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Cleaning Guide: How to Get Rid of Any Fabric Stain

There are few things as annoying as putting on a new item of clothing and spilling something on it moments later. Stains on garments can happen to anyone and at any time – when you are cooking, when you are eating, when you are painting, or even when you are applying makeup. Some of these stains can be awfully difficult to remove, but most fabrics can be salvaged if you know what to do. 
Before you throw away that stained piece of clothing in frustration, try these tips and tricks. These tried and tested techniques can help remove almost any type of stain – from coffee to blood – from fabrics and save them from being permanently damaged.

General tips on stain removal:

Stain removal tips, powder detergent
* Act quickly! The faster you treat a stain, the better chance you have of removing it permanently. If you let the stain dry, even the best stain removal technique may not be able to get rid of it.
* Blotting is the key to stain removal. It is the process of absorbing a stain with a dry paper towel or clean white cloth. Blotting a fresh spill or stain is one of the best ways to tackle persistent stains. 
* Avoid rubbing the stain, as it could be absorbed into the fibers of the fabric and become even more difficult to remove. 
* Make sure to always rinse off the stain with cold water first, as it’s less likely to set a stain. Hot water can set milk, egg, or blood stains. 
* Before treating any stain, check the labels on the garment. Some fabrics are dry cleaning only. 
* For carpet stains, be sure to perform a test on a small, obscure area first to see if the solution works. 
* Don't mix stain removal products as mixing different chemicals can often cause toxic fumes which are bad for your health and clothing.
* Avoid using bleach if you want to remove only one stain on a garment. This can make the color of your garment patchy or uneven. 
* Don’t put stained clothes into the dryer as the heat can set the stain. In fact, keep stained garments away from heat as much as possible, even lamps.
* Keep trying and be patient. Some stains will be stubborn and will take time to remove. You may have to keep repeating the treatments a few times to get the desired results. So keep at it and don’t give up.
Now, let's take a look at different types of fabric stains and how to get rid of them effectively. 

Coffee stains 

Stain removal tips, Coffee stains
If you are a regular coffee drinker, spills that end up on your clothes are almost unavoidable. These brown spots can be treated.
First, try and blot off as much of the coffee as you can with a paper towel or clean white cloth. Next, mix 1 quart (950 ml) of warm water, a squirt of liquid dish soap, and 1 tablespoon of white vinegar, and use a clean piece of cloth to gently rub the stained area with the solution. You can even run hot water directly through the stain to loosen the coffee stain first.

Grass stains

Stain removal tips, Grass stains
If you have children in the house or frequently work in the garden, then your clothes are bound to get some grass stains from time to time. Thankfully, grass stains can be easily treated with a laundry detergent. Liquid detergents with enzymes in them will help you get rid of grass stains.
Soak the stained item in cool water and mix a few drops of liquid detergent in it. Let it soak overnight, and in the morning, wash it with lukewarm water. If the stain doesn’t go away, then try mixing a solution of oxygen bleach and cool water, and let the article of clothing soak overnight. Wash with lukewarm water again.

Wine stains

Stain removal tips, Wine stains

Wine stains on your shirt can look particularly ugly. There are a few stain-removing products on the market today that are manufactured specifically for these red spills. If you don’t have one on hand, there’s another way out, too:

Mix a solution of 2-3 tablespoons of oxygen bleach and cool water, and let the stained garment soak overnight. Launder normally after taking it out. Oxygen bleach is very effective at cleaning heavily stained garments like wine spills.

Oil and grease stains

Stain removal tips, Oil and grease stains
Oil and grease stains are pretty common for someone who has to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. These oily spots can be very tough to get out of clothes, but a simple trick might do the job. Make a solution of 50 percent vinegar and 50 percent water, and apply it generously onto the stain. Next, treat the garment with laundry soap and water. Launder normally in warm water.

Blood stains

Stain removal tips, Blood stains
Bloody noses, cuts, and scraped knees can all cause blood stains on your favorite clothes. The key to treating blood stains on clothes is to act fast and flush the stained area with cold water as soon as possible. That's because dried blood can leave a permanent mark on clothing. Once you remove the garment from cold water, soak the stained item for 10 minutes in a mixture of one cup of vinegar and two cups of warm water. Gently rub it in before laundering as normal.
Remember, that blood is one of the hardest stains to remove. So be patient and repeat the treatment a few times if the stain doesn’t go away immediately.

Mud stains

Stain removal tips, Mud stains
If you have kids or hyperactive pets in the house, then you are likely to be dealing with mud-stained clothes frequently. While dirt can make quite a mess on clothes, they are not that hard to remove. The simplest way to do so is to rub liquid detergent into the stain and let it sit for 15-20 minutes. Next, rub the stained area with some soap and a brush and repeat twice if the mark is particularly persistent. Dry the garment only after all traces of the stain have been removed.

Ketchup stains

Stain removal tips, ketchup
Like blood stains, ketchup stains can be removed completely when they are fresh. So, try and get them as early as possible. Tomato-based stains can be quite stubborn, but you can get rid of them by using the right solution and having some patience. 
First, place the stained garment face down on a clean paper towel. Next, pre-treat the underside of the stain with liquid laundry detergent by rubbing the stained area gently. Rinse well with white vinegar. Now, soak the cloth in a solution of lukewarm water mixed with all-fabric bleach. Rinse and launder normally. 
If the stain remains, then soak in bleach solution for 15 minutes and rinse properly.

Wax stains

Stain removal tips, Wax stains
The first thing to remember as you are removing wax drippings from your clothes is to allow the wax to dry. Remove the excess by scraping it off with a table knife. That should get rid of the bulk of the wax from the clothing. To removing the remaining wax, place plain white towels on either side of the fabric. Now, press an iron (on a low, non-steam setting) over the backside of the stain to release the wax onto the towels. Repeat the process until all the wax is gone from the fabric.
Now, you can treat the garment with any stain remover. Soak it in the solution for 30 minutes and launder normally.

Paint stains 

Stain removal tips, Paint stains 
Paint stains can be extremely tough to remove, and the best way to get rid of them from clothes is to act fast. If you can get it while the stain is still wet, you can eliminate it completely. First, rinse the paint out under lukewarm water and wash normally. Now, soak the stained fabric with a mix of half detergent and half warm water. Blot and rub the area with a rag or paper towel. Rinse and repeat until the stain is gone.

Makeup stains

Stain removal tips, Makeup stains
Makeup stains and smudges can happen even if you are very careful. However, most liquid-based makeup — like foundation, BB cream, and mascara — is oil-based. The trick is to combat this by using a strong grease-fighting agent, such as dish soap. Wet the stained area with cold water and apply dish soap on the spot with a soft toothbrush. Keep scrubbing lightly until the stain is gone. Launder normally using bleach for whites. 
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