Spills, spots and stains. Day ruiners. Expensive, unpredictable day ruiners.
You can’t escape them, but we don’t want them to destroy your favourite clothes, so we’ve pulled together a little bit of information to help you handle any stain like a pro.
There are three fundamental principles when it comes to treating ALL stains.
Remove solids. Machines aren’t designed to remove chunks of food, or other, so don’t put it in your machine.
The sooner the better. You don’t want your stain to set, it’ll make the job harder. Keep the stain wet with soda water, or an ice cube, or anything you find, then put it in the wash as soon as you get home.
Check before drying. In light of the above information, this one’s pretty logical. Drying clothes that are stained, sets the stain. Make sure you check that the stain has been removed before you pull it out of the machine.
Now for the finer details.
Broadly speaking, there are two types of stains; dye stains and protein stains.
Protein stains are stains caused by things that contain protein (go figure) including;
- Blood stains
- Dairy stains (including milk, cream, ice cream)
- Some non-dairy milk stains such as infant formula
- Egg stains
- Glue stains
- White marks caused by deodorant
- Vomit stains
- Sweat stains.
Dye stains are stains that are not caused by protein, including;
- Water-based inks
- Chocolate or coffee stains
- Wine stains
- Juice stains
Then there are combination stains.
- Grass stains
- Make up
You’ll need to tailor your approach depending on the stain. Dye stains can be removed using the hottest setting for the fabric and a standard detergent.
If the clothes are white, you can also use bleach or a shot of vinegar to aid in the removal of the stain.
If your stain is a protein or combination stain, your approach will need to be different. And it’ll need to include enzymes.
Enzymes are funny little creatures that ‘eat’ biological / protein matter. They work better at modest temperatures like 30 - 40 degrees. They are found in many detergents (like ours). They are most definitely not in wool or silk detergents, because wool and silk are proteins and the enzymes will eat it.
So, with protein stains soak the garment in cold water with your normal (enzyme inclusive) detergent or alternatively spot treat for about an hour before putting it in the wash. If the stain is seriously serious, you might need to soak for up to a few hours.
If you find that the stain has partially removed, or changed, it could be because it’s a combination stain or dye stain.
We reiterate, don’t wait to see how bad it is when it’s dry - you’ll set it and you wont be able to try again.
If you’re sure enzymes are not removing the stain, put it back in the wash, and use a hotter setting and add bleach or vinegar.
That’s it folks.