Out with the Stain

Stains are an industry hazard but here are some tips

I recently came across a webpage with some good stain removal tips which are always needed in a motel. Here are a few for you to look at. For more tips just click the link to the website at the bottom of this article.


• If fresh, sponge with cool salted water (1tsp : 600 ml water) and rinse with clear water.
Should stain persist, soak in a diaper wash/sanitiser from the supermarket that contains sodium percarbonate – read the diaper wash/sanitiser label for the chemical make-up of the product (may state sodium carbonate peroxohydrate or oxygenated bleach). Sodium percarbonate is derived from a manufacturing process of concentrated solutions of sodium carbonate and hydrogen peroxide (sodium carbonate peroxohydrate) therefore you could try using the hydrogen peroxide suggestion first. Or you can try any of the following suggestions, and they are in no particular order…
o Dilute hydrogen peroxide (1 part : 9 parts water). Purchase the strongest solution available from a pharmacy – usually “20 Volume”. Rinse well.
o Sponge with a 10% solution of Oxalic Acid, warmed to about 45°C. Rinse well.
o Sponge with dilute ammonia (1 Tsp. : 600 ml). Rinse well.
o For thick or unwashable articles, e.g. mattresses, carpets, sprinkle with pepsin powder (from your pharmacy), or spread with a thick paste of raw starch and water, leave to dry, then brush off. Repeat if necessary.

Butter, Cream & Fatty Stains
Wash in warm sudsy water if a washable fabric. If not, sponge dry fabric with a grease solvent, e.g. laundry pre-soak (spot stain remover) or dry cleaning fluid.
On upholstery and carpets, use the absorbent powder treatment, followed by a shampoo with liquid detergent, such as a Carpet/Rug Shampoo, a good quality laundry liquid or Quilt/Wool Wash. Avoid wetting backing of carpet or fabric, or discoloration occurs. Do not use grease solvents, e.g. dry cleaning fluid, on carpets or fabrics with rubberised backing.
On wallpaper, scrape off as much as possible, then use warm iron and absorbent paper. Treat remaining stain with paste of cornflour and a grease solvent. Allow to dry, brush off, and repeat if necessary.

Candle Wax
Candle wax and chewing gum can be effectively removed by placing the object that has been stained into a freezer until the staining agent is quite hard, and brittle, then the material can be literally shattered off the object that has been stained.
…then treat any residue as follows: place the stain between clean, white blotters and press with a warm iron, changing the blotter as it becomes soiled. Then sponge with dry cleaning fluid or a laundry pre-soak (spot stain remover).
In the case of coloured wax there may still be a colour stain. Sponge with a liquid made by adding ½ c of methylated spirits (wood alcohol) to ½ c water.

Chewing Gum
Scrape away as much as possible first. Rubbing the stain with ice will harden the gum and make this easier, especially on rugs and other heavy materials. Refer further under Candle Wax If the material is washable, soak in kerosene and wash in hot soapy water. For unwashable articles, use dry cleaning fluid. Several applications may be necessary.

Coffee & Tea
Remove fresh stains from cotton and linen materials by first rinsing in warm water then pouring boiling water from a height of 2 – 3 feet onto the stain. Follow by washing in soapy water. If a trace remains, bleach in the sun, or with a diaper wash/sanitiser container sodium percarbonate. Tea stains on cottons and linens can also be removed by soaking in borax and water (1 Tbsp. borax in 1 c of warm water).
Stains on wool and silk or any fabric may be sponged with lukewarm water, then apply glycerine, rubbing lightly between the hands. Let stand for half an hour. Rinse with warm water. If a grease spot remains from cream, sponge with dry cleaning fluid.

Lipstick & Other Cosmetics
e.g. eyeshadow, mascara, blusher – washing with your usual laundry product may remove these stains. Pre treat the dry fabric stain with a laundry pre-soak (spot stain remover). On an unwashable fabric, first try dry cleaning fluid.
If stains are stubborn, sponge with equal quantities of methylated spirits (wood alcohol) and household ammonia. (Test on coloured fabrics first). If colour fades, reduce ammonia by half and test again. Rinse in warm water, or wash if possible.


Stain removal website