Club soda has quite a reputation for stain removal. But how well does it really work? The Dry Cleaning & Laundry Institute (DLI) recently conducted an in-depth study to determine the merits of club soda in stain removal. What they found was that club soda is a great short-term solution, but is not the miracle solution — especially not long-term — that some believe it to be. Let’s examine club soda’s role in stain removal, and how it compares to using plain old water for the task.

Club Soda vs. Water

Is there an overall benefit to using club soda or water when treating a stain?

The answer to this question depends on who you’re listening to. The DLI’s research shows no conclusive evidence that club soda will do a better job than plain old water in stain removal. They’re just about the same. Club soda does contain small amounts of carbonic acid, and some say that the increased acidity of the water helps remove a stain —but there’s no conclusive proof. That being said, we know that weak acids, such as white vinegar, are often used to help remove stains and the reason they work is because of their low pH. Since club soda does offer a lower pH, it is feasible that it can help remove a stain, but the affect on stain removal is minimal.

At the end of the day, whether you use club soda or water to remove a stain isn’t as important as how quickly you address the stain.

Take Action Quickly
It’s optimal to rinse a stain immediately with club soda or water before it starts to dry.

After the stain dries, club soda or water will make little or no difference. DLI tested 10 common types of spill stains for their study. What they found was that immediately blotting a spill with either club soda or water removed some or most visible traces of the substance. But when examined under ultraviolet light, they found that at least a portion of nearly every stain remained after club soda or water was used. 

Since neither technique completely removes a stain, it’s important to bring the garment to your local dry cleaner ASAP. Even if you can’t see the stain, the residue is there and may discolor your garment over time. Be sure to let your dry cleaner know where exactly the stain occurred so they can properly treat the fabric and remove the stain completely. 

When Not to Use Club Soda or Water
If you have a stain from a ballpoint pen, club soda or water can actually set the stain permanently into the fabric. In this case, your best bet is to bring the garment to your local Klinke Cleaners as soon as possible and we’ll get it out for you. 

If you have questions about stain removal, feel free to contact your local Klinke Cleaners, or simply stop by. We’re always happy to help. 

Thank you for visiting Klinke Cleaners!