How many times you lifted a coffee mug and accidentally spilled it on your clothes or a ketchup bottle broke on a carpet? Stains are tough, be it; spills, marks, smudges before you do anything, take a look at these expert stain removal tips.
- Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions on care labels, and keep them attached to clothes so you can ﬁnd them easily. If you’re still unsure, it’s better to take your clothes to a dry cleaner for some professional advice.
- Many cleaning agents are toxic, so handle with care and keep them out of kids’ reach. Work outside or by a window, and never near a naked ﬂame.
- Do not soak rayon for long, or put in hot water. Keep it away from methylated spirits, acetone, and bleach.
- Always dilute bleach, or it’ll harm skin and fabric. A safe solution is 10ml bleach to 800ml water, or follow the instructions on the bottle.
- Don’t soak wool items, and never use biological detergents, bleach, alkalis, hydrogen peroxide, ammonia and water softener on them.
- Hydrogen peroxide is safe to use in a ratio of 1:8 with water. However, you shouldn’t apply it to the nylon material.
- Silk should be handled gently. Don’t rub or leave it to soak, and always dry in shade. Never use alkali, ammonia, bleach, or biological detergents on it.
- Don’t ﬂood fabric with cleaning ﬂuids – dab or sponge on only – and don’t use them on waterproof fabrics. Try several light applications of the stain removal agent, and ﬁrst test it on a seam before the main application.
How to handle tough stains like these?
TURMERIC – Massage a little lavender or eucalyptus oil into the stain, then wash as usual and hang in bright sunlight. If a pinkish stain persists, rub with a cut lemon and place in the sun.
POLLEN – Do not wet fabric! Gently press a piece of sticky tape over the pollen mark and lift it off, repeating if necessary.
BLEACH – If the bleach has removed the fabric’s color in small areas, buy some good-quality craft paint, such as Heritage Fabric Paint, and mix a color to match (test on a seam). Sponge it sparingly onto the marks, allow to dry, then iron on the back to make it color-fast.
HAIR DYE – Have you ruined your white towels? It might sound terrifying, but add a little more of the same hair dye to the stain. When the old stain is wet, massage shampoo into it, then rinse in cold water.
SUNSCREEN – Try to remove it before washing, as the stain will turn orange. Massage it well with a little dishwashing liquid, then launder as you normally do.
CHEWING GUM – If it has gone through the wash on an item of clothing, rub the gum with a bit of tea tree oil to remove it.
TOMATO SAUCE – Rub spots with white vinegar, then wash and hang in the sun. For persistent stains, rub with a paste of oxygenated powder, then wash as usual.
Pro Tip: Act on stains as soon as you can, as they’re much more difficult to remove once dry.