Stain Removal Guide

Stain Removal Guide

Unfortunately there’s no miracle technique or product that gets rid of every stain and spillage, but there are some surprisingly simple tricks that are well worth remembering.

We’ve rounded up ten stubborn everyday offenders, and here’s our guide to getting rid of them…

Blood
Those of you with kids and their endless cuts and grazes will probably know this simple method.

Soak the stained garment in cold salted water, or warm detergent solution, and wash as usual. Stubborn stains can be soaked in hydrogen peroxide solution (20 volume strength diluted 1 part to 4 parts water) plus a few drops of ammonia. Voila, good as new!

Candle wax
Candle wax and red wine seem to go hand in hand when it comes to party stains. But don’t panic. Wax isn’t impossible to get rid of.

Remove as much of the surface wax as possible by picking it off with your fingers. Next, place the garment between two sheets of absorbent kitchen paper and press with warm iron, moving the paper around so clean sections will absorb the wax. Any residual colour can be removed by dabbing with colourless methylated spirit before washing.

If the wax is on the carpet, place the paper over it and keep ironing, replacing the paper until the wax disappears.

Chewing gum
If anyone’s ever sat in chewing gum (bus seats being the biggest offenders) you’ll know there’s nothing more annoying. However, the solution is surprisingly simple. You can freeze it off.

Put some ice cubes in a plastic bag and hold against the gum until it becomes hard and brittle. Then all you have to do is gently scrape it off with a knife. Alternatively you can leave the garment in the freezer until the gum hardens enough to scrape off. It really works.

Chocolate
As with the chewing gum, put a few ice cubes into a plastic bag and hold against the chocolate until it sets. Scrape off as much of the chocolate as possible. Pour a few drops of ammonia into warm soapy water, and sponge the stain. Then rinse with cold water and wash in the machine as normal.

Coffee
Coffee stains can usually be removed by normal washing, as long as you do this straight away. You can also apply a glycerine solution (diluted 1 part to 2 parts water), leave for about an hour to soften the stain then wash in detergent.

If the stain is on white fabric, before it is allowed to dry, apply a peroxide solution (20 volume strength diluted 1 part to 6 parts water) and then wash it again.

Curry
Rinse with cold water and dab with a mixture equal parts of hot water and glycerine. Let it act for half an hour then rinse well and wash normally. Should come up as good as new.

Grease
Blot off any excess grease. Dampen and put neat liquid detergent directly onto the stain. Wash immediately in the hottest temperature the fabric will allow. For bad stains or on fabrics which cannot withstand a very hot wash a grease solvent can be used.

Another tip is to pour talcum powder onto the stain and leave overnight. Next day, shake off the excess powder and wash as normal.

Jam
Kids love jam. Sometimes it seems like they prefer to chuck it around the kitchen than eat it, but kids will be kids. To get rid of jam stains simply pour carbonated water on to the stain and let it act. For red fruit stains, wash the stain with cold ammonia water.

Rust
Rub the stained fabric with pure lemon juice and leave to soak for at least an hour. Rinse and wash in the normal way. Alternatively leave the garment soaking for a while in a solution of water and glycerine before washing.

Wine
Firstly – avoid the old salt trick. It’s a myth that salt eliminate stains. True that it absorbs the stain and avoids it spreading, but that’s all it does. Here’s our tried and tested method.

Once you’ve blotted up the wine with a clean absorbent cloth or paper towel, sponge the stained area with carbonated soda water. It really works, the bubbles will lift the stain right out. Next apply glycerine and leave for about an hour. Soak or wash in a detergent containing oxygen bleach, and then rinse. If the stain still won’t budge, dab it with hydrogen peroxide which you can buy from chemists.

If the wine stain is on the carpet – apply the same method. Firstly the carbonated water, then dab the area with a detergent solution and if the stain still persists, use hydrogen peroxide.

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