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Natural Stain Removers



Immediately sprinkle baking soda on the wet patch to neutralize acid.  Rinse with plenty of water.  Wash after neutralization.


Acids can be corrosive. Handle with care. Acid spills can lead to fabric tendering.

Adhesive Tape

Harden with ice and remove the bulk of the adhesive tape.  Soak in perchloroethylene, methylated spirits or kerosene. Folow with a good wash.





Treat as soon as possible. Alcohol stains, if left, will turn brown.  Remove fresh stains with plenty of water.  If the stain persists, rub with glycerine, leave to stand for 30 minutes and rinse.  Older stains may be removed by sponging on methylated spirits or surgical spirits. Follow wirth a good washing.

Glycerine is available at most pharmacies or hairdressers. Surgical spirits can be found at most pharmacies.



Baby Oil

Blot off excess with tissue or toilet paper.  Rub lightly using dishwashing liquid and leave to stand for a few minutes (15-20).  Wash thoroughly.





Rinse immediately in a solution of 1 tablespoon of vinegar to 1 litre of cold water.

Bleach stains cannot be fixed.




Fresh stains: sponge with a cool saline solution (teaspoon of salt per litre of water) and rinse with plenty of fresh water.

Older stains: Make a solution of 1 part Vol. 20 Hydrogen Peroxide and 9 parts water. Rinse affected area in the solution, then rinse well.  Repeat if stain is still present. 


If a weaker solution of peroxide is available at your pharmacy then mix a stronger solution and check colour fastness in an inconspicuous area of the fabric. 




Scrape away excess and wash in warm water with normal detergent.  If the stain persists do NOT iron.  Rinse in perchloroethylene or professionally dry clean.


Once ironed in, fatty stains are difficult to remove.


Candle Wax


Scrape away excess. Place affected item in the freezer until the wax is hard.  Shatter away wax.  Wash with detergent or dry clean.  If stain persists place fabric between paper towels and iron.  The paper towels will absorb the wax.  Replace paper towels as often as needed.  If a colour stain persists sponge with a 50/50% solution of methylated spirits and water.



Chewing Gum


Harden with ice and remove as much as possible.  Remove excess by soaking in kerosene and then wash thoroughly.





Rinse in warm water until the stain fades.  Then apply glycerine and rub lightly.  Let it stand for 30 minutes. Wash as normal.  If stain persists, sprinkle borax and pour boiling water through the stain. 





See Candle Wax





Rinse in warm water until the stain fades. Then apply glycerine and rub lightly.  Let it stand for 30 minutes then wash as normal.  If the stain persists, sponge with a solution of borax and water. 


Glycerine is available at most pharmacies or hairdressers.




Sponge with warm water.  Do NOT use hot water as this hardens the stain.  IF the stain persists make up a paste of cream of tartar and crushed aspirin. Apply to the stain and leave for 30 minutes.  Rinse thoroughy.





See Butter





Sponge with methylated spirits then wash as normal.





Rinse in dettol.  Sponge with pure lemon juice.  The stain can also me soaked in milk.  Sour milk is more effective than fresh.  Rinse in perchloroethylene.





See Butter





If caught early enough, mildew will wash out in normal detergent.  A mild bleach solution will work but may harm the fabric.


In the case of mildew, prevention is better than cure.


Nail Polish


Apply acetone to remove and then wash as normal.


Not suitable for Viscose Rayon and Viscose blends




See Baby Oil





PVA (waterbased): rinse immediately with lots of water.  If dried, apply glycerine to soften, then attempt to wash out. 

Oil based enamels: soak area in turpentine or kerosene then wash as normal.


Once dry, paints are virtually impossible to remove.




Fresh stains should wash out easily.  If stain persists then sponge with a strong ammonia solution and rinse immediately. Older stains should be sponged with a weak warm vinegar solution, then washed.  A borax solution will kill odours.


Test for colour fastness when using vinegar or ammonia.




Rinse spot in warmer solution of 1 teaspoon of oxalic acid per litre of water.


Caution!  Use suitable gloves when handling oxalic acid.




Sponge with 1 part Jeyes fluid and 3 parts water.  Also try perchloroethylene.





Allow to dry.  Crush and remove dust.  Soak in perchloroethylene to remove excess.





Rinse in warm water until stain fades.  Apply glycerine and rub lightly.  Let stand for 30 minutes then wash as normal.


Glycerine is available at most pharmacies or hairdressers.




Urine composition differs.  So the remedy will also differ.  First soak in a solution containing 1 tablespoon of ammonia to 8 oz. warm water.  If unsuccessful, soak in a solution containing equal amounts of vinegar and water.  Follow with a normal washing.