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The A - To Z Of Stain Removal

 


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Head to your local hardware store or supermarket for all removal agents mentioned.

Stain
Ballpoint ink
How to solve the problem
Methylated spirits
How to do it
Dab with absorbent white cloth and methlyated spirits

Stain
Beetroot juice
How to solve the problem
Borax and biological detergent
How to do it
First rinse with cold water. Soak coloureds in a solution of borax for 15 minutes. For white linen, sprinkle borax on the fabric and flush with hot water. Wash with biological detergent.

Stain
Bird droppings
How to solve the problem
Borax, biological detergent and chlorine bleach or hydrogen peroxide
How to do it
Scrape off excess droppings and sponge with a solution of borax or soak in biological detergent. If stains still remain, try soaking in dilute chlorine bleach (white cotton) or hydrogen peroxide (coloureds and synthetics, but not nylon).

Stain
Blood
How to solve the problem
Salt or biological detergent
How to do it
Presoak fresh stains in heavily salted cold water or detergent.

Stain
Candle wax
How to solve the problem
Absorbent paper, a warm iron and methlyated spirits
How to do it
Scrape away the excess. Place a kitchen towel over the residue and press with a warm iron until the paper absorbs the softened wax. Dab any colour residue with methlyated spirits before washing.

Stain
Chewing gum
How to solve the problem
Ice cubes
How to do it
Freeze the gum with a bag of ice cubes. Once it becomes hard and brittle, break away the gum with a knife.

Stain
Coffee and tea
How to solve the problem
Detergent, vinegar and borax
How to do it
Flush with cold water and spot clean with a solution of washing detergent but not soap. If staining remains, soak in a solution of one part vinegar to two parts water or a solution of borax.

Stain
Colour run in washing machine
How to solve the problem
Washing soda and colour dye remover
How to do it
If you dye an entire washload, soak in cold water with washing soda to avoid setting the colour. As soon as possible, machine wash again with a colour run dye reversal product.

Stain
Contact adhesive and glue
How to solve the problem
Acetate (nail polish remover)
How to do it
Dab with acetate.

Stain
Cooking fat
How to solve the problem
Bicarbonate of soda and biological detergent
How to do it
Add a few drops of water to bicarbonate to make a paste and spread over the stain. Leave for 30 minutes and then wash in biological detergent.

Stain
Crayon
How to solve the problem
Methlyated spirits
How to do it
Scrape away excess before dabbing with methlyated spirits.

Stain
Curry
How to solve the problem
Biological detergent and hydrogen peroxide
How to do it
Some curry stains contain strong natural dyes that are almost impossible to shift. Dab with a strong solution of detergent before laundering. Soak stubborn stains in a solution of hydrogen peroxide bleach.

Stain
Dried fruit
How to solve the problem
Lemon juice

How to do it
Place the garment stain side down on absorbent kitchen towel and dampen with lemon juice. Dab with hot water and wash.

Stain
Fresh fruit
How to solve the problem
Borax or salt

How to do it
Soak in a solution of borax for 15 minutes to neutralize the acid and then wash. Alternatively cover the stain with salt and then wash.

Stain
Grass stain
How to solve the problem
Biological detergent or methylated spirits
How to do it
Grass is a combination of protein and dye. Detergent should remove most stains. Dab any remaining dye with methlyated spirits.

Stain
Ink on coloured fabric
How to solve the problem
Milk
How to do it
Soak immediately in slightly warm milk then wash

Stain
Ink and felt tip pen
How to solve the problem
Methlyated spirits
How to do it
Dab with an absorbent pad dipped in methlyated spirits

Stain
Lipstick
How to solve the issue
Soap or methlyated spirits
How to do it
Rub fabric against fabric with soap or a little washing-up liquid and then wash. Dab with methlyated spirits if the fabric isn't washable

Stain
Mildew - dried
How to solve the issue
Salt or lemon juice
How to do it
Rub with damp salt or a lemon and leave in the sun for at least 12 hours.

Stain
Mildew on shower curtains
How to solve the issue
Chlorine bleach
How to do it
Sponge or soak in dilute bleach and machine wash with detergent.

Stain
Mildew on white cotton and linen
How to solve the issue
Household chlorine bleach
How to do it
Mildew is almost impossible to remove and is caused by damp. Soak in diluted bleach then thoroughly rinse and wash.

Stain
Mildew on white synthetics
How to solve the issue
Hydrogen peroxide
How to do it
Soak in one part hydrogen peroxide to nine parts water. Rinse and wash.

Stain
Paint- emulsion and water based
How to solve the issue
Water
How to do it
Sponge immediately with plenty of warm water. Dried paint can be scraped or picked off, but is difficult to wash off.

Stain
Paint - solvent based
How to solve the issue
White spirit
How to do it
Dab with white spirit.

Stain
Perspiration
How to solve the issue
Clear vinegar or lemon juice

How to do it
Soak or sponge with vinegar, but use lemon juice on wool. Rinse and wash.

Stain
Plasticine
How to solve the issue
White spirit

How to do it
Scrape off as much mud as possible and dab dye stains with white spirit.

Stain
Pollen
How to solve the issue
Sticky tape

How to do it
Lift away the pollen with sticky tape or a vacuum cleaner, but don't rub or you'll fix the dye.

Stain
Red wine
How to solve the issue
Carbonated or soda water
How to do it
Dab or flush with carbonated or soda water and wash.

Stain
Rust
How to solve the issue
Lemon juice

How to do it
Flush with lemon juice, leave for 15 minutes and launder.

Stain
Scorch marks
How to solve the issue
None

How to do it
Scorch marks are permanent damage, but their appearance can be disguised by carefully shaving away the damaged fibres.

Stain
Shoe polish
How to solve the issue
White spirit
How to do it
Dab with white spirit and wash

Stain
Urine
How to solve the issue
Detergent, vinegar or shaving foam

How to do it
Soak in detergent and wash. For non-washable fabric, dab with mild vinegar solution. On mattresses, sponge with a dab of shaving foam.

Head to your local hardware store or supermarket for all the removal agents mentioned.

For more hints and tips watch out for the Cleaning Bible by Kim and Aggie (£9.99, Penguin non-fiction).

You can find more information on cleaning tips and removing stains at house to home , helping you create a look you'll love

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