Johnny On The Spot

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EDGE Magazine

By Mark Stewart | October 2011

Seven Questions for John Mahdessian…Celebrity Grime Fighter

You can get grease off a $5,000 suit and candle wax out of a $10,000 evening gown. How?

Sorry. Our trade secrets are more heavily guarded than Fort Knox. That being said, there is nothing we can’t deal with…and no place we won’t go. In a complete freak-out emergency, I’ll show up with my bag of tricks and take the stain out right then and there. We can use any one of ten different methods we’ve developed over the last 50 years.

Are the stains of the rich and famous better than the stains of regular people?

They may be more urgent, but I wouldn’t call them better. They can be more “interesting”. We’ve actually blacklisted a few people.

Really? Names please!

Sorry. Discretion is the first rule in this business.

What’s the oldest thing you’ve ever had to clean?

Right now, we’re working on an 18th Century garment for the Museum of the City of New York. We’re documenting it as a case study so we can share our methods with other restoration people in the museum world.

The biggest? The smallest? The most valuable?

I once had to clean every inch of a 20,000 square foot mansion. The smallest thing I’ve cleaned is the stained petal of a silk flower. The most valuable? Princess Diana’s gown. I considered that priceless.

Switch gears for a second—what the heck is Martinizing?

I know it takes an hour. Beyond that, I’m not really sure what it is. I wouldn’t Martinize anything valuable.

Okay, back to stains. I want to commit the perfect murder and fool the CSI guys. What’s your advice?

I don’t have advice on committing the perfect murder. If you’re asking how to get blood out of clothing and upholstery, we can do that. You can also do it yourself, too, if you know how.

EDITOR’S NOTE: John Mahdessian owns the legendary cleaner Madame Paulette. The company has pick-up and drop-off service throughout the NY Metro area through its web site John’s formula for removing blood stains can be found at