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Hints and tips for Stains: Always check remedy on a piece of material that will not spoil the garment. Solvents are Carbon tetrachloride/ methylated spirits/ lemon juice/vinegar/alcohol or benzine. Powdered substances with absorbent properties are normally best mixed into a paste first with water. These include pepsin, oats, salt, fullers earth, bran, sand breadcrumbs, talcum powder, soft cloths and cotton wool. Ammonia and washing soda are emulsifiers and mix with grease or resins to make them easier to wash out. Do not use acetone on anything but natural fibers, paraffin will counteract the effect of acetone. Do not ever use petrol on silk and rub, it can cause a spark which can explode in the vapour.

  • Alcohol is useful for removing watermarks..
  • Ball point pen ink- methylated spirits and hot water in equal quantities, add a few drops ammonia and soak the stain. Rinse in hot water. Dettol or eau de cologne can also move this,
  • Beetroot: rub with soap and leave wet in the sun to bleach.
  • Beer: add some white vinegar to washing water. Non washable fabrics need sponging with methylated spirits and rub soap into the mark let dry and brush off.
  • Blood use strong soda water. Try and soak the stain ina liter of cold water to which a teaspoon salt has been added before it dries.
  • Chewing gum. chill and remove what you can then wipe of with a rag soaked in paraffin.
  • Chocolate : non washable fabrics use carbon tetrachloride, dry and then sponge with warm water and dust with powdered pepsin or any dry colorless substance with absorbent properties. Leave for 30 minutes and then sponge with water.
  • Cream- dab detergent, rub lightly and pour hot water though the mark.
  • Deodorant stains: non washable fabrics use benzine.
  • Dye stains can be moved by soaking the garment in milk overnight.
  • Fruit and fruit juice: stretch fabric over bowl and pour hot water though stain wash normally. Old stains treat  with glycerine. Non washable fabrics: use cold water and then glycerine leave for an hour then sponge with a solvent such as Carbon tetrachloride/ methylated spirits or benzine.
  • Grease: Absorb the grease with blotting paper or kitchen towel. Use oats, salt or any dry colorless substance to soak the grease up. A dry stain can be treated with salt and carbon tetrachloride paste or a dry cleaning spray. Washable fabrics can be soaked in eucalyptus oil for an hour then washed normally. For non washable fabrics sponge with benzine. Undiluted detergent can also be applied and then pour really hot water though the stain or use dettol and do the same thing.
  • Motor car grease: rub well with another clear fat, or use salt disolved in ammonia, wash as usual.
  • Mulberry stains must be treated immediately by rubbing with a lemon and wash in soapy water
  • Gravy: Wash in lukewarm water then soak in cool saline water, adding a little ammonia. Rewash in soapy water. 
  • Ink Absorb the stain with paper or salt. then soak fresh stains in cold water. Old stains on white fabric can be covered with a cream of tartar and lemon juice paste. Leave for an hour wash and rinse, new stains treat with a 5% solution of oxalic acid and warm water.. Colored fabrics need turpentine and then a wash and rinse. Non washable fabrics: apply the above solutions with a sponge and pat dry.
  • Lipstick: washable fabrics rub in Vaseline/glycerine/ methylated spirits to loosen the stain. Dry cleanable fabrics use carbon tetrachloride sponged on.'
  • Mildew can be moved with sour milk if soaked overnight. This is without doubt the worst stain to remove. another method is to rub with soap and then sprinkle with fine chalk. Expose to the sun. You will possibly have to do this a few times to be effective.
  • Milk: Washable fabrics can be washed in cool water. Delicate fabrics soaked in glycerine and warm water, rub gently then wash normally. Non washable fabrics: sponge with ethylated spirits and dab with cold water.
  • To remove perspiration stains- sponge the area with vinegar or make a solution of three crushed asprin and the same amount of cream of tartar or eau de cologne, mix with a little water and apply to stain. or use a bicarbonate of soda solution Leave 20 minutes then wash normally. White fabrics respond well to a mixture of lemon juice and salt.

  • Pen marks on vinyl can be removed with hairspray.

  • Scorch marks: Use a cut lemon and leave in the sun. Non washable fabrics rub lightly with a solution of 1 tsp borax to a cup of water. An onion with 60g of fullers earth and 250 ml of vinegar boiled and cooled will remove scorch marks if the paste is spread over the mark and left to dry. Brush itof and wash in cold water. On white fabrics use a cut lemon and allow to dry in the sun. Woolens and silks sometimes respond to a paste of borax and glycerine, left for an hour then carefully washed. Sometimes putting a scorched article immediately in boiling water can help, but make sure the fabric can take it.
  • Mud- washable fabrics- let dry and then brush off, rub the remaining marks with boiled potato water or a borax solution. 28g to 500 ml water. For non washable fabrics use carbon tetrachloride, but first test the fabric.
  • PVA paint. cover with a rag soaked in vinegar and leave overnight. Scrape of as much of the paint as you can and wash. Cold glue needs the same treatment.
  • Wax-place blotting paper/tissue paper over the stain and press with a hot iron.