We’ve all been there. Your kids come in from a day outside, at school or in the nursery, with their lovely once clean clothes covered in stains. Or you’re out for a rare date night in your favourite frock and you spill sauce all over it.
Don’t worry – the trick with stains is to act immediately and to soak them, to lift off as much as possible. First, check your clothes’ laundry labels to make sure they won’t get damaged – demystify all those symbols with our Guide to Laundry Labels.
And make sure your detergent has stain removing qualities. Ariel Washing Liquid is ideal for fresh and dried-in stains, thanks to its pre-treat cap that makes it easy to accurately put detergent on stains ahead of washing.
Try these top tips on removing common food and drink stains, and see what a difference they make to your family’s wardrobe.
1. Beetroot / blackcurrant / coffee / fruit / tea / wine stains
1. Soak for one hour in cold water
2. Then use the pre-treat cap to apply Ariel Washing Liquid to the stain, and leave for a few minutes.
3. Wash as normal according to the fabric care label.
2. Tar and beach oil stains
1. Scrape off as much of the stain as possible
2. Soften the remainder with margarine or butter
3. Wipe away with a clean rag
4. Treat any remaining stain with tar cleaner
5. Then wash as normal according to the fabric care label
3. Tomato / ketchup / sauce stains
1. Soak for one hour in cold water.
2. Use the pre-treat cap to apply Ariel Washing Liquid to the stain, and leave for a few minutes Then wash as normal according to the fabric care label
4. Nail varnish stains
1. Use nail varnish remover or acetone on all fabrics except synthetics
2. Then wash as normal according to the fabric care label
5. Butter / cooking oil / grease / lipstick / margarine / mascara / shoe polish / sunscreen stains
1. Pre-treat with Ariel Washing Liquid and leave for one hour
2. Then wash at the hottest temperature allowed on the fabric care label
6. Glue / adhesive stains
1. Use nail varnish remover except on synthetic fabrics such as acetates
2. Then wash according to the fabric care label
7. Chocolate / chocolate pudding / cream / egg / grass / ice cream / jam / mayonnaise / milk / curry / chilli / mustard
1. Pre-treat with Ariel Washing Liquid using the special cap to apply direct to the stain. Leave for a few minutes.
2. Then wash as normal according to the fabric care label.
8. Iron / mould / rust stains
1. For all fabrics except wool or silk, sprinkle on salt and lemon juice.
2. Leave overnight before washing as normal.
3. For heavier stains, use a rust remover.
4. Then wash as normal according to the fabric care label.
9. Blood stains
1. If the stain is fresh, rinse immediately with cold water, then wash with Ariel 3in1 Pods according to the fabric care label.
2. For an older, more stubborn stain, apply Ariel Washing Liquid directly to the stain, leave for a few minutes, then soak in water containing Ariel for two hours, and wash as normal, according to the fabric care label.
10. Grass stains
11. Candle wax stains
1. Peel off any surface wax.
2. Sandwich the fabric with blotting paper or a kitchen towel.
3. Use a warm iron to press down on the back of the fabric.
4. Wash as normal according to the fabric care label
12. Paint stains
1. For stains from water-based latex, acrylic, emulsion and school paints, rinse while still wet in running water, then wash as normal according to the fabric care label.
2. For oil-based paint and varnish, sponge with white spirit or paintbrush cleaner, then wash as normal according to the fabric care label.
Why not visit our Laundry homepage for more ideas about dealing with your household washing?
Do you have any failsafe techniques for sorting out stains? Let us know in the comments box below.