Knowing how to remove common stains should be in your laundry knowledge. Stains can, quite simply, ruin an item of clothing, but if you know how to treat them, you at least stand a chance of salvaging what might be a favorite piece from your wardrobe. There are many old wives tales regarding the treatment of common stains so it’s hard to know which ones actually work. I stand by these that follow:
1. Grass Stain
So your children have just gone out in their new jeans, skidded on the grass while playing football (even though they promised they wouldn’t play) and now you need to get the stain off. You’re in luck. With grass being one of the more common stains, you will find many solutions to get it off and get the jeans looking great in no time. Here's the method I found to work the best.
• Let a pre-wash stain remover do its work on the stain for around 15 minutes.
• Use either a toothbrush, nailbrush, or rag to rub the liquid into the stain.
• Wash the item using enzyme based detergent to break down the stain even more.
2. Ink Stain
Blue ink all over your work shirt? A pen leaked in his pocket? Don’t worry! Common stains like this one come out easy, and here is how to get rid of ink stains.
• Place a cloth underneath the layers of the garment - the last thing you want is for the stain to spread onto the other side!
• Dab a little glycerin or hair spray on the stain, and gently rub it in.
• In a bowl, mix together water and a little gentle detergent. Apply this solution to the stain and work in with a cotton swab.
• Wash the item in a machine on a cold wash.
3. Red Wine Stain
Don't panic if you get a little red wine spillage on a washable fabric; despite what you might think it does come out. Here's how to remove red wine stains.
• Dab the stain, don’t rub it, with paper towel to remove the excess
• Pour cool water over the stain.
• Cover the stain with table salt. You will notice that the salt eventually turns pink
• Boil water and pour it onto the stain from about 6-8 inches high. Leave the garment to sit until the wine stain has lifted.
NOTE - if the stain has not lifted, try soaking the item in a solution of 1 part vinegar and two parts water. Then wash as usual.
4. Blood Stain
Blood stains are best treated before they are dried, here's how.
• Apply cold water to the stain.
• Rub the stain with a bar of soap.
• Let a stain removal solution soak into the fabric.
• Apply a little diluted ammonia with a cotton swap to the stain.
• Wash in the machine using an enzyme based detergent. Do not tumble dry until the stain has gone, otherwise you will set the stain.
5. Water Stain
Getting suede wet can seem like a nightmare and it is one of the most common stains that ruin shoes. Don’t throw your suede pumps away and try this.
• First, let your item dry at room temperature for a day or two. Don't be tempted to rub off any mud, let it dry and wipe away later. Then rub the item gently with a nylon-bristled brush such as a tooth brush.
• If you do not have a suede eraser to feather the edges of water marks then you can use a damp sponge.
• Once the water marks are gone, you can brush the item with a velvet lint brush to raise the texture of the item and bring it back to life.
Maybe your children have been playing dress up, or maybe your dog thought it was a nice treat to eat, either way there is now lipstick in your carpet. Here is how to remove it.
• Use a spoon to scoop up any leftover big bits from the carpet.
• Dab a small amount of cleaning solvent onto the carpet. A good one for this is WoolClean Dry Spot Remover.
• Blot the stain by working from the outside in. Switch between a clean cloth and a cloth with a solution on it. Keep at it until all traces of the stain have gone.
7. Chewing Gum
Oh dear, sat in chewing gum in your new black dress? Don't panic I have a full proof solution to get it gone for you.
• First off, remove as much as you can with a blunt knife.
• If you can’t get it all off then rub an ice cube over it, or put it in the freezer.
• Apply something such as glycerin to loosen any more of the chewing gum and scrape it off.
• Rub in some washing up liquid to remove the stain further, then wash as usual.
Do you have some favorite ways to remove common stains? I really would prefer natural ways and not using chemicals but unfortunately these aren’t always so effective. If you’ve got some environmentally friendly ways of treating common stains please do let me know them.