There is a huge diversity of specialist cleaning products available to tackle specific stains encountered on clothing or upholstery. Finding the appropriate product for a specific stain cannot only be time consuming, but also expensive. Most people do not realise that by utilising items commonly found in the kitchen cupboard at home, they can avoid spending money on expensive specialist stain removal products. Here are five items that are great at removing stains:
Most people have a bottle of bleach in the home. Bleach uses a process called 'oxidisation' to remove stains from fabric. Bleach is particularly effective on white cotton items. A little dilute bleach can be dabbed on a stubborn stain on a white cotton shirt before washing. White cotton or linen items that have become discoloured over time can be rejuvenated by washing them in bleach diluted in plenty of hot water, or soaking for a few hours before washing the items as normal. The combination of bleach and sunlight is a powerful stain remover, so items treated with bleach should be hung outside in the sunshine to achieve the best stain removal effect.
Care must be taken with bleach, as it is not suitable for use on all fabrics and should never be used on delicate fabrics or dark coloured materials.
Hairspray is a great stain remover for ink stains. If a child gets ink onto upholstery, the area can simply be sprayed lightly with hairspray before wiping gently with a cloth. It also works well on shirts if a pen has leaked into the pocket. A spray containing alcohol works best. A damp rag should be placed under the stain and then the hairspray should be sprayed directly onto the stained area. By blotting with a damp cloth, the stain should be lifted out of the fabric.
Methylated spirit is a strong solvent, and good at removing a variety of stains from fabrics. It is especially good at removing greasy food stains or stains from cosmetics, such as lipstick. The stain should be dabbed with spirit and left for five minutes before rinsing in warm water. This method should only be used on colourfast fabrics. Methylated spirit is also useful for removing felt tip pen stains.
Washing Up Liquid/Soap:
For everyday stains, the simple action of rubbing the area with a little soap or washing up liquid can be enough to break up the stain and allow it to be washed away easily in the laundry. Soap is also particularly effective on felt tip pen stains and bloodstains. Hair dye splashed on fabric is best treated with a cup of warm water containing a good squeeze of washing up liquid. Soap is also effective at removing lipstick stains from clothing.
White vinegar has a variety of cleaning applications in the home and is a fantastic stain remover. This is because the acetic acid is able to cut through grease and dirt. The best way to use white vinegar is to dilute it and put it in a spray bottle for pre-treating items before washing, such as grubby cuffs and sleeves on shirts or the underarm areas of garments. Items can also be soaked in dilute white vinegar before washing. White vinegar is also effective at removing mildew stains from clothing and shower curtains.
As you can see, many effective stain removal products can be found in the home, simply by looking in the kitchen and bathroom cupboards. These basic items can tackle a variety of commonly encountered stains, minimizing the need to purchase expensive chemical stain removal products.