Don’t let stains get you down before you’ve tried your best to remove them. Your best just got better with these handy tips!
Before you get started
- Remember to read the manufacturer’s label before working on any stains, and try your method out on a small part of the fabric that’s not visible first.
Common food stains and solutions
- Chocolate: Soak in cold water. Rub detergent into stain while still wet. Rinse and dry. If a greasy stain remains, sponge with a cleaning fluid. Rinse. Launder. If stain remains, repeat treatment with cleaning fluid.
- Coffee/tea: Soak in cold water. Rub detergent into stain while still wet. Rinse and dry. If grease stain remains from cream, sponge with cleaning fluid. Launder.
- Fruit juice: Soak in cold water. Launder in warm, sudsy water.
- Mustard: Rub detergent into dampened stain. Rinse. Soak in hot water with detergent for several hours. If stain remains, launder in hot water using bleach.
- Soft drink: Sponge with cold water. Launder. Some drink stains are invisible after they dry but then turn yellow with age or heat. The yellow stain may be impossible to remove.
How to remove other stains
- Fingernail polish: Sponge white cotton fabric with nail-polish remover; other fabrics, with amyl acetate (banana oil). Launder. Repeat if necessary.
- Mildew: Brush garment outdoors. Dampen stain and rub detergent into it. Launder in hot water using bleach. If stain remains, sponge with hydrogen peroxide. Rinse and launder again.
- Perspiration: Rub detergent into dampened stain. Launder in warm, sudsy water. If fabric has discoloured, try to restore it by treating old stains with vinegar. Rinse and launder. To remove odour, presoak for 30 minutes or in 45 grams (three tablespoons) salt and one litre (one quart) water for one hour.
- Shoe polish (wax): Scrape off as much as possible with a dull knife. Rub detergent into dampened stain. Launder. If stain persists, sponge with rubbing alcohol. Rinse and then launder.
Try these tips the next time you have a stained garment. Act quickly and you can eliminate the stain with very little effort!