Accidents happen… A glass of red wine spilt down a new top, the dog jumping on the sofa after a muddy walk or grass stains on the kid’s freshly washed football kit, these are just some of the common ways clothes and soft furnishings are soiled in a busy family home. While sometimes your first thought may be that a stained item will need throwing out, there are often a range of natural or chemical products that can do the trick.
It’s important that you get to work fast when something becomes stained, as if left for too long the stain can become permanent. Even if you have to go out to buy new cleaning products, removing a stain is usually cheaper than purchasing a replacement for the item.
There is not one stain removal technique that works for all types of stains. The method will depend on both the material of the item that is stained and what substance caused that stain,
For example, it is essential to remember that some stains must be dabbed rather than scrubbed, as in so instances scrubbing can make the damage much worse. Have you ever spilt something onto the carpet and found that as you frantically scrub it up, the stain starts to spread even more?
It is best to carefully blot the area with a damp cloth that has been soaked in cool water. An ice cube will also work if you happen to have one to hand. This is particularly important for stains such as red wine or fruit juice.
Here are some of the most common types of stains that you might come across and tips on how to get rid of them:
How to remove printer ink stains
Many people now have printers at home and buy their printer ink online and replace the cartridges themselves. It is pretty common that ink finds its way onto your fingertips and even onto your clothing when changing the cartridges over.
To remove ink from your fingers, one natural solution is tea tree oil. Put a few drops of tea tree oil onto a cloth or nail brush and gently scrub the marks. Be sure to wash your hand afterwards to prevent transferring the oil into your oil or on your clothes by accident.
If ink gets onto your clothes, then the removal process is a little trickier and must be started straight away. Firstly, dab the material with cool water to get out the surface ink and then apply an alcohol based hair spray directly onto the stain and dab with cool water again.
If the clothing is white, you can switch out the hair spray for a small amount of chlorine bleach.
How to remove mud and grass stains
Mud and grass stains are a common problem, especially when you have young active children who love to be outdoors. Mud is a little different to stains such as ink, as you will actually need to wait for the mud to dry before you start removing it.
Once dry, shake off and vacuum as much as possible before soaking the remainder in liquid detergent. Rub the liquid detergent into the material before putting the garment into the washing machine as you usually would.
For grass stains, mix baking soda with a few drops of hydrogen peroxide until it forms a thick paste. Apply the paste to the stain and leave for around 30 minutes before rinsing with cool water.
How to remove red wine stains
Lastly, red wine is notoriously tricky to remove. If spilt on a piece of clothing, stretch out the fabric and apply salt to the mark to soak it up and then run it under lots of water before putting it in your usual clothes wash.