Advanced Laundry Tips : Stain Removal

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We love airing out dirty laundry

The one thing I’ve learned in my time as a blogger is that there is no topic that translates more universally than laundry. Like birth, death and taxes, laundry is one of the unavoidable truths of life. Which explains why it’s always a hot topic for discussion when I write about it. I might be one of the few people in the world that genuinely enjoys laundry day (hands up from others who are part of team ‘I love laundry day’) so it really makes me happy to spend time here chatting fresh and clean fashion with you.

The following tips are from a fab little book I found last week called Laundry Hints and Tips by Cindy Harris. I can’t share much more than this (because of copyright laws and the fact that Cindy should get paid for her work) but if you like what you see pick yourself up a copy. I feel like mine was a handy little investment. Please keep in mind that these tips are provided by Harris to a general audience- not a eco-minded one.  Try to opt for eco-friendly detergents instead of conventional ones and only wash warm or hot in emergencies as it’s more carbon intensive.I’ve added some eco-options where available. Take what you need from the info below. Leave the rest!

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 Stain Removal Level Up

Deodorant/ Antiperspirants: Treat with a liquid detergent, then wash as normal. If more treatment is needed, use a pre-wash stain remover. Use a biological powder and in-wash stain remover. Use a biological powder and in-wash stain remover. An eco alternative is apparently one part vinegar and one part water left to soak.

Foundation: Soak in pre-wash detergent, then machine wash at the highest temperature your fabric will allow. For stubborn marks, treat with a stain remover or liquid detergent: work into dampened stain until outline of stain is gone, then rinse. If an oily spot persists, treat with a biological detergent. Rinse and wash as normal. While shaving cream isn’t a ‘natural’ alternative it’s apparently a very effective one and if it saves a fave from landfill or the rag-pile it’s worth a try.

Lipstick: Soak in a detergent solution, then dab with a proprietary stain remover. Sponge with detergent solution, then wash as normal. Another suggestion for lipstick removal is toothpaste. Apparently a little of the classic white toothpaste (not gel ones) can be rubbed in and rinsed for lipstick removal.

Nail polish: This is very difficult to remove. However you can try nail polish remover (but never on synthetic fabrics). Place the stained garment, stain side down, on paper towels and soak with nail polish remover. Replace the paper towels frequently as the stain will run into it. Repeat until stain is gone. Rinse, then wash as normal.

Grass: First treat with a proprietary grass stain remover. Then wash using a biological detergent. Or you can also try soaking in one part vinegar to two parts water pre wash.

Mud: Let dry, then remove as much of the caked mud as possible. Wash at the hottest temperature allowed for the fabric using a biological powder and in-wash stain remover. Repeat the process if necessary.

Pollen: To remove surface pollen, dab with adhesive tape (use masking tape it’s compostable) or use a vacuum cleaner nozzle/ tip on low suction. Treat with a proprietary grass stain remover, then wash as normal.

Do you have a stain removal tip? Perhaps you want to tell the tale of the time you conquered a scary stain. Maybe you fought the battle and lost? Share all!

Author: Katie

Katie Roberts is a self confessed 'write-a-holic' Environmental Scientist with a passion for Sustainable Fashion.

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