Common household products that are great for stain removal

Stains occur on all types of clothing, carpets, and upholstery. However, some stains are stubborn and not too easy to remove. We are happy to tell you that you can use a number of the products that you already have at home. The key to success is to match the products you are using with the type of stain you are trying to get rid of. Some things work better for oily stains while others will rid you of saturated colours.

Here are some simple items, that are also used by professional cleaners, you have at home that you can use to get rid of stains:

The market is full of cleaning products of all kinds. This may cause you to overlook the most simple cleaning solution – cold water. As soon as the stain occurs, hold it under running water. Make sure it is cold and that it is running with full force. That way it will force the stain out of the fabric fibres. If you are treating an oil stain, use hot water or move to another cleaning method.

Liquid laundry detergent
Heavy-duty laundry detergent is great for stain removal. It contains most of the same enzymes as a commercial stain remover. Add a bit of it to the stained area and gently work with your fingers or a soft-bristled brush. Allow the detergent to work for 15 minutes before rinsing out. If the stain is gone completely, wash the garment as you normally would.

Dishwashing liquid
Dishwashing liquid is great for removing oil and dirt from dishes. It is also perfect for treating oily stains. Apply a small amount to the stained area and gently work in the fabric. Allow it to sit for at least 10 minutes before washing the piece of clothing.
You can also do a presoak to your stained clothes by adding one tablespoon of dishwashing detergent to 4 litres of water. Put the fabric in this solution and let it soak for at least 1 hour. For best results, choose a dishwashing liquid soap that contains degreasing agents.

Baking soda
Baking soda works as a deodoriser for smelly laundry. Add 1 cup of baking soda to 4 litres of water and use the solution as a presoak for stinky clothes. You can do this with your gym clothes or with clothing that has cooking odours. Soak for a few hours or overnight, then wash as usual. The bad smells will disappear.

Distilled white vinegar
With many cleaning uses, white distilled vinegar is also perfect for removing yellow underarm stains, as well as some odours from your clothing. For sweat stains, mix a 1:1 solution of white vinegar and water and use a soft-bristled brush to work it in the stained area. To make a presoak for smelly clothes, add 1 cup of vinegar to 4 litres of water and let the clothes sit in it for at least 30 minutes before washing them.

Hydrogen peroxide
It is a great alternative to harsh chlorine bleach. You can use it when you need to whiten clothes. It is a mild oxidising bleach so be careful when using it on dark clothes. It works as a great stain remover and is perfect for removing dye-based stains.

It can be a great stain remover for fabrics. Make sure you always use white toothpaste and not a gel one. They often contain dyes. Skip whitening toothpastes since they may contain hydrogen peroxide unless you are trying to remove a stain from something white. Wet the stained area, add a little bit of toothpaste and work it with your fingers or a soft brush. Let it sit for a few minutes before washing as usual.

Rubbing alcohol
It is amazing for removing ink stains from fabrics. Soak a cotton ball and work the stain from the outside and towards the centre. That way you will prevent it from spreading. Work slowly and change the cotton swab as it absorbs the ink.

Salt is a great mild abrasive and works best for removing rust and red wine stains. It also helps prevent liquid stains from absorbing into the fabric. For red wine stains, generously sprinkle with salt. Let it absorb the wine, then brush it away before washing. Do not leave the salt on – it may leave white stains on your fabric.

The shampoo is great for cutting through stains, grease and soil. Wet the fabric and add a dab of shampoo. Work it into the stained area with your fingers, then let it sit for 5-10 minutes, then wash the garment as recommended on the care label. Stick with plain shampoo. Always make sure it does not contain conditioner in it, since that may leave residue on your clothes.

Simple white chalk or plain cornstarch from your kitchen will help absorb oily stains. Sprinkle all over the stain and rub it in. You can use either product, they will both work well. Wait for a few minutes in order to absorb all of the oil in the stain. Brush away and repeat until the stain is all gone.

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