How to Get Rid of Just About Any Stubborn Stain
We’ve all been there. Don’t worry – the trick with stain removal is to act immediately and to soak them, to lift off as much as possible. First, check your clothes’ laundry labels to make sure they won’t get damaged. Try these top tips on removing common food and drink stains, and see what a difference they make to your family’s wardrobe.
First lift off or soak up as much of the staining substance as possible. Use absorbents such as talcum powder or paper towels.
Residue that can’t be absorbed needs to be dissolved. Different substances have differing ways they dissolve. For example, blackcurrant juice is soluble in water, while the curcumin colouring in turmeric requires an alcohol, such as methylated spirits, for it to dissolve. This means it’s important to consider what will work best on a particular stain.
Use a detergent
Greasy or fatty stains, such as gravy, will not dissolve in water. To get rid of the rest of the stain use detergent. Detergents work by changing the surface tension of water so that it can flow more freely into the crevices of a fabric. Molecules in the detergent form a chemical link between the staining particles and the water. When the detergent is rinsed away, the water and stain are taken with it.
Use a chemical reaction
If none of the above work you need a chemical reaction. These are chemicals such as bleach and enzymes. Bleach strips molecules of the electrons that give them colour, therefore making the stain invisible (on fabric of the right colour). Enzymes work by breaking down the bonds that hold the amino acids in proteins together. Separated, the amino acids are more soluble in water, so they easily rinsed away and remove the stain.
Try these top tips on removing common food and drink stains, and see what a difference they make to your family’s wardrobe.
1. Soak for one hour in cold water
2. Then use the pre-treat cap to apply Laundry Liquid to the stain, and leave for a few minutes.
3. Wash as normal according to the fabric care label.
Tomato/ketchup/sauce stain removal
1. Soak for one hour in cold water.
2. Use the pre-treat cap to apply Laundry Liquid to the stain, and leave for a few minutes Then wash as normal according to the fabric care label
Nail varnish stain removal
1. Use nail varnish remover or acetone on all fabrics except synthetics
2. Then wash as normal according to the fabric care label
Butter/cooking oil/grease/lipstick/margarine/mascara/shoe polish/sunscreen stains
1. Pre-treat with Laundry Liquid and leave for one hour
2. Then wash at the hottest temperature allowed on the fabric care label
1. Use nail varnish remover except on synthetic fabrics such as acetates
2. Then wash according to the fabric care label
Chocolate/chocolate pudding/cream/egg/grass/ice cream/jam/mayonnaise/milk/curry/chilli/mustard
1. Pre-treat with Laundry Liquid using the special cap to apply direct to the stain. Leave for a few minutes.
2. Then wash as normal according to the fabric care label.
Iron/mould/rust stain removal
1. For all fabrics except wool or silk, sprinkle on salt and lemon juice.
2. Leave overnight before washing as normal.
3. For heavier stains, use a rust remover.
4. Then wash as normal according to the fabric care label.
Blood stain removal
1. If the stain is fresh, rinse immediately with cold water, then wash with Laundry Liquid according to the fabric care label.
2. For an older, more stubborn stain, apply Laundry Liquid directly to the stain, leave for a few minutes, then soak in water containing Ariel for two hours, and wash as normal, according to the fabric care label.
Grass stain removal
1. First try washing as normal with Laundry Liquid.
2. For stubborn stains, pre-treat with Laundry Liquid, then wash as normal according to the fabric care label.
Candle wax removal
1. Peel off any surface wax.
2. Sandwich the fabric with blotting paper or a kitchen towel.
3. Use a warm iron to press down on the back of the fabric.
4. Wash as normal according to the fabric care label
1. For stains from water-based latex, acrylic, emulsion and school paints, rinse while still wet in running water, then wash as normal according to the fabric care label.
2. For oil-based paint and varnish, sponge with white spirit or paintbrush cleaner, then wash as normal according to the fabric care label.
Do you have any tips for sorting out stains? Let us know in the comments box below.