How to Remove Stains

There are three basic methods of remov­ing stains and the one you choose de­pends on the article stained, on the fabric stained and on the stain itself.

Method 1 (dry-cleaning)

This method can be used to remove stains from carpets (but not rubber-latexed or foam-backed) and fitted up­holstery as well as from loose fabrics. Test cleaning agents first on a hidden part of the fabric before beginning stain removal. Wait 15 minutes to see if fabric-is damaged. If it is, consult professional dry-cleaners.

First remove any surface deposit from the stain. Then, if possible, put a wad of clean white cotton wool or a similar absorbent pad under the fabric with the wrong side of the fabric facing upwards. Saturate another clean pad with the recommended dry-cleaning solvent and begin removing the stain, working from the outside towards the centre to avoid making rings. Change pads on both sides fre­quently and blot the stain dry after each application of cleaning solvent.

Remove Stains

If you cannot get to the back of the stain, use the same method only work­ing from the front and using pads on the front of the fabric only. Never pour the cleaning solvent directly onto the sur­face and always use the solvent spar­ingly. Do not rub too hard.

Method 2 (absorbent)

This method cannot be used on carpets as the absorbent material can often not be removed later.

First remove any surface deposit, then spread the fabric as flat as possible. Apply the recommended absorbent powder thickly over the stain and flatten it gently. Remove the powder by brush­ing, shaking or vacuuming as soon as it is saturated and re-apply as necessary. Be careful about applying absorbent powders to dark, non-washable fabrics as they can be difficult to remove.

Method 3 (wet-cleaning)

On washable fabrics, once you have removed the surface deposit, rinse quickly with cold or warm water. Then soak the fabric in a solution of the recommended cleaning agent. If the stain persists, sponge it a little on the wrong side of the fabric using a clean white absorbent pad on both sides of the fabric, one for absorbing the stain and the other for applying the cleaning agent. Rinse with clean water and blot dry. Never soak wool, silk, non-colourfast or flame-proof fabrics.

On non-washable fabrics, after you have removed the surface deposit, sponge the stain gently with cold water. Then, if possible, stretch the stained part of the fabric over a bowl and pour cold water over the stain from a height of 2-3 ft (60-90 cm).

On upholstery and carpets, re­move the surface deposit and blot the stain. Then sponge the stain lightly with either foam shampoo or the foam of a solution of either upholstery or liquid carpet shampoo and warm water. Blot often and be careful not to overwet the upholstery or carpet. Then rinse by sponging gently with cold water. Never use household detergent on upholstery or soap, soap powder or soda on carpets.

Filed Under: Home & Maintenance


About the Author: Jason Prickett loves to write about home maintenance and stuff you can do yourself instead of hiring any professional. His step by step guides will assist you in completing your home maintenance tasks.

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