CONCORD, N.C. — It is hard enough to keep straight all the chemical tools available for stain removal. It is even harder when names are similar but their application and risk of use are drastically different. The chemicals described in this month’s column are ones that can be easily confused and/or misused.
Amyl acetate is a dry-side solvent or co-solvent used on stains such as paint, ink and glue.
Acetic acid (28%) is a wet-side spotting agent used as a tannin removal agent, a booster to tannin removers and to neutralize alkaline pH from protein spotters, bleaching, and color change from perspiration.
Acetone is a spotting agent available for paint and glue removal, but its use should be extremely limited due to its aggressive effect on acetate and acetate-blended fabrics.
Amyl acetate is a mildly aggressive dry-side solvent that can be used by itself or as a co-solvent “booster” when the dry-side POG you are using needs help removing the last traces of a stain. Due to the distinctive aroma of amyl acetate, many old-time cleaners/spotters referred to this chemical as “banana oil.”