The effects of common household cleaning agents and aging on the removal of quantitatively applied food stains from rayon, nylon, and olefin pile upholstery fabrics

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

The objectives of this research were to quantitatively apply food stains to a rayon, a nylon, and an olefin pile upholstery fabric, and to determine the effects of aging times and cleaning agents on their removal. Another objective was to correlate the instrumental color change measurements with ratings obtained from a consumer panel.

The specimens were soiled with mustard, vegetable oil, milk, and syrup. After aging for one day or two weeks, the specimens were treated for stain removal with a detergent-vinegar solution, perchloroethylene, isopropyl alcohol, or ammonia water while attached to a simulated chair arm.

Soil removal was evaluated by measuring light reflectance and color values on a Hunter Color-Difference Meter®. A consumer panel rated the specimens according to AATCC Stain Release Replicas, and stated whether or not each specimen was acceptable for use in their homes.

Statistical analyses indicated the following major conclusions: (1) the fabric and stain variables significantly affected the instrumental values of color change; (2) the variables exhibiting a significant effect on the consumer ratings were fabric, stain, and stain remover; (3) the rayon fabric tended to react the most unfavorably of the three fabrics to the treatment; (4) the milk and mustard stains tended to be the most easily removed, while the oil and the syrup stains were more difficult; and (5) a correlation existed between instrumental values and consumer ratings of color change.