6 Natural At-Home Stain Removers
At home-remedies that you or your housekeeper can use to battle the toughest of stains.
From grass stains on the children’s white t-shirts to lipstick on your collar, stains are an inevitable part of life. If you are wary about using toxic or corrosive substances in your home, try these natural solutions that will fight common stains without risking your health or the environment.
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Here are 6 common stains and the natural stain removers that you or your housekeeper can use to fight them:
1. Grass stains
It is not only children that come home with grass stains on their clothes. Adults often find the pesky stains after gardening or lounging outside. Thankfully, there are natural solutions that work on these tough stains.
Light textiles with grass stains can be soaked overnight in milk or buttermilk. The next day, wash the garment with clear water and then put it into the washing machine as usual.
Additionally, lemon juice or vinegar can help against grass stains. Apply them to the stain and gently massage. Then wash as normal. If there is still a hint of stain after washing, rub it with gall soap and leave it for two hours before rinsing thoroughly.
2. Coffee stains
There is nothing we need less than getting a big coffee stain down our fronts first thing in the morning. But when it happens, there are steps you can take to minimise – and eliminate – the damage.
Firstly, dab the stain with kitchen paper to absorb the liquid. Wash the fabric with lukewarm water. If the coffee had milk in it, you should also add some detergent. Heavy discolouration can be removed with baking soda. Sprinkle the powder on the stain, pour lukewarm water over it and wait 20 minutes so everything has time to work well.
If the coffee stain isn’t fresh and has already dried, gall soap is the better choice. Massage the soap into the stain and then wash the garment at the usual temperature in the washing machine.
3. Red wine
Nothing ruins a cosy moment with a glass of red wine quite like spilling it on your shirt, tablecloth or brand new white carpet. A quick response is your best friend to a red wine spill as it will prevent it from penetrating completely into the fabric.
If you have a bottle of sparkling water on hand, douse the stain with it as the carbonic acid in the water will dissolve the dyes. Using kitchen paper, absorb the liquid with a light dab. Alternatively, add a mixture of lemon juice and salt to the stained area. After a few minutes, simply remove the salt with a soft brush.
4. Lipstick marks
Getting lipstick on your collar while putting on a jumper or shirt is an unfortunately common problem. And to make matters worse, the combination of colour pigments and grease make the stain particularly stubborn. However, you can fight this type of stain with high-quality alcohol.
Gently dab the stain with a cloth soaked in clear alcohol. You should use a substance with a high alcohol content, such as vodka. Work your way in from the edge of the stain. With this method, you should be able to remove most lipstick stains without the use of harsh chemicals.
Yellow stains from deodorants on light clothing can be combated with citric acid. To apply this, dissolve three tablespoons of citric acid powder – which can be bought in many pharmacies – in one litre of water. Soak the clothes overnight and then wash them as usual in the machine.
White deodorants on dark linen are treated similarly. Instead of the citric acid, dissolve vinegar in lukewarm water and soak the soiled garment in it before putting it into a regular machine wash.
6. Grease stains
As grease starts to melt when it is hot, you should attack greasy stains with water that is as hot as possible and a dash of detergent. Rub the area as little as possible. Instead, try to remove the grease with dry dabs.
If you rather try without the hot water, you can cover the area with corn starch or potato flour. Allow the product to work until it absorbs all the fat. Then brush it off. If stains are still appearing after the brushing, repeat the process. Blotting paper can also be a saviour in times of need. Simply iron the blotting paper over the stain until the paper has completely absorbed the fat out of the fabric.
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