A stain, what to do!

There's no need to panic. We'll try to offer some use full tips on stain removal.

Here you can rediscover, what your mother, grandmother and even great grandmother knew about getting rid of stubborn stains. While there is no guarantee of eradicating a stain completely, it is always reassuring to be able to fall back on tried and tested remedies for rescuing your clothes in crisis.

A well-equipped and stocked cupboard

Different types of stains require different treatments and in order to be ready for an eventuality, it is a good idea to have the following items in your cupboard.    

5% citric acid clothes brush                liquid bleach                    
alcohol cotton wool milk
blotting paper eucalyptus oil mineral water
brush cleaner (turpentine) ice cubes natural soap
butter lemon juice soda crystals
chlorine bleach liquid ammonia spirits

Act quickly: Speed is of essence when it comes to stain removal. The sooner you treat a stain, the greater the likely hood of success.

The 6 stages of stain removal:

  •  Test your chosen remedy on a hidden part of the item.
  •  Always place an absorbent cloth under the stain.
  •  Use a clean, light-coloured cloth to work on the stain.
  •  Never rub a stain, instead, dab at it.
  •  Remove all traces of stain removing agent before rinsing the item in warm water.
  •  Finally, machine wash the item using the appropriate program.

Ink - Ball point/ Felt pen:    

Treating ballpoint stain requires a lot of patience First dab the area with a mixture of vinegar and white spirits, adding lemon juice for white items.  



Fresh beer stains caused by hops and malt, usaually disappear by simply rinsing the item in warm water. Dried on beer stains should be treated with warm water, dilute vinegar before washing.


Blackcurrant juice:

Fresh stains should wash out in the washing machine. For old stubbon stains, pre-treat with enzyme based pre-soak product or add stain remover to the detergent.



At the first sing of blood try the first aid remedy. Rinse immediately under cold running water and the soak in a solution of salty water.



Soak cherry stainsin freshly squeezed lemon juice or bleach them out using a luquid bleach for coloureds. Cherry stains on whites can be removed by adding stain removers to the detergent compartment prior to maching washing.


Chewing gum: 

Garment with chewing gum should be placed in the freezer until it hardens, or apply ice in to the gum to harden it. The gum can then be scraped or cracked off.



When sweets turn into a nightmare,start carefully by scraping the chocolate off with a knife. Mix some alcohol or glycerine with an egg yolk, apply it to the stain and leave it take effect for a short while. Then rinse in cold water before washing in hot soapy water.


Collar stains:

A clean shirt collar is essential for the well-dressed professional. Pre-treat with a heavy duty lquid detergent or a powder detergent paste prior to washing.



Curry may well spice up your favourite dish; but it can also do untold damage if spilt on clothes, especially if stain are not treated correctly. First, soak in warm water then work some glycerine or, for the very fine or delicate fabrics some eau de Cologne, spirits or alcohol. Curry stains can also be bleached out. 



Don't break out into a sweat if you get unwanted sweat stains on your clothing. Treat with a 5% solution of citric acid befor washing.


Egg yolk:

Sprinkle egg stains with salt rather than rub them. Once dried the stain can then be brushed off, and spot-dabbed with cold water. If the stain is still visible, dab with a solution of ammonia, and then wash in the usual way.


Engine oil:

Removing an oil stain can often take longer than a complete oil change. Place a clean absorbent pad under the stain. Forst treat the stain with alcohol, and with turpetine. Allow it to soak in thoroughly and the dab gently with a clean paint brush. Repeat until no more oil shows on the pad. Then pour a little liquid onto the stain and brush and rinse thoroughly.



Do not let grass stain get wet, as this only make it harder to get rid of them. Instead, apply some dilute ammonia or lemon juice to the area, and then wash at the hottest temperture possible for the fabric.



Warm water applied with a cloth is usually enough to remove most jam stains. For stubbon or heavy staining, treat as for strawbeeries, i.e. with soapy water or a little alcohol.



Lipstick can usually be removed by one wash in a machine. To help dissolve the tell tale trace of lipstick. dab with eucalyptus oil or glycerine before washing. Stubbon stains can be pre-soaked in a dilute solution of ammonia or removed using an aerosol stain removercontaining benzene.



To eridicate mustard stains, take your mother advise and sponge with soapy water first. if this does not shift the stain, apply a soluition of ammonia or gylcerine(except on velvet or silk). For velvet and silk, dab gently with eau de cologne or a drop of spirits. Mustard stains cab also be bleached. 


Nail varnish:

Remove nail varnish from clothing carefully using nail varnish remover, then wash in the usual way. Do not use on acetate, triacetate or modacryclic fabrics as it will disolve the fabric.



Getting paint on your clothes is no reason to see red. First establish what type of paint you're dealing with. Water soluable paints are best treated first by rinsing cold water and then pre-treated with an aerosol stain remover or by liquid detergent before being washed in the usual way. For oil based paints, soak the area in turpentine or paint brush cleaner to loosen the stain, then wash in the usual way.


Red wine: 

White wine, sherry or clear alcohol can all be used to attack a red wine stain, however the best remedy is simply a largepinch of salt. If possible you should rinse the stain out right away and, before placing in the washing machine, soak the area with a dash of lemon juice. If the stain doesn't vanish in the wash, try using glycerine. Don't use salt or white wine on silk or velvet, as they only respond well to corn flour or potato flour. 



Treating rust stains can be time consuming and patience. Hard wearing, light coloured fabrics and woollens can be treated with lemon juice, and then washed and rinsed thoroughly. Dark-coloured and delicate fabrics can first be treated with spirit of soap , then lemon juice, and finally dabbed with some pure spirits. A simpler way is to use a proprietary rust remover for fabrics. It is vital that rust stains are removed as soon as possible, as leaving them for to long can cause permanent damage to the colours and fibres. Do not use chlorine bleach on rust marks!



Rubbing soot only embeds it more deeply into fabrics, making it harder to wash out. Try shaking it off first, and then sprinkle some potato flour or sawdust over the soot. Alternatively, salt can be used on white fabrics that can be washed at high temperatures. If you still cannot shake the soot out, try using a little alcohol on the spot. Aerosol stain removers can also be very effective at removing soot.



First snear with butterto loosen the tar, and then carefully scrape off any course residue from the fabric. Then treat the mark with a little alcohol or use an aerosol or use an areosol stain remover containing benzene. Place a thick wad of kitchen paper under the fabric to absorb the tar residues. Another approach is to place the tar marked fabric between two sheets of blotting paper, and to use a hot iron to remove the tar.


Tomato sauce:

Sauce should be washed out as soon as possible in warm soapy water or with water containing a little ammonia. Alternatively, treat the area first with a heavy duty liquid, and then wash in the usual way. Like curry and mustard, tomato sauce responds positively to liquid bleach. 



 The unfortunate effects of dripping wax can easily be ironed away. With non coloured wax you should first scrape of any course residue carefully, then place the item between two sheet of blotting paper or paper towel, and iron at a low temperature with the wron side of the fabric uppermost. Change the blotting paper or paper towel frequently. With coloured wax, place the item in the freezer for a short while, and then scrape off as much of the wax as you can. 






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