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How To Remove The Most Common Stains From Your Clothes Guide

May 9, 2022
Hannah McBrearty

The ultimate guide to removing common stains

A stubborn stain can be the nail in the coffin for many garments. In fact, it is one of the most common reasons for throwing out as the item was so cheap, many don’t see the value in trying to mend it. With the knowledge that the fashion industry is in need of slowing down, it is a good time to change our behaviour towards damaged clothing.

Here at Oxwash we always want to help keep your clothes as good as new, for as long as possible, and if you're not able to send your items to us for stain removal, then this guide will be your best friend for your at home laundry.

How to remove Bloodstains from clothes
Fresh stain  
  1. Run the stain under cold water (Do not use hot water as it will only set the stain more)
  2. Wash with your normal wash setting 
Dried Stains
  1. Use a pre-treatment such as Vanish 0% or if you are looking for an all-natural remedy try applying diluted white vinegar and then rinse with cold water. 
  2. Wash with your normal wash setting 

How to remove wine from clothes
  1. Blot immediately 
  2. Cover with salt and stretch over a bowl 
  3. Pour boiling water over the stain, provided the fabric can withstand the temperature
  4. Wash with your normal wash setting
  5. If stain remains, apply a white vinegar mix to the area and then rinse with cold water.

How to remove Curry stains
  1. Blot immediately with cold water
  2. Apply your laundry detergent or stain remover and blot onto the stain with a clean cloth then leave for 30 minutes
  3. Wash with your normal wash setting and let air dry

How to remove Baby Formula from clothes
  1. Pre-treat the stain with an enzyme product. We recommend using Oxi action stain remover powder from Vanish
  2. Make sure to soak for at least 30 minutes, or for best results soak for several hours. (Enzymes work well in lower water temperatures and require less detergent to get a good clean. 
  3. Wash with your normal wash setting 

 

How to remove Adhesive from clothes
  1. Apply icy water to the surface area of the stain
  2. Scrape with a dull knife to remove all excess possible. 
  3. Saturate with a prewash stain remover and then add to your normal wash cycle.

 

How to remove Candle Wax from clothes
  1. Scrape off as much wax as possible with a dull knife.
  2. Place the fabric between two sheets of brown paper or kitchen roll and press with a warm iron. 
  3. Apply a prewash stain remover then add to your normal wash cycle.

 

How to remove Chocolate from clothes
  1. Remove excess immediately.
  2. Once able, soak the garment in cool water. 
  3. Then pre-treat with a prewash stain remover.
  4. Launder using the hottest setting possible for the fabric. (Check the garment label for wash details.

 

How to remove Coffee / Tea from clothes
  1. Use a sponge and some cold water to dab the affected area. 
  2. Pre-treat with a prewash stain remover, or if you don’t have one to hand try using a small amount of liquid or powder laundry detergent. 
  3. If an old set stain, try soaking in a pre-treatment product containing enzymes then add it to your normal wash cycle. 

 

How to remove Lipstick / Makeup from clothes
  1. Pre-treat with prewash stain remover, or if you don’t have one use a liquid/powder detergent. 
  2. Rub the area with a bar of soap.
  3. Wash on your normal wash setting. 

 

How to remove Deodorant from clothes 
Light Stains 
  1. Pre-treat with liquid laundry detergent then add to your normal wash cycle. 
Heavy Stains
  1. Pre-treat with prewash stain remover. Leave for up to ten minutes. 
  2. Launder with an Oxygen bleach. 

 

How to remove Dye Transfer from clothes
  1. Use a packaged colour remover, and follow instructions. 
  2. Add to your normal wash cycle 

 

How to remove Fabric Softener from clothes
  1. Rub the stain with a bar of soap.
  2. Rinse out and then add to your regular wash cycle. 

 

How to remove Grease / Oil from clothes
Light Stains
  1. Pre-treat with a prewash stain remover, or if you don’t have one use a small amount of a liquid/powder detergent. 
  2. Launder using the hottest setting possible for the fabric. 
Heavy Stains 
  1. Place stain on a sheet of brown paper or paper towel. 
  2. Apply cleaning fluid to the back of the stain.
  3. Replace the sheet of paper towel as much as needed. 
  4. Rinse 
  5. Wash on the highest setting possible for garment fabric (check garment label for wash settings)

 

How to remove Ink / Nail Polish from Clothes
  1. Use a sponge and some rubbing alcohol to dab the stain. 
  2. Place the affected area on a piece of kitchen roll and apply rubbing alcohol to the back of the stain. 
  3. Rinse 
  4. Wash on your regular wash setting

How to remove Mould from clothes
 Coloured clothing 
  1. Scrape off as much of the mould as possible by gently brushing with a toothbrush and cool water. 
  2. Treat the stain with white wine vinegar and allow to sit for several minutes. 
  3. Wash at the hottest temperature possible for the garment (Check garment label for wash details)
Whites 
  1. Scrape off as much of the mould as possible by gently brushing with a toothbrush and a diluted bleach mix (1 part bleach, 3 parts water).
  2. Allow to sit for several minutes. 
  3. If possible, let the garment air dry in direct sunlight, which can also help kill mould spores.
  4. Wash at the hottest temperature possible for the garment (Check garment label for wash details)

How to remove Sweat Stains from clothes
Fresh stains 
  1. Apply ammonia 
  2. Let sit for several minutes 
  3. Rinse 
  4. Wash at the hottest setting possible for the garment (check garment label for washing details) (never mix ammonia and bleach)
Old stain
  1. Apply white vinegar 
  2. Let sit for several minutes 
  3. Rinse 
  4. Wash at the hottest setting possible for the garment with a colour safe bleach (check garment label for washing details)
Whites 
  1. Mix equal parts baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and water as usual.  (Hydrogen peroxide is a natural bleaching agent and so should only be used for whites)
  1. Rub mixture into the stained area then allow to sit for an hour
  2. Wash at the hottest setting possible for the garment with a colour safe bleach (check garment label for washing details)

Even though they might seem like they will never come out, with the right stain removal process you will have a far better chance of success. Even the most notoriously difficult to remove stains, such as red wine or ink, can be removed when you know how. 
 
One of the most important things to remember when trying to remove stains is to act fast. The sooner you tackle a stain the easier it will be to remove. 
 
A final top tip to remember - Don’t rub, Blot! If you’re interested to know why and to learn about other laundry mistakes to avoid, head over to our blog on 5 of the most common laundry mistakes. 
 
Still struggling to remove that stubborn stain? Before you lose all hope, try sending it to Oxwash via our collection or postal service! We will get our experienced laundry expertise to take a look at the garment and apply our professional treatment to help lift that stain.  

 

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