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Common Food Stains and How to Get Rid of Them at Home

April 15, 2021
Carla Lin

Common Food Stains and How to Get Rid of Them Yourself

As of April 12th, pubs and restaurants have been open! Finally, it’s time to sit back and enjoy a nice cold drink and a burger with your friends. But wait, what about all the inevitable pizza grease and red wine stains that comes with dining out? Not to worry, we’re here to help. DIY stain removal is easier than you think. Here’s our guide to getting rid of those pesky common food stains. 


Red Wine

The issue with Red wines is that they contain Tannin, a very dark pigment that binds strongly to fibres in textiles. Speed is key here, so act quickly and immediately throw some sparkling, tonic or soda water on the stain. The bubbles will help lift it. Then wash at 20˚C with a hydrogen peroxide (chlorine-free) based stain remover.



Grease Oil/Fat Stains

These are tricky blemishes because of the high viscosity (thickness) of the fat/oil liquid. Typically you need an 'emulsifier' like the one your own digestive system uses to break down the fat/oil into lots of small globules that can then be washed away. Dilute dishwashing liquid 50:50 with a small amount of water and apply using a toothbrush. Rinse and dab away with a cloth and repeat until the stain is reduced before washing as usual.


Ketchup


Tomato sauce and ketchup, what doesn't it go with? Clothes. It doesn’t go well with clothes. Is there anything worse than a dull red stain on your favourite white jumper? 

Working from the back of the stain, flush with cold water. Pretreat with a liquid laundry detergent, tamp the stain, and let stand for several minutes. Rinse well. Sponge with white vinegar. Rinse well.

Repeat this until you have removed as much of the stain as you can. Then pretreat with a prewash stain remover, and then wash on a low temperature. If the stain persists after this wash, rub with a liquid laundry detergent, and then soak in lukewarm water for up to 20-30 minutes.



Coffee

Coffee is your best friend until it’s all the way down that new shirt you’re wearing to work. Fortunately, it is relatively easy to remove.

All you need is sparkleing water to soak the area. Then blot with a clean cloth until the stain is gone! Easy, right?

Fruits and Berries

Fruits and berries are superfoods, but their weakness is white vinegar. If you have a berry stain, simply turn the item of clothing inside out and carefully pour warmer water over the stain, much the same as for red wine. These stains are less likely to set so don’t be afraid of using warmer temperatures.

Once your item has dried for a few hours, soak the stain in white vinegar, rinse well and leave to dry.

Butter

Getting rid of a butter stain is relatively simple. Use liquid detergent to clean the stain and rinse it very well. Use a small dab of stain remover and wash the garment in warm water. Be warned, butter can set if you use high temperatures and leave it to dry before the stain is fully removed. 

 

DOs and DON'Ts

DOs

Scrape as much food as you can off before attempting to treat the stain

Try to take action as soon as possible, before the stain gets a chance to bind too much. It is possible to erase a stain after a long time however it is easier and you are more likely to be successful the sooner you address the stain. 

Blotting with a wet cloth is generally a good first step!

DON’Ts

Never use hot water - it can set the stain in permanently. Instead, use lukewarm water.

Not sure about DIY?

If you’re not feeling confident that you will be able to get the stain out perfectly and are feeling doubtful, send your item in to Oxwash for a professional treatment and clean. Especially if it is a delicate or specialist material such as material like silk, satin, or merino wool.

Create your Oxwash account now
Together we can wash our way to a cleaner, eco-friendly future.