Spot and Stain Removal Guide 


Acids

Act quickly so that acid cannot damage the cloth. Sprinkle the stain with baking soda, dampen with water and allow to stand till bubbling stops. Rinse well in warm water. Alternatively, hold the dampened stain over an open bottle of household ammonia so that the fumes can neutralize the acid. Rinse well.

Adhesive Tape

Sponge or soak the dry fabric stain with a suitable laundry pre-soak (spot stain remover) or in a grease solvent or kerosene. Kerosene will make the cloth oily, so if used, must be followed by washing in warm soapy water.

Alcohol

Always treat these as soon as possible. Often stains are almost colourless at first, but turn brown on standing, washing and ironing. Fresh stains can be removed by sponging several times with warm water. If there is any mark left, pour glycerine on the dampened stain, rub lightly between the hands and leave for half an hour. Rinse in warm water.

More stubborn stains may be sponged on dry fabric with equal quantities of methylated spirits (wood alcohol) and ammonia (test on colours first) or laundry pre-soak (spot stain remover). Rinse well in warm water. If any stain is left on white material, a laundry bleach may be used. Choose and use your bleach according to instructions given earlier.

Alkalis

Alkalis, such as washing soda and ammonia, or cuticle remover, may destroy colour and rot material. Rinse at once in equal quantities of vinegar and water. Rinse well in warm water. If colour has been affected this cannot be corrected.

Ball-Point Ink

See under Ink for stain removal suggestions

Baby Oil

Rub some dishwash liquid into the stain, leave for 10-15 minutes, then hot wash (60-65°C) using your normal laundry detergent. If any stain remains, repeat the process. For unwashable fabrics or articles, see under Butter.

Bleach

Treat immediately in copious amounts of cold water. For chlorine bleach, add 1 Tbsp. vinegar in each 600 mls water. If the colour has been removed by the bleach, it cannot readily be restored, but try holding in fumes from an open bottle of ammonia.

Blood
  • If fresh, sponge with cool salted water (1tsp : 600 ml water) and rinse with clear water. 
    Should stain persist, soak in a diaper wash/sanitiser from the supermarket that contains sodium percarbonate  - read the diaper wash/sanitiser label for the chemical make-up of the product (may state sodium carbonate peroxohydrate or oxygenated bleach). Sodium percarbonate is derived from a manufacturing process of concentrated solutions of sodium carbonate and hydrogen peroxide (sodium carbonate peroxohydrate) therefore you could try using the hydrogen peroxide suggestion first. Or you can try any of the following suggestions, and they are in no particular order...
    • Dilute hydrogen peroxide (1 part : 9 parts water). Purchase the strongest solution available from a pharmacy - usually "20 Volume". Rinse well.
    • Sponge with a 10% solution of Oxalic Acid, warmed to about 45°C. Rinse well.
    • Sponge with dilute ammonia (1 Tsp. : 600 ml). Rinse well.
    • For thick or unwashable articles, e.g. mattresses, carpets, sprinkle with pepsin powder (from your pharmacy), or spread with a thick paste of raw starch and water, leave to dry, then brush off. Repeat if necessary.
Blue

Rinse fresh marks in cold water. Soak any more difficult stains in a solution 1 Tbsp. vinegar in 1200 ml of warm water. Wash as usual.

Boot Polish

Sponge with a laundry pre-soak (spot stain remover) or with dry cleaning fluid.

Butter, Cream & Fatty Stains

Wash in warm sudsy water if a washable fabric. If not, sponge dry fabric with a grease solvent, e.g. laundry pre-soak (spot stain remover) or dry cleaning fluid.

On upholstery and carpets, use the absorbent powder treatment, followed by a shampoo with liquid detergent, such as a Carpet/Rug Shampoo, a good quality laundry liquid or Quilt/Wool Wash. Avoid wetting backing of carpet or fabric, or discoloration occurs. Do not use grease solvents, e.g. dry cleaning fluid, on carpets or fabrics with rubberised backing.

On wallpaper, scrape off as much as possible, then use warm iron and absorbent paper. Treat remaining stain with paste of cornflour and a grease solvent. Allow to dry, brush off, and repeat if necessary.

Candle Wax

Candle wax and chewing gum can be effectively removed by placing the object that has been stained into a freezer until the staining agent is quite hard, and brittle, then the material can be literally shattered off the object that has been stained.

...then treat any residue as follows: place the stain between clean, white blotters and press with a warm iron, changing the blotter as it becomes soiled. Then sponge with dry cleaning fluid or a laundry pre-soak (spot stain remover).

In the case of coloured wax there may still be a colour stain. Sponge with a liquid made by adding ˝ c of methylated spirits (wood alcohol) to ˝ c water.

Carbon Paper & Transfers

On washable fabrics heavy suds of soap and water are usually successful. Otherwise, sponge over a pad with methylated spirits (wood alcohol), following with a cold water sponge.

Chewing Gum

Scrape away as much as possible first. Rubbing the stain with ice will harden the gum and make this easier, especially on rugs and other heavy materials. Refer further under Candle Wax

If the material is washable, soak in kerosene and wash in hot soapy water. For unwashable articles, use dry cleaning fluid. Several applications may be necessary.

Chocolate & Cocoa

First scrape off as much as possible with a dull knife. Hot soapy water will then remove fresh stains from washable articles. If a brown stain remains, soak in a solution of a diaper wash/sanitiser container sodium percarbonate followed by a good rinse in warm water.

For unwashable materials, sponge with dry cleaning fluid. Allow to dry. Repeat as necessary with a clean portion of pad beneath. If any mark remains, sponge with equal quantities of methylated spirits (wood alcohol) and household ammonia (test on colours first). Follow with warm water. A spray-on dry cleaner may be used.

Cod Liver Oil

Fresh cod liver oil stains can be removed successfully, but old stains set by washing and ironing are almost impossible to remove, even with bleach. Wash very fresh stains in warm water and a good quality laundry liquid or any one of the concentrated Laundry Powders available, applying a little neat liquid detergent to the stain.

Stubborn stains on all fabrics respond to soaking in a diaper wash/sanitiser container sodium percarbonate. Wash as usual.

Coffee & Tea

Remove fresh stains from cotton and linen materials by first rinsing in warm water then pouring boiling water from a height of 2 - 3 feet onto the stain. Follow by washing in soapy water. If a trace remains, bleach in the sun, or with a diaper wash/sanitiser container sodium percarbonate. Tea stains on cottons and linens can also be removed by soaking in borax and water (1 Tbsp. borax in 1 c of warm water).

Stains on wool and silk or any fabric may be sponged with lukewarm water, then apply glycerine, rubbing lightly between the hands. Let stand for half an hour. Rinse with warm water. If a grease spot remains from cream, sponge with dry cleaning fluid.

Correction Fluid

Purchase some Spray & Wipe from your supermarket, and use concentrated on the stain. Most Spray & Wipe formula’s contain a solvent which will dissolve the liquid paper. OR Try a little gasoline on the stain, with some good absorbent paper or old cloth behind it. Then use some dishwash liquid or a good quality laundry liquid to wash out the gasoline. OR Purchase some xylene, or toluene, these are some of the solvents used in making the stuff. Use as if using the gasoline. These are stocked by gasoline companies and you may be able to request a small sample. Always test an inconspicuous piece of material before proceeding.

Crayons

Treat as for Candle wax. If on wallpaper, after scraping cover with blotting or brown paper, iron with warm iron, shifting paper repeatedly. Final traces may be covered with a paste of cornflour and cleaning fluid. Allow to dry, brush off and repeat if necessary.

Deodorants & Antiperspirants

Sponge dry fabric stain thoroughly with a laundry pre-soak (spot stain remover) and warm water. Rinse. If some stain remains, use a chlorinated laundry bleach or a diaper wash/sanitiser container sodium percarbonate. Antiperspirants may cause fabric damage and colour damage in some dyes. Colour may be restored by sponging with ammonia. Dilute ammonia with an equal volume of water for use on wool or silk. Rinse well.

Dyes & Running Colours

These are difficult to remove and no one treatment is successful in all cases. Immediate copious rinsing in tepid water, forcing the water through the stain, is sometimes effective.

Washing and sunning will gradually bring results in some cases. Equal parts of methylated spirits (wood alcohol) and ammonia may also succeed. White fabrics may be bleached. Use a chlorinated laundry bleach or a diaper wash/sanitiser container sodium percarbonate for linens and untreated cottons, hydrogen peroxide for silk, wool and delicate fabrics.

Dye - Setting

Common household salt can be used to "Set Dyes" at a rate of quarter to half a cup per wash tub load. Leave to soak half an hour, rinse, then hang to dry. Salt is a common additive to Laundry Powder formulations. Among it's many uses, salt minimises the risk of "running dyes" when laundering garments.

Egg

Scrape away as much as possible. Sponge with lukewarm water. Never use hot water, as heat hardens the stain. If this does not succeed, spread the stain with a paste of cream of tartar and water, adding a crushed aspirin to the paste. Leave for 20 - 30 minutes. Rinse well in warm water. OR use a diaper wash/sanitiser container sodium percarbonate.

Fruit Juices & Berries

Fresh stains are easy to remove, but once dry, they are very obstinate. Treat with cool water first and follow up, if necessary, by soaking in a chlorinated laundry bleach or a diaper wash/sanitiser container sodium percarbonate. Rinse.

White cottons and linens may be stretched over a basin and boiling water poured through from a height. Any remaining stain may be removed with chlorinated laundry bleach.

Coloured fabrics or washable silk, etc., may be soaked in a diaper wash/sanitiser container sodium percarbonate or a warm borax solution (1 Tbsp. : 1 c water), or covered with a paste of cream of tartar and warm water. Leave half and hour or until stain goes, then rinse well.

For persistent stains apply equal quantities of methylated spirits (wood alcohol) and ammonia. Rinse well after treatment. This method is safe for all fabrics, except triacetate (e.g. Tricel). Dilute mixture with an equal quantity of water for fabrics with fugitive dyes. Old stains may be softened in glycerine before treatment. Damp stain, apply glycerine, leave 1 - 2 hours, then add a few drops of vinegar, leave 5 - 10 minutes and rinse well.

Glues, Gums & Cellulose Adhesives

Soaking in cool water will remove water-soluble glues, e.g. casein glue. For waterproof varieties, use spirit solvent, e.g. methylated spirits (wood alcohol) or amyl acetate (test before using on synthetic fabrics). Artificial Nail glue can be removed used acetone (test on an inconspicuous area first). Acetone evaporates quickly, so hold a wad of absorbant paper or soft cloth against the glue, and soak the acetate through from the other side. (The glue soaks on to the wad of absorbant)

Grass & Other Garden Foliage

Soak in a solution of a chlorinated laundry bleach or a diaper wash/sanitiser container sodium percarbonate. OR sponge with methylated spirits (wood alcohol). Remove this with warm water and where possible wash the article using Laundry powder or Liquid.

Ice Cream, Milk & Cream

For washable materials, first sponge with lukewarm water, then wash as usual. If the material is not washable, sponge with dry cleaning fluid then with cold water.

Indelible Pencil

Do not use water as this spreads the stain. Sponge over a pad of soft cloth, using equal quantities of methylated spirits (wood alcohol) and household ammonia (test coloured fabrics first). Should the colours run, try methylated spirits (wood alcohol) alone. Rinse or sponge with warm water.

Ink

Because INKS differ in composition it is impossible to find removers that are equally effective for all types of ink spots. The following is a range of suggestions from which you can choose. The best treatment we have discovered is using a D'limonene based product. (read our notes on each product HERE), however, General Instructions using D'Limonene are:-Dry the stained area. Mix together 3 parts dishwash liquid with 1 part of D'limonene. Soak the stained area in this solution for 10-15 minutes. After the soak time, rinse in water as hot as is suitable for the fabric, then wash as usual, but preferrably with a Laundry Liquid. This treatment may require repeating.  Other treatments you can try include the following...

Ballpoint Pen Ink: First, saturate material with an alcohol-based hair spray (this seems to be a very popular method). The alcohol content in the hair spray will break up the ink. Be sure to place an absorbent paper towel or rag under the stain to catch the excess. You then need to blot the stain with a rag. Repeat the process until the stain is removed, then launder as usual. A word of caution before trying this method: some fabrics may be damaged by the hair spray solution. If in doubt, test on an inconspicuous area first, or consult with a professional dry cleaner.

Water Based Inks: Try an all-purpose cleaner instead of hair spray. Be sure to place an absorbent paper towel or rag under the stain to catch the excess. You then need to blot the stain with a rag. Repeat the process until the stain is removed, then launder as usual. A word of caution before trying this method: some fabrics may be damaged by the cleaning solution. If in doubt, test on an inconspicuous area first, or consult with a professional dry cleaner.

NOTE: If the stain is still wet, apply an absorbent - french chalk, talcum powder, starch or salt - to absorb excess ink and stop it from spreading. Continue this treatment, removing the discoloured powder and applying fresh, until there no further change is achieved. Alternatively, take up excess ink with blotting paper, pressing fresh patches of blotter into the stain until it no longer discolours. Then treat as required.

These suggestions are also suitable for dried writing ink, ball point pen, or marking ink. Soak the stain in "sour" milk - this is an old fashioned, but effective method. Fresh milk also works, but sour milk is faster. Sponge or dip the stain in equal quantities of methylated spirits (wood alcohol) and household ammonia (test on coloured fabrics first). Rinse in warm water. Rinse again in warm water containing a little ammonia, then finally in fresh water. Sponge with pure Dettol. If not effective, try iso-propyl alcohol or dry cleaning fluid (from chemist).

Iodine

Very fresh stains can often be removed by normal washing or by moistening the stain with water and placing in the sun or before a radiator. If not successful, apply a solution of 1 tsp. sodium thiosulphate, (from chemist) in 1cup warm water. Rinse well.

Light Oils, e.g. sewing machine, hair oil, baby oil etc.

Rub some dishwash liquid into the stain, leave for 10-15 minutes, then hot wash (60-65°C) using your normal laundry detergent. If any stain remains, repeat the process. For unwashable fabrics or articles, see under Butter.

Lipstick & Other Cosmetics

e.g. eyeshadow, mascara, blusher - washing with your usual laundry product may remove these stains. Pre treat the dry fabric stain with a laundry pre-soak (spot stain remover). On an unwashable fabric, first try dry cleaning fluid.

If stains are stubborn, sponge with equal quantities of methylated spirits (wood alcohol) and household ammonia. (Test on coloured fabrics first). If colour fades, reduce ammonia by half and test again. Rinse in warm water, or wash if possible.

Medicines

Try to find out from doctor or chemist what the medicine contains, as this will aid in selecting the correct treatment: e.g. iron tonics - treat as for iron rust: medicines containing alcohol, rinse with methylated spirits (wood alcohol), etc.

Where contents cannot be discovered proceed as for "Unknown Stain".

Mildew
Treat as soon as discovered, before the mould has time to weaken the cloth. Slight, fresh stains can often be removed by washing with your usual laundry product and drying in the sun. Otherwise, try these methods in turn, proceeding carefully with coloured articles:
a] Chlorinated laundry bleaches may be used for white untreated cottons and linens, according to general instructions given by the manufacturer. Rinse thoroughly before washing. 
b] Vinegar added to the final rinse will help remove any traces of smell remaining from the bleach. 
c] A diaper wash/sanitiser container sodium percarbonate is safe on all white and coloured fabrics.
Motor Grease & Heavy Motor Oil

Scrape away as much as possible. For washable materials, rub lard or Vaseline into stain or treat dry fabric with a laundry pre-soak (spot stain remover). Wash in a quality Laundry powder or Liquid. On unwashable materials, such stains are difficult. Treat repeatedly with dry cleaning fluid, continuously changing the pad and the sponging cloth. Finish with a sponging of lukewarm water and synthetic detergent, then warm water to rinse. If contaminated with metal particles, an iron stain my remain. Treat as for Iron Rust.

Mud

Allow to dry, then brushing off. Any remaining stain may be removed by washing or sponging with your usual laundry powder or liquid or if greasy dirt, pre-treat dry fabric with a laundry pre-soak (spot stain remover) or use a grease solvent, e.g. dry cleaning fluid.

Mustard

Scrape any excess mustard from the fabric, ensuring you don't spread the stain any further. Dry the mustard-stained area. Mix together 3 parts dishwash liquid with 1 part of aD'Limonene based product (read our notes on each product at this link). Soak the stained area in this solution for 10-15 minutes. NOTE: On occasion the mustard stain will turn very dark, but DON'T PANIC - it will wash out! After the soak time, rinse in water as hot as is suitable for the fabric, then wash as usual, but preferrably with a Laundry Liquid. This treatment may require repeating.

Nail Polish

Apply acetone or amyl acetate (polish removers), but take care with synthetic fibres, as both of these dissolve some type of rayons. Wash or sponge with your usual laundry product after treatment.

Remove any remaining colour with a bleach, using a chlorinated laundry bleach for white cottons and linens. A diaper wash/sanitiser container sodium percarbonate for colours, and hydrogen peroxide for wool and silks.

Ointment

Treat as a grease stain - see under Butter

Paint

Modern paints vary greatly in composition and it is not possible to give one treatment for all types. As a guide, use the solvent suggested on the paint tin label for thinning paint and cleaning brushes. Treat promptly, as set stains are very difficult to remove. If paint has dried, soften with glycerine before applying treatment.

For oil paint, enamels and alkyd type paints, scrape off as much as possible and soak remaining stain in turpentine, or kerosene. Then wash in usual way.

Latex or plastic water-base paints, e.g. Acrylic and P.V.A. will wash out easily with cold water when fresh. Remove any remaining stain with methylated spirits (wood alcohol) (test first to see that acetate fabrics are not affected). Once dry, these paints are virtually impossible to remove.

Pencil Marks (lead)

Try a soft rubber for unwashable garments. Use a quality laundry powder or liquid on lead pencil marks, but never for indelible pencil. If not successful, follow instructions for Indelible Pencil.

Perfume

Wet area, apply glycerine and rinse out well, or sponge with equal parts of full-strength hydrogen peroxide and water. If the colour has already been removed from the fabric by the alcohol in the perfume, it may be helpful to add a few drops of methylated spirits (wood alcohol) to cheesecloth pad and sponge fabric lightly, working towards the centre of the stain, thus distributing remaining colour evenly.

Perspiration Stains

New perspiration stains are normally acid and may be removed by washing. If the dye is affected, hold the mark in fumes from an open ammonia bottle.

Older perspiration stains turn alkaline and sponging with 1 Tbsp. vinegar in ˝ c water will often restore the colour. This treatment also helps to remove perspiration odours.

To remove perspiration stains from unwashable garments or for any stubborn marks, apply a paste of 1 Tbsp. cream of tartar, 3 crushed aspirins and warm water. Leave for 20 minutes. Rinse well in warm water. Repeat if necessary. Follow this with vinegar and water to restore the colour if necessary.

Rust

Any of the methods given below are safe for white fabrics, but test on coloured fabrics before use.

Lemon Juice - suitable for light stains on delicate fabrics. Spread stain over a bowl of boiling water and sprinkle with lemon juice. After a few minutes, rinse well and repeat if necessary.

Lemon Juice and Salt - sprinkle stain with salt, rub with lemon juice and place in sunlight. Keep moist with lemon juice till stain goes. Rinse well.

Cream of Tartar - for extensive staining, boil in a liquid made from 4 tsp. cream of tartar in 600 ml water. Rinse well OR if less extensive, dampen stain, spread with cream of tartar, hold in steam from boiling kettle. Rinse immediately stain goes. Do not use on fabrics that cannot be washed in hot water.

Scorch

Scorch marks are different from a true stain in that the actual fibre is damaged. Severe marks on any fabric, or scorch marks on wool and silk can seldom be restored. Brushing with fine emery paper may improve a scorched woollen surface.

Very light scorch marks can often be removed by immediate washing with your usual laundry product, followed by a day in the sun. Alternatively, sponge with 1 Tbsp. borax in 1 c warm water.

Light scorch marks on white materials can be treated with hydrogen peroxide. Dampen a scrap of white cotton cloth with hydrogen peroxide and lay it on the mark. Cover with a clean dry cloth, then press with a medium warm iron. If the peroxide soaks through the top cloth, move to a dry position. Repeat the treatment until the stain is removed. Rinse well in warm water.

Light scorch marks on any fabric (test colours first) may be treated by sponging with diluted hydrogen peroxide to which a few drops of ammonia have been added. Rinse well in warm water. (Instructions for dilution under directions for using bleaches).

Shoe Cleaners

Scrape off any excess with a dull knife. Shoe creams can frequently be removed from washable materials by washing with your usual laundry product.

If this is not successful, treat washable fabrics with glycerine. Pour on to the stain, rub lightly between the hands, leave for half an hour, then wash or rinse in warm water.

On unwashable fabrics or for very stubborn marks, sponge with equal quantities of methylated spirits (wood alcohol) and household ammonia. (Test on coloured fabrics first). Then sponge with warm water.

Silly Putty

Scrape off the excess with a blunt knife, then apply a warm to hot solution made up of 1 partD'limonene, 1 part dishwash liquid, 10 parts water  (read our notes on each product at this link).   Massage into the putty, and use absorbent towelling to absorb the "gunk".   You may need to repeat this.  Finally rinse with warm water and let dry naturally.
Or scrape the excess Silly Putty with a dull knife or metal spoon. Spray with WD-40® (car part lubricant) and let stand a few minutes. Again scrape excess Silly Putty with knife or spoon, and re-spray with WD-40®. Wipe stain with cotton balls. If any stain remains, saturate a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol, blot the stain and rinse. Wipe any remaining residue or remaining stain with a damp sponge or cloth moistened with liquid dishwashing detergent.

Soft Drinks

Pre-treat dry fabric with a laundry pre-soak (spot stain remover) prior to washing with a quality laundry product in the usual way. Alternative treatment: sponge with equal quantities of methylated spirits (wood alcohol) and water. Old or obstinate stains may be softened in glycerine before treatment as above.

Soot & Smoke

First treat with absorbent powder, then wash. For unwashable articles sponge with dry cleaning fluid or other grease solvent, followed by airing to remove smell of smoke.

For carpets, mix solvent to a paste with cornflour, talcum or french chalk. Apply thickly - leave to dry, then brush or vacuum off. Repeat if necessary. Use absorbent powder only on rubber backed carpeting. Or use a spray-on dry cleaner.

Soy Sauce

Dry the soya sauce-stained area. Mix together 3 parts dishwash liquid with 1 part of aD'Limonene based product (read our notes on each product at this link). Soak the stained area in this solution for 10-15 minutes. After the soak time, rinse in water as hot as is suitable for the fabric, then wash as usual, but preferrably with a Laundry Liquid. This treatment may require repeating.

Tar & Asphalt

Scrape away as much as possible with a dull knife. Sponge with Jeyes fluid and water (1 part Jeyes to 3 of water) or pre-treat with a laundry pre-soak (spot stain remover) then wash with a quality laundry product, rinse in warm water.

If this is not successful on washable materials, rub Vaseline or lard into the stain. Leave for half an hour, then wash in hot soapy water.

For unwashable materials the stain will be very difficult. Sponge repeatedly with dry cleaning fluid. If the mark still persists, rub with Vaseline, leave for half an hour, then dip in dry cleaning fluid. If possible, finish by sponging with a solution made from a good quality laundry liquid, starting well to the outside of the stain.

Tarnish

Metallic stains from belts, jewellery, etc., sometimes stain clothes. Sponge with vinegar, lemon juice or 10% solution acetic acid (check synthetics first).

For tarnished metallic fabrics, e.g. lame, if practicable, boil in salt water (2 Tbsp. to 600 ml). Not suitable for plastics. Otherwise, sponge with methylated spirits (wood alcohol) or dry cleaning fluid.

Tobacco

For stubborn tobacco stains, first try pouring glycerine over the stain. Rub lightly between the hands, or pre-treat the dry fabric with a laundry pre-soak (spot stain remover), leave for half an hour then wash in the usual way. If this is not successful, use sodium thiosulphate as directed for iodine stains.

Tomato Juice, Relish or Chutney

Sponge thoroughly with cold water first. Pour glycerine over, rub lightly between the hands and leave for half an hour. Or, pre-treat the dry fabric with a laundry pre-soak (spot stain remover), leave for half an hour then wash in the usual way. Rinse in warm water. Remove any remaining stain with a chlorinated laundry bleach or a diaper wash/sanitiser container sodium percarbonate, as directed.

Unknown

If a stain cannot be identified, treat with cool water first, then sponge with a good quality laundry liquid solution. Rinse well and if stain persists try equal quantities of methylated spirits (wood alcohol) and ammonia, testing first to note effect on colour and fabric. If colour is affected, omit ammonia. As a last resort, try a mild bleach, e.g. A diaper wash/sanitiser container sodium percarbonate.

Urine

These stains differ in composition, so that the same method may not be successful in all cases. Normal urine is usually acid. First soak in a solution of a diaper wash/sanitiser container sodium percarbonate or sponge with a solution of 1 Tbsp. household ammonia in ˝ c warm water. Rinse well.

If this is not successful, try equal quantities of vinegar and warm water in case the stain is alkaline. Rinse well in warm water. For stubborn stains, sponge with diluted hydrogen peroxide, then wash or sponge - rinse with clear warm water. Old stains may destroy the colour of the cloth and nothing can be done to restore it in this case.

Vomit

Sponge with warm water containing a little ammonia. If extensive, dampen and sprinkle with pepsin powder, leave half an hour, then rinse off. OR soak washable articles in a diaper wash/sanitiser container sodium percarbonate.

Water Spots

Some silks, rayons and wools are spotted by water. To remove such spots, hold in the steam from a rapidly boiling kettle. It is wise to cover the spout with butter muslin first to prevent any droplets of water reaching the fabric. Allow the fabric to become damp, but not wet. Shake and press while still slightly damp, rubbing, if possible, with a piece of the same or a similar material, or with fingernail or spoon.

Water stains on carpets become brown because of impurities from backing or underfelt. Mop up spills, wipe with cool water, cover with pad of blotting paper, tissues or absorbent cloth. Weight down with books, etc., and dry quickly with the aid of fan heaters, vacuum exhaust, etc. This causes stain to wick through to absorbent material. Repeat if required.

Wine
  • Red Wine? Straight away pour White Wine on the affected area and soak up. Then wash in cold water and ammonia. 
    White Wine? Wash in cold water and ammonia. If unsuccessful, follow other treatments under Alcoholic Beverages.
  • Treat promptly
  • Try mild measures first
  • Rinse thoroughly
 Wood SAP

Turpentine (enamel paint thinners) 1 part and dishwash liquid 4 parts. Mix together and rub in to the sap stain. Leave for 20 minutes and then wash in water and your usual laundry detergent as hot as the fabric will allow.  You may have to repeat this process.



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