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How to remove stains

Published by Sarah Horrocks
Published on 8 April 2008

If you've spilled something on your favourite top and think you've ruined it, don't despair! You might be able to save it yet. Here's our guide to stain removal.

If you've spilled something on your favourite top and think you've ruined it, don't despair! You might be able to salvage it...Here's our guide to stain removal.

Take a look at our guide to removing food stains.


What to use
These everyday household products can all be used to get rid of stains:

Bleach

White spirit

Methylated spirit

Flour

Lemon juice

Natural soap

Ammonia

Carbonated water

Talc

Acetone

Oxygenated water

Blotting paper

Onion

Ether

Rubber

Washing powder/liquid with whitening agents

White vinegar

Sponge

Salt

Cornflour

Sunflower oil

Mineral water

Potato

Milk

Mustard

Bicarbonate of soda

Soda powder

Toothpaste

Tips
1. The older the stain, the tougher it is to remove. Act fast!
2. For those irritating stains you don't know where they've come from, start by blotting with cold water. If the stain doesn’t disappear, dry it and use a damp cloth soaked in turpentine or benzine. To be extra careful, place absorbant paper beneath the fabric.
3. To get rid of ring stains, place the fabric above steam.
4. For old stains on white fabric, use oxygenated water or bleach.
5. The toughest stains can be removed with a cup of water mixed with two spoons of bicarbonate of soda.
6. You can get a professional (try your dry cleaner) to try removing any stains you can't get rid of!
7. For white fabric, rub the stain with a toothbrush and white toothpaste. When handwashing, use hot water on sweet stains and cold water on blood, milk and savoury stains.

Take extra care when using bleach
If you somehow manage to get bleach on your clothes, act quickly! Soak with a few drops of oxygenated water or pure ammonia, wait a few minutes then rinse with clean water.

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