the color of the top as compared to the avocado pieces that I didn’t wash. (By the way, the same treatment worked on a very expensive silk blouse on which I managed to drip even while wearing the same “Lobster Bib” everyone else was wearing.)
HOWEVER, I’m going to buy a different detergent to use on my VikkiiVi wardrobe when there isn’t a stain issue and, in the future, I will wash unstained bottoms with treated stained tops (it’s gonna happen!) at least every other time, whether they are soiled or not so that at if there is any effect on color over time it at least will be even. And I’m definitely going to try Dawn (which I ALWAYS have in the kitchen!) on any oily/greasy stains. For others — or the horrible “unknown” ones, I think I’m going to stick with Stain Remover Tide.
Oh, one final point. And I really am embarrassed and hesitate to confess! This exercise has broken me FOREVER from drying my VV in the dryer. I know, I know, horrors. But sometimes I have just been in such a hurry and, honestly, some of my oldest pieces have had that treatment when I didn’t know any better. And it’s difficult to find a flat place to lay things on, especially long pieces (any hints about where???) or if washing multiple garments. But I was so concerned about not putting any heat on this stain that I did the right thing. And I discovered — especially on this lighter colored top — there’s no comparison how much nicer the garments look and feel when dried as directed.. I’m cured!
I have some shiny bibs in silver black and gold special fabric (?mylar)that protect the shelf fr stains. Need to check name fabric fuddled in my tired brain) You can easily make one if not available to buy. Velcro attached behind neck
When I get an oily food stain on a slinky shell and am also wearing some kind of overblouse or jacket while I am at a restaurant, I simply turn the shell around in the ladies room. I suspect most people I’m with are none the wiser. Then I deal with the stain at home.
Yep, I have worn Vikki Vi for 20 years, especially when I travel. Even after days on the road, a little dab of Dawn before I put my slinky in the washer, and stains (especially greasy ones) are gone. Just like magic. I love my wardrobe of Vikki Vi.