Life leaves stains. Some fade away. Others stick with you forever.
You probably know from experience that some stains are easy to remove and others are just hopeless. However, there are excellent stain removal tricks and as long as you tend to the stain as quickly as possibly there is hope even when it comes to the scariest of them.
Different types of stains require different treatment. Some stains will easily wash away with just soap and the more difficult stains need a bit more magic.
There are few basic things that are good to remember when it comes to all stains. Act quickly and do not rub the stain too vigorously since this only makes the stain go deeper into the fibres.
Tend to the stain immediately. Soak the stain in vodka or other clear alcohol for a few minutes. This should make the stain fade quite a bit. Then place a paper towel underneath the stain, cover it with baking soda and let it sit for a few minutes until the baking soda turns slightly grey and moist. While waiting, boil some water. After letting the baking soda soak up some of the stain, place the stain over a glass and pull tightly, securing it in place with a rubber band. Pour hot water over the stain until it fades away. Most of the stain should disappear, however, depending on the material and colour of the fabric a slight discolouring may remain. If needed, wash the area with soap or toss it in the washing machine as quickly as possible.
Coffee stains will often easily come off with just cold water, however, coffee also easily leaves a slight discolouring on the fabric. Rinse the stained area with cold water from the back of the stain. This should remove most of the stain. Gently rub the stain with dish soap and rinse with white vinegar. Repeat the process until the stain is gone.
This is one of those stains that can be extremely difficult to remove so act with caution if you are using food colouring. If you end up getting food colouring stains on clothing, soak the stain in vodka or other clear alcohol until the stain fades away. Very gently rub the alcohol into the stain every few minutes. When the stain has faded rinse with cold water.
Chocolate can be extremely difficult to remove. It’s important to tend to the stain quickly. Scrape off most of the chocolate with a dull knife. Do this extremely carefully as you don’t want to rub the chocolate stain deeper into the fibres. Rinse the stain from the back with cold water or sparkling water. Gently but thoroughly rub the stain with dish soap and rinse in cold water. Repeat this process until the stain is gone. If the stain is very stubborn, let it soak in dish soap and cold water for 15 minutes.
To remove chocolate from furniture, start by gently scraping off most of the stain. Mix a tablespoon of dish soap with half a litre of cold water and gently blot the stain with this solution. Repeat until the stain is gone. Blot with cold water and finish with a dry cloth or paper towel.
Carefully rinse the stain from the back with cold water to remove most of the liquid. Mix a teaspoon of dish soap and a tablespoon of white vinegar with about a litre of water and let the stain soak in this for 15 minutes. Rinse with cold water.
Gently remove any excess oil with a paper towel and cover the stain with a thick layer of baking soda (if you don’t have baking soda, try some corn or potato starch instead).
Let the baking soda sit for 30 to 60 minutes and then scrub it off.
Put some dish soap on the stain and gently rub the stain. Wash the stain with warm or hot water or place it in the washing machine. Remember to check the care instructions before washing.
Lipstick and other make-up
Make-up stains can be such a pain to get rid of. Being long-lasting, make-up will also stick to your second skin very well. As most make-up is oil based dish soap is one of your best chances at getting rid of these terrifying stains.
Wet the stain with some clean water and gently rub some dish soap on it. Let it sit for about 15 minutes. Then gently rub the dish soap into the stain in a circular motion and rinse with warm water.
If the stain is very persistent you can try soaking it in white vinegar and dish soap or a mix of baking soda and white vinegar.
Please note that even though these methods have been tested there is no guarantee they will work or that the stain will disappear completely. These tips were tested on white cotton jersey. Different fabrics will react differently.