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Do you have a hard time getting unwanted stains out of your
favourite item of clothing? Well, Simon Rademan, South African
fashion designer and stylist has decided to share some
“grandma-tips”, proven procedures and google-search answers with
you. Although the suggestions on this page works, he still
suggests that you always check manufacturer's instructions
first and/or always try a test patch first. If you are unsure as to
whether the stain you are trying to remove will be successful,
take additional professional cleaning advice first.
- How to clean different fabrics
- How to remove unwanted stains
Wash as usual in as hot a setting as the fabric can take, using
a biological detergent. Older stains should be soaked first in
washing soda and warm water.
Dab with a cloth dipped in cold water (never warm/hot). If the
stain persists, soak the mark in cold water with a squirt of
washing-up liquid for 10 minutes, then dab dry. If the item is
white or colourfast (test on an inconspicuous area if you are
not sure) pour hydrogen peroxide through the fabric, scrub and
rinse in cold water.
Harden the wax by pressing ice against it. Scrape off the wax
with a blunt knife, then cover what is left with a sheet of
kitchen paper and ironing over the top with a cool iron. Do not
touch carpet fibres directly with the iron.
Rub ice on the gum to freeze it and scrape off as much as you
can with a blunt knife. If this method isn’t working, heat the
gum instead using a hairdryer, then peel off the melted gum,
using a plastic bag over your hand. Increase the heat by
rubbing in a deep-heating rub before using the hairdryer. Once
the gum has been lifted, wash the spot with mild detergent and
Scrape off as much as you can with a blunt knife then soak in a
washing soda solution. Wash as normal using as hot a setting as
your fabric can take.
Soak in a warm water and washing soda solution, then wash on as
hot a setting as the fabric can take. Stubborn marks may be
removed by soaking in a 1:2 clear vinegar and water solution.
Scrape off what you can, then dab with methylated spirits.
Rinse and wash as normal.
Apply liquid detergent immediately, then wash as usual.
Stubborn marks can be treated with a hydrogen peroxide solution
(test on an inconspicuous area first).
Most are washable. Blot up as much as you can with kitchen
towel then wash as usual. Use a proprietary stain remover on
stubborn marks. If you get felt-tip pen on fabrics and clothes,
rub milk on the stains and rub. Then wash on a 40 c and the
stain will disappear.
Soak up as much as you can by dabbing with kitchen towel or a
clean cloth, then shampoo the carpet/wash the fabric.
Start by sponging the area with warm soapy water to dissolve the
glue – you may have to repeat this process several times.
If that doesn’t work, rub ice on the glue first to make it hard
and brittle then scrape off as much as you can with a blunt
knife. Rinse any remaining stain in plenty of cold water. If
neither of these tricks work, you can buy proprietary glue
removers from DIY stores – they should do the job.
Use a proprietary stain remover then wash as usual on the
hottest possible setting, using a biological detergent. Dab
stubborn marks with methylated spirits. For grass stains on
white clothing rub molasses on stain and launder in hot water
when doing your laundry. It really does work!
fats and oils:
Salad dressing, hand cream, bacon – it all has a habit of
spreading itself about.
Soak in a solution of washing soda and cold water, then wash as
normal using biological detergent. Colour-run removal products
work on whites, or soak in a weak bleach solution.
Hard to remove. Scrape off as much as you can with a blunt
knife, then rub fabric against fabric with a little soap or
washing-up liquid, and wash as usual. If the stain persists,
try a proprietary stain remover. Dab non-washable fabrics with
methylated spirits. Try using petroleum jelly on lipstick marks
before they go in the wash.
Flush the stain immediately with cold water. Repeat as
necessary, then clean the area as usual. Remove lingering
smells with a deodorising spray.
Lay the fabric face down on a cloth and dab the stain from the
other side with nail-varnish remover. If the stain persists,
try dry cleaning.
- Oil based:
Dab the mark before it dries with white spirit, then when you
have removed as much as possible, wash with hot water and
detergent. To remove paint from clothing, no matter how long
its been there, use equal part ammonia and turpentine. Saturate
the spot(s) for several minutes and then wash with warm soapy
- Water based:
Dab the spill with fresh water or rinse out the item if
possible. When as much paint is removed as possible, fabrics can
be washed as usual. Dried paint stains are more tricky but may
respond to a specialist cleaner. To remove paint from clothing
no matter how long its been there use equal part ammonia and
turpentine. Saturate the spot(s) for several minutes and then
wash with warm soapy water.
Wrap some sticky tape round your hand and carefully dab it on
the pollen to lift it, or suck it up with the vacuum. Treat the
mark with proprietary stain remover. If you get a pollen stain
on your clothes, don’t panic! The pollen is very light and
hopefully won’t be part of the fabric just yet. Get some sticky
tape and very carefully pull off as much as you can manage.
Don’t brush at all.
Forget salt, it doesn’t do the trick at all. Instead, blot as
much as possible with kitchen towel, soak with sparkling or soda
water, then blot again. Repeat the process, then sponge with
soapy water and blot dry again. If blotting is not enough, wash
as normal. Stubborn marks can be treated with a proprietary
Rust can also leave a bad stain on fabrics unless dealt with
sharpish. Apply a paste of lemon juice and bicarbonate of soda
to the rust (test an inconspicuous area first), leave to
penetrate for a couple of hours, then wash as usual.
From non-washable fabrics: Dry clean the item, or if you are
feeling brave, lightly sponge the mark in a weak solution of
clear vinegar and water. Test in an inconspicuous area first.
Try lemon on wool instead. From washable fabrics: Soak in a
vinegar solution, then wash using a biological detergent and
in-wash stain remover.
Scrape carefully to remove what you can. Hold a cloth or
kitchen paper over the stain while you apply eucalyptus oil or
heavy-duty hand cleanser (like you’d find in a garage) to the
other side. Rinse well and wash as usual. From shoes: Try
dabbing with white spirit, although test on an inconspicuous
From washable fabrics: Rinse, then machine wash as normal.
From clothing or bedding: Shake out any solids into the toilet,
then rinse the item in cold water. Rub a liquid detergent into
the stain, then wash as normal.
- How to clean different fabrics
consultation, our aim is to show you the possibilities of
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