Even with the most modern of clothes cleaning methods, you can still find yourself staring at a stain and wondering how to get it out, to prevent the loss of an item of clothing.
There are many tried and tested methods and there are loads of pre-soak and add in combinations that you can buy. But if you are trying to reduce the chemicals that you have in your home then this can be good for your skin too. There are many children and adults who have sensitive skin and some of these products can cause an outbreak which is unpleasant and in some cases unnecessary.
The way that you treat a stain depends on the make-up of the stain.
Oil based stains
If the stain is oil based then there are a few methods; the first two I have used and they both work, the third option I have yet to try.
- Cornstarch (cornflour) is great. Let it soak into the stain and then it should be gently brushed off, taking the stain with it.
- The method which I was taught by my mum, but is proving to be more difficult due to getting the item, is to iron out the stain using a brown paper bag. This method has worked for many years but now the availability of brown paper bags seems to be diminishing.
- One that I haven’t tried is citrus oil. You are supposed to dab this onto the stain and then with a hot steam iron, steam the stain onto a paper towel placed under the garment.
Many people have concerns with these and sometimes the treatment works and sometimes it doesn’t. I am unsure why I have limited success with this option.
- Plain boiling water should remove the stain every time. I think it might depend on the length of time the stain is allowed to set into the clothes before it is soaked in the boiling water. But this method is supposed to also remove tomato sauce, I have always found that if it is on a light coloured fabric there is still a small faint mark.
Protein and tannin based
There are many different stains that are protein based and this is so important that you act quickly because heat can set the stain and then it is impossible to remove.
- Cold water is important to release the stain. The stains that are protein or tannin based are sweat, blood, tea and coffee.
As with all laundry, the quicker you can get the items washed, then it will mean that you have less to think about. When you sort your laundry a quick check for stains can prevent you setting the stain and ruining the item of clothing.
If you have a routine when you do your laundry at set times of the day or week this can help keep on top of any problems. Having a list of the products that are best for treating particular stains on the inside of a cupboard can save you time in searching for a solution.