Laundry Advice: How to Remove Common Stains from Clothing

It can be really annoying to get a stain on your favourite garment - but what is the best way to remove it? Treatment will vary depending on the garment type and the type of stain. Do be careful with delicate items. you may want to seek professional help from your local dry cleaning shop if the stained garment is delicate or expensive.

Soak the garment in cold, salted water before you wash. If the stain is old, you can add a few drops of ammonia or apply a paste of cornflower and water, then brush it off when dry before washing.

Chewing gum
Put the clothing item into a plastic bag or carrier bag and leave it in the freezer for about an hour. Once frozen, it should be easy to crack the gum or gently chip it off with a knife.

Sponge the back of the stain with methylated spirits. Wash as normal.

With a knife, gently scrape away any excess grease and then sprinkle talcum powder over the stain and then leave to stand for about 25 minutes. Brush away the powder, pre-treat the stain and wash according to the garment's washing instructions.

Try a non-acetate hairspray or apply a paste composed of mustard and water. Leave for 15 minutes, then wash and rinse. For felt-tip pens, use methylated spirits. For white fabrics, the stain may be harder to remove so try applying salt and lemon to the stain and then hold the area over steam.

Tea and Coffee
First, soak the garment in a small amount of warm water. Then Gently rub in liquid detergent and then wash according to the garment's washing instructions.

Gently chip away as much wax as you can with a knife, then cover what remains with paper towels or plain paper and press a warm iron on top. Change the paper towels as the wax is absorbed until the stain has gone.