Silvino Mosqueda is a professional spotter and he just might be the most important person to work on your clothes at Flair Cleaners Valencia. He joined Flair in 1986, 31 years ago, as a presser and studied the art of stain spotting and removal. Today, he is responsible for inspecting every garment that comes to Flair Cleaners Valencia – dry cleaning and laundry – finding stains, identifying and treating them.
Silvino arrives at 5:00 a.m., nearly an hour before anyone else, so the first batch of dry cleaning and laundry is ready to go when his colleagues arrive. He stays as long as needed to get the job done each day. In the past 14 years, he has never missed a single day due to illness.
While seemingly straightforward, the role of spotter is extremely specialized. Silvino carefully inspects each piece by hand, and is adept at finding stains that are missed by the clothing’s owner or even by Flair’s customer service representatives. He can identify virtually any stain, no matter how old, on any garment. This is an accomplished skill since many stains can look virtually the same. It’s also a crucial skill since different stains require different treatments.
Silvino has seen almost every kind of stain imaginable. “The most frequent stains I see are food, citrus juices, mustard, tomato juice, and wine,” he says. “Next would be blood and every day dirt.”
One customer brought in a $10,000.00 pair of pants that were badly stained at the hem. “She had bought them in Italy and was extremely upset,” he related. “Fortunately, the stains weren’t serious and I was able to remove them completely. She was a very happy customer!”
He says that gasoline stains are one of the more unusual stains he sees, and one of the more difficult to remove. Another challenge is removing ash, smoke and fire retardant for local firefighters. “Sometimes it can take a week to remove all the smoke when there’s been an intensive fire,” he said, “but I always take care of it.”
Tips from the Spotter
Silvino suggests that men especially beware of stains that can be caused by keys that are kept in pockets. Sometimes the metal gets dirty and then transfers the dirt, grime and grease to the edge and insides of pockets. He advises everyone to bring stains in as soon as possible and to avoid home treatment. “Sometimes we get stains that have been treated and washed at home. Unfortunately, this often makes the stains impossible to remove by the time they come to me,” he adds.
So, the next time you put on a freshly cleaned, stain-free garment from Flair, think of Silvino. The passion and pride he brings to his work help keep you looking your best.