Stain Removal Guide
Ever wonder how to get out chewing gum from clothes? Or what the best options are for removing coffee or wine stains? Consult our guide for the best stain removal tricks!
Butter, Cream & Fatty Stains
Wash in warm sudsy water if a washable fabric. If not, sponge dry fabric with a grease solvent, e.g. laundry pre-soak (spot stain remover) or dry cleaning fluid.
On upholstery and carpets, use the absorbent powder treatment, followed by a shampoo with liquid detergent, such as a Carpet/Rug Shampoo, a good quality laundry liquid or Quilt/Wool Wash. Avoid wetting backing of carpet or fabric, or discoloration occurs. Do not use grease solvents, e.g. dry cleaning fluid, on carpets or fabrics with rubberised backing.
On wallpaper, scrape off as much as possible, then use warm iron and absorbent paper. Treat remaining stain with paste of cornflour and a grease solvent. Allow to dry, brush off, and repeat if necessary.
Scrape away as much as possible first. Rubbing the stain with ice will harden the gum and make this easier, especially on rugs and other heavy materials. Refer further under Candle Wax.
If the material is washable, soak in kerosene and wash in hot soapy water. For unwashable articles, use dry cleaning fluid. Several applications may be necessary.
Chocolate & Cocoa
First scrape off as much as possible with a dull knife. Hot soapy water will then remove fresh stains from washable articles. If a brown stain remains, soak in a solution of a diaper wash/sanitiser container sodium percarbonate followed by a good rinse in warm water.
For unwashable materials, sponge with dry cleaning fluid. Allow to dry. Repeat as necessary with a clean portion of pad beneath. If any mark remains, sponge with equal quantities of methylated spirits (wood alcohol) and household ammonia (test on colours first). Follow with warm water. A spray-on dry cleaner may be used.
Cod Liver Oil
Fresh cod liver oil stains can be removed successfully, but old stains set by washing and ironing are almost impossible to remove, even with bleach. Wash very fresh stains in warm water and a good quality laundry liquid or any one of the concentrated Laundry Powders available, applying a little neat liquid detergent to the stain. Stubborn stains on all fabrics respond to soaking in a diaper wash/sanitiser container sodium percarbonate. Wash as usual.
Coffee & Tea:
Remove fresh stains from cotton and linen materials by first rinsing in warm water then pouring boiling water from a height of 2 – 3 feet onto the stain. Follow by washing in soapy water. If a trace remains, bleach in the sun, or with a diaper wash/sanitiser container sodium percarbonate. Tea stains on cottons and linens can also be removed by soaking in borax and water (1 Tbsp. borax in 1 cup of warm water).
Stains on wool and silk or any fabric may be sponged with lukewarm water, then apply glycerine, rubbing lightly between the hands. Let stand for half an hour. Rinse with warm water. If a grease spot remains from cream, sponge with dry cleaning fluid.
Scrape away as much as possible. Sponge with lukewarm water. Never use hot water, as heat hardens the stain. If this does not succeed, spread the stain with a paste of cream of tartar and water, adding a crushed aspirin to the paste. Leave for 20 – 30 minutes. Rinse well in warm water. Or use a diaper wash/sanitiser container sodium percarbonate.
Fruit Juices & Berries
Fresh stains are easy to remove, but once dry, they are very obstinate. Treat with cool water first and follow up, if necessary, by soaking in a chlorinated laundry bleach or a diaper wash/sanitiser container sodium percarbonate. Rinse.
White cottons and linens may be stretched over a basin and boiling water poured through from a height. Any remaining stain may be removed with chlorinated laundry bleach.
Coloured fabrics or washable silk, etc., may be soaked in a diaper wash/sanitizer container sodium percarbonate or a warm borax solution (1 tbsp to 1 cup water), or covered with a paste of cream of tartar and warm water. Leave half and hour or until stain goes, then rinse well.
For persistent stains apply equal quantities of methylated spirits (wood alcohol) and ammonia. Rinse well after treatment. This method is safe for all fabrics, except triacetate (e.g. Tricel). Dilute mixture with an equal quantity of water for fabrics with fugitive dyes. Old stains may be softened in glycerine before treatment. Damp stain, apply glycerine, leave 1 – 2 hours, then add a few drops of vinegar, leave 5 – 10 minutes and rinse well.
Ice Cream, Milk & Cream
For washable materials, first sponge with lukewarm water, then wash as usual. If the material is not washable, sponge with dry cleaning fluid then with cold water.
Scrape any excess mustard from the fabric, ensuring you don’t spread the stain any further. Dry the mustard-stained area. Mix together 3 parts dishwash liquid with 1 part of a D’Limonene based product. Soak the stained area in this solution for 10-15 minutes. Note: On occasion the mustard stain will turn very dark, but don’t panic – it will wash out! After the soak time, rinse in water as hot as is suitable for the fabric, then wash as usual, but preferably with a Laundry Liquid. This treatment may require repeating.
Pre-treat dry fabric with a laundry pre-soak (spot stain remover) prior to washing with a quality laundry product in the usual way. Alternative treatment: sponge with equal quantities of methylated spirits (wood alcohol) and water. Old or obstinate stains may be softened in glycerine before treatment as above.
Dry the soya sauce-stained area. Mix together 3 parts dishwash liquid with 1 part of a D’Limonene based product. Soak the stained area in this solution for 10-15 minutes. After the soak time, rinse in water as hot as is suitable for the fabric, then wash as usual, but preferably with a Laundry Liquid. This treatment may require repeating.
Tomato Juice or Relish
Sponge thoroughly with cold water first. Pour glycerine over, rub lightly between the hands and leave for half an hour. Or, pre-treat the dry fabric with a laundry pre-soak (spot stain remover), leave for half an hour then wash in the usual way. Rinse in warm water. Remove any remaining stain with a chlorinated laundry bleach or a diaper wash/sanitiser container sodium percarbonate, as directed.
Red wine? Pour white wine on the affected area and soak up. Then wash in cold water and ammonia.
White wine? Wash in cold water and ammonia.
Did not see your stain solution here? No problem, get an answer from a Washco Laundry expert.
**Note: These tips were provided by third party sources and are used at your discretion only. Test on small part of the inside fabric first. Washco takes no responsibility for damages to your fabric or clothing.