Stain removing – tips and tricks

Every household, has its home handyman which clothes are scattered with grease from garage, the toddler who expresses their independence by painting with chocolate or jam on the wallpapers, the enthusiastic cooker chef who splatters spaghetti sauce from ceiling to carpet or the new puppy that demonstrates its need for house-training. Stain removing is essential part of everyday cloth care.

To remove the stain easy and without damage you have to identify the stain correctly and to use an improper stain-removing agent or technique. Because if you do not react adequately you may make the stain permanent and cause additional damage to the stained object. To prevent these happened, follow these general guidelines:

  • Treat the stain immediately with water – this will prevent the stain setting and will help you to remove the stain easily.
  • Avoid direct heat. Heat will set most type of stains permanently.
  • Avoid pressure. Apply detergent gently, just dab it onto the stain and let them soak for a few minutes.

To prevent the stain from setting is really important, but it is not sufficient. Using only water is not enough to remove the stains. If you want to get rid of the stain completely just read the following paragraphs and the next article.

Here you will find how to select the appropriate solvent depending on the fabric type of your clothes and depending on the type of stain remover.

1. Select the appropriate solvent for stain removing.

Using the wrong product can end up damaging your cloth worse than the original stain. Always check the labels, because all the materials have strengths and weaknesses. Most clothes are made from fairly sturdy materials, so reading the labels will guide you in most of the cases. But if the labels do not provide specific instructions, do the laundry by fabric type of the clothes:

Cotton: It can put up with drying, soaking, and even heat. Warm and even hot water are not problem for cotton clothes but you need to be careful about the heat, because it can set the stain. Also applying a bleach on cotton clothes is allowed only on white cotton, because using it on coloured cotton can discolour the fabric. The best stain treatment for cotton is detergent and light acids as lemon juice or vinegar.

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Wool: It has to be treated gently. You have to know that wool is much more heat-sensitive than cotton. Of course you can soak it but use only warm water with wool-safe detergents. Dry the wood clothes by laying them flat to prevent distortion. Do not use bleaches and acidic treatments because they can damage the wool permanently. In the case of stain treat with warm water with a wool detergent as soon as possible.

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Synthetics: The stain treatment vary depending on the type of synthetic. Rayon and polyester can be scrubbed and washed more harshly than cotton, but can’t be bleached because the oxidizing bleach will destroy the synthetic cloth. Just launder normally. And for the grease stains use dish soap.

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Silk: This material is exceedingly temperamental. Treat stains on silk only with water. If it it is not enough to remove the stain, use glycerin stain remover. It is effective and neutral. Then let the wet cloth dry on its own.

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Here is the list of most effective stain removers and the kinds of stains they are great against:

Water: It is a part of every cleaning process. Aslo it can be used on almost everything. Using it immediately will prevent stain setting. If you use only water the treatment won’t be 100% effective.

  • stains from oil and grease (but need prolonged soaking to have much effect)
  • reduce the effect of dyes considerably: some cosmetic products like lipsticks, eye shadows, hair dyes, eye pencils, or bleed from other cloths

Salt: This is the cheapest stain remover and almost everyone has it. The method to use it as a stain remover just apply on top of a wetted stain.

  • sweat/deodorant armpit stains
  • red wine
  • blood stains

Vinegar: It is a good stain remover, but for light-colored cloths use only white vinegar, because the red one can contain the same ingredients as red wine and to make the stain worse. You can use vinegar on the stains from:

  • tea or coffee
  • glue or type
  • grass
  • mildew

Lemon Juice: The mild acids which is the main component in this natural stain remover are great against stains from:

  • drinks contain caffeine, herbal teas or hot chocolate
  • green plants
  • tape and glue
  • mildew

Warning: don’t use mild acids on wool!

Detergent: Except laundry detergent, you can use dish detergents to treat stains, because their ingredients are similar. Both of them are good against stains from:

  • machine oils
  • everything from cosmetic products and grass to chocolate cake and ketchup

Oxidizing Bleaches: It can damage delicate fabrics, so do not use it on them. Because of the fact that most of the bleaches discolor the fabrics, use them only on white cloths for:

  • removing colour
  • removing makeup stains
  • removing grass stains
  • removing other pigment-based stain

Glycerin: It is neutral stain removal. Also it can remove hardened and old set stains easily because the glycerin is hygroscopic. The examples of stains which could be treated by glycerin are:

  • ink
  • dye
  • berry
  • self-tanning lotion

Digestants/Enzyme Cleaners: This product can be found in your local super market. It digests the protein and neutralized the smell. You can use this cleaner as a pre-stain treatment before doing laundry. It is highly effective on:

  • organic stains
  • blood spots
  • ink spots
  • grease
  • stains with a smell like pets urine or egg yolk

Dry Cleaning Solvents: You can find this cleaning product as liquid, spray or powder. It is great for removing stains from upholstery or carpets. But you have to use it with caution and the place where you are has to be well-ventilated. Often this dry cleaning fluid is used to remove stains from:

  • grease or oil
  • oil based ink

Chlorine Bleaches: This is water solution of sodium hypochlorite. Mostly it is used to prevent the spread of infection in homes or medical centers. But also you can use it and as spot remover. Launder the clothes with chlorine bleach. Just do not forget to check the labels on clothes before you put them into the washing machine. Knowing that the cloth can be treated with chlorine bleach you can feel free to remove stains from:

  • mildew
  • germs

It is not enough for you? Be patient! Next article will be published soon! In it you will find out how to treat the stain right and 10 of the most common stains and how to remove them easily!

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