Here’s a fun question for you. What do red wine, turmeric, ink, blood, coffee, ketchup and mustard have in common? The answer? All of them are famous for leaving behind stains on fabric!
We have all found ourselves being extra careful when wearing all-white or light coloured outfits. The thought of spilling food and staining our outfit is a living nightmare and let’s be honest, we’ve all had to deal with food stains or the occasional makeup mishaps on our favourite clothing.
It’s interesting to note that different fabrics react differently to stains and the ease of removing them depends on the type of material. Here’s Binks’ Ultimate Stain Removal Guide to help rescue you from those pesky little stains.
Cotton is a durable and soft fibre, unfortunately, it tends to shrink when washed and dried.
Red wine stains – For a fresh stain, pour boiling water onto the fabric until the stain fades. For older stains, a mixture containing equal amounts of Hydrogen Peroxide and liquid dish soap can be massaged into the stained area using fingers or a soft bristle brush. Leave this for 30 minutes and wash off with warm water. Finally, rinse it with cold water.
Tea & coffee stains – Mix two cups of water with 1/4 cup of lemon juice or 1/3 cup of white vinegar. Blot the mixture into the stained surface and rinse with cold water.
Makeup stains – Dampen the stained area, add a few drops of liquid dish soap and rub the fabric against itself allowing the friction to lift the stain. Repeat until the stain fades and rinse off with regular water.
Oil, grease and stubborn food stains – Using a tissue or paper napkin blot out as much of the stain as possible. Apply a few drops of dish soap to the stain and rub the fabric together with your hands or a toothbrush. For stubborn stains sprinkle some baking soda and scrub. Leave it aside for an hour and then soak the fabric in hot water for another hour. Finally, wash it with regular water. Repeat the steps until the stain fades.
Silk, being a delicate fabric, can be easily damaged by harsh cleaning detergents.
Red wine stains – Soak the stained garment in a mixture containing equal amounts of cold water and hydrogen peroxide overnight and wash off with cold water the next day. Repeat the process until the stain vanishes.
Oil & grease stains – immediately dust some powder or cornstarch on the stain and leave it overnight to let it soak up the oil. Wash off the next day with a mild detergent.
Tea & coffee stains – Take a mixture containing equal amounts of white vinegar and cold water. Using a plain white cloth, dip it in this mixture and blot the stain, continue to do so until it disappears. (Ensure the stain doesn’t become too saturated or it may spread)
Bloodstains – Blot a mixture of saltwater on the stain until it begins to fade. Finally, wash with cold water.
Makeup stains – Pour a small amount of the rubbing alcohol onto a cotton ball. Dab it onto the stain. The stain may lift right out onto the cotton ball. If not, you can rub the stain using a soft bristle brush and continue to dab until it comes out.
Bonus Tip: We suggest letting your silk garments air dry rather than ironing it may tend to make the stain stubborn.
Chiffon is a sheer fabric and stains need to be taken care of immediately.
Oil and grease stains – sprinkle talc powder to soak up oil from the stain and dust away the rest of the powder. Wash the stain with mild liquid soap.
Bloodstains – Place a few drops of fabric detergent on the stain and allow for it to soak in regular water for 30 minutes. Wash off with regular water.
Food stains – Mix a few drops of fabric detergent with Hydrogen Peroxide and apply it to the stain. Gently dab at the stain using a white cloth. Soak the stain in cool water for 30 minutes and then rinse.
Satin is also a delicate material and requires care when treating stains.
Oil & grease stains – immediately dust some powder or cornstarch on the stain and leave it overnight to let it soak up the oil. Wash off the next day with warm water and a mild detergent.
Bloodstains – Soak in cold water for an hour. Turn the garment inside out, apply mild detergent from the inside and blot the stain using a cloth or soft bristle brush.
To remove stains caused by spilling food, red wine, tea, coffee and makeup follow the same method as you would for silk garments.
These quick tips and tricks are sure to help those pesky stains vanish. Remember to work your way inwards from the outside of the stain to the centre. This prevents the stain from spreading. Also, treat stains when they are fresh, the longer you wait the less likely it is to take the stain out.
However, if you come across stubborn stains that just won’t say goodbye, it is advisable to take your garment to a professional to get it cleaned.
Treating your garment with care is essential for its longevity, here are more tips from Binks how to do so.