Colourful and stubborn, stains of summer are a different breed. From grass and red wine to strawberries or coffee, there’s a lot on your plate during the hot summer days. So, if you ask us, we’d say you need a special arsenal to face these stains and make sure you’re going to get rid of it completely.
Usually, a good quality laundry detergent and some really hot water would handle even the most annoying stains, particularly when you act fast on it. The problem is, however, that delicate fabrics cannot be washed with hot water. And here’s where you need to play it smart.
For a quick and no-mess clean-up, these household items are must-haves during the summer months and not only:
- Baking soda
- Corn starch
- Club soda
- White vinegar
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Laundry detergent
As already suggested, more often than not, how fast you act for removing a particular stain may as well determine your success. Fresh stains are easier to clean, without a doubt, but it also matters what kind of solvent you use to dissolve the stain. Which brings us to the next section…
A little bit of stain chemistry
A stain is nothing more than the molecules of a substance getting trapped inside the pores and the fibres of the fabric. Whatever substance you’ve spilt on your clothes, it will coat the underlying material, but also get sucked inside its fibres. When the light falls on your garment, it reflects the light of the substance trapped in the fabric, hence the stain becomes visible.
We insist on the part with “becoming visible” because sometimes, just because you no longer see a stain, it doesn’t mean it is no longer there. Stains cleaned with whiteners, for instance, are just discoloured, so that they become invisible, and not entirely removed from the fabric.
Now, removing a stain can be done by making it invisible or by dissolving the substance that caused the stain – you interfere with a cleaning agent that will break down the stain into tiny pieces that the water can wash away.
For stain removal success, you must use a solvent with a chemical composition similar to the one of the stain. That’s how you make sure that it will effectively dissolve the stain fast. Just to give a more specific example, when you’re dealing with oily stains, a cleaner based on alcohol will work best.
Handy approaches for summer stains and not only
Normally, one can try and apply some powder on the stain, to soak as much as possible from the spilt substance. For this purpose, consider the above-mentioned salt, baking soda, or corn starch.
When you’ve absorbed as much as possible from the nasty stain, the next best thing you can do is to start gradually clean up the stain. Use a clean towel, soak it in a bit of water with dish detergent, and rub the stain, going from the outer edges towards its centre.
Finally, add a prewash stain remover or a stain remover gel and after letting it sit on the fabric as recommended, start a wash load at the highest temperature mentioned on the garment’s care label.
If it’s a carpet or some upholstery you’re fighting with, you’ll have to continue washing with a cloth and lots of clean water, dabbing the moisture as much as you can.
Now, if you are to take only a few bites of information from our blog post, consider the following takeaways:
- Fruit stains normally go away with white vinegar. As a light acid, vinegar can counteract many different fruit stains, particularly the forest fruit stains.
- Coffee and tea stains can be neutralized using hydrogenated water, especially when applied to cotton, hemp or flax fabrics.
- Chocolate stains seem to cannot resist a good rub with a mixture of very saltwater.
- Whereas grass stains can also go away with the same good old hydrogenated water.
- If you’re dealing with wine stains, salt and water make, once again good home.
- While for the thicker stains, like the ones made of ketchup or oily salad dressings, a stain remover gel applied right away will seal the fate of the fabric.
Now you can go ahead and enjoy summer with more confidence. You’re not going to let stains ruin your mood because you have a solution for it!
And if you want all the spare time you can save to simply enjoy the beautiful summer days, you can easily book our professional house cleaning services and stop worrying about cleaning your home yourself.