BEETROOT: Soak in cold water. Rub washing liquid into the mark with your fingers. If the stain still remains, proceed to soak fabric in warm water and wash as normal.
CHEWING GUM: Place the stained garment in a plastic bag and freeze overnight. The gum will scrape off easily. If the stain remains try loosening the gum by soaking in white vinegar or gently rubbing with egg white before washing.
CHOCOLATES: Rub off gently with a blunt knife. Using a damp sponge, gently blot at any remaining stain until it’s clean – being careful not to wet the area too much. More persistent stains may need additional work. If so, apply a little dry cleaning fluid to a sponge and very gently dab at the stain until the stain is removed. Blot dry with a dry cloth.
COFFEE AND TEA: Soak in a lukewarm detergent solution. Then treat with a dab of methylated spirits. Alternatively use a wet towelling cloth that has been dipped in cold water. Sprinkle a teaspoon of baking soda onto the coffee or tea stain and very gently massage into the fabric. Rinse off thoroughly before washing.
CRAYON OR WAX: Place stains between two sheets of paper towelling, go over the area with iron, replacing the paper as the crayon adheres to the towelling.
FRUIT OR FRUIT JUICES: Cranberry, raspberry and grape are the hardest juice stains to remove. Rub the stain with salt before washing. Rinse in cold water and soak in liquid detergent, then wash with normal detergent.
GREASE/OIL: Start by blotting as much of the excess grease as possible using a paper towel or tea towel. Scrape as much off as possible with a blunt knife, then work in neat washing liquid with fingers. Alternatively Sprinkle with cornflour, allow the oil to be absorbed, clean fabric and wash immediately. Repeat these steps if necessary.
TOMATO SAUCE: Very gently scrape off any excess using a plastic spatula or a flat-edged butter knife. Use a damp sponge to gently blot the stain then using a dry cloth to alternately blot the stain dry. Wash immediately. Don’t rub fabric harshly to remove stains as this can abrade fibres and cause fading.
WINE: Cover with salt to absorb the alcohol then soak in cold water and proceed to wash as normal. Or soak the red wine stain in white wine (or soda water). Next, cover the stain with a thick baking soda and water paste. Leave the baking soda on the stain for a few hours, moistening the solution with water. Once the treatment is done, wash the fabric as normal.
Stains usually become problematic if they have dried into the fibres therefore it is important to treat stains as soon as they occur. When using certain solvents, use it sparingly as too much solvent and abrasion can have an adverse effect on the fabrics colour.