Stain Removal Techniques

Spring Cleaning Tips - Stain Removal Techniques

General tips for effective stain removal:

Never use hot water on stains as this will cause the stain to set.

Consider the composition of the fabric as well as the type of stain. If in doubt leave it to the professionals.

Many stains can be removed simply by washing at the highest temperature for the fabric.

Always test the fabric for colourfastness. Select an area that is not noticeable, place a white cloth beneath this test area and apply the preferred solution with another cloth. Press hard then check to see if any colour has been transferred. if it has then the fabric is not colourfast and should be dealt with by professionals.

Do not attempt to push stains through the fabric. Work from behind , laying the fabric right side down on a piece of white cloth or tissue paper, then apply the chosen solution.

Work from the outside of the stain towards the middle.

Tackle the stain before applying any heat to it for example an iron, as this may set it.

Ensure the room is well ventilated before using any solvents to avoid breathing in fumes.

Avoid contact with the eyes.

Never use near a fire.

Techniques for stain removal:


Effective in removing grease or fresh stains. Absorbents work better when made into a paste with water, then applied and left for 12 hours or so.

Example of absorbents:

Blotting paperFullers EarthSoapstoneTalcum powderBran or stale breadcrumbs


Use for removal or oil and grease. Generally sold under trade names as stain removers, but be careful to use the right one Always wash thoroughly afterwards or for unwashables be sure to air thoroughly.


Hydrogen Peroxide

A milder bleach that can be used on most fabrics with the exception of nylon and fabrics with special finishes. Use in the ratio 1 part HP to 6 parts cold water.

Chlorine - household bleach

Use to whiten materials. Remember to follow manufactures instructions and to test on an unnoticeable area first. Make a solution of bleach and cold water (2 tablespoons bleach to 1 litre of water. apply to the stain with a medicine dropper then leave for 10 minutes. Repeat as necessary. To bleach a whole article fully immerse in a solution of bleach and cold water (15ml bleach to 12 litres water) for 15 minutes. rinse thoroughly then wash as usual.

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