It is extremely sad just how a simple mistake can ruin your clothes. You drift away for a second, and coffee spills over your beautiful top. You hang your clothes over a rusty hanging rail, and suddenly it has a permanent stain and you can’t fix it. Stains have ruined a lot of our clothes and other useful fabrics. A recent Youtube video I watched talks about sustainability, and how the fast clothes industry is ruining the environment. That said, it’s important to conserve your clothes for as long as you can so that you are not constantly buying new ones because of damage or stains.
In some instances, your clothes may be damaged, but I believe it is worth a try to use some home remedies to turn the situation around. Here are some stains, and how you can fix them.
- Ink Stains
Ink stains are obvious, and that’s possibly the worst part about them. Much as you try, you can’t ignore an ink stain. To dissolve a ballpoint ink stain, use nail polish remover. It is oil-based, and can therefore dissolve the ink. However, keep in mind that nail polish remover is also strong, so there is a chance it could change the look of your fabric.
This, however, won’t work for a felt pen ink stain. For a felt pen ink stain, you will need rubbing alcohol. Put the item of clothing on a bit of paper or a towel to prevent getting rubbing alcohol all over the place. Keep moving the paper towel around so that a clean piece is touching it. Keep on doing this until no more ink is going onto the paper towel. Keep on blotting away until no more ink is appearing on the rubbing alcohol-covered cloth.
- Sweat stain
Few things are worse than sweat stains. They can spoil your entire day and embarrass you in some instances. What’s important is to know how to get rid of the stain the correct way. While sweat stains can occur over the course of one day, it is also possible to get permanent sweat stains over time. To fix this, pre-treat the soiled spots, either with a mixture of your regular detergent and white vinegar or a paste of baking soda and either water or hydrogen peroxide.
- Bleach stains
It is possible to accidentally mix your clothes up while doing your laundry, and in the midst of it you end up destroying them. Technically, you can’t completely fix bleach stains. What you can do, however, is to restore the colour that was discoloured. You can use rubbing alcohol, gin, or vodka. Moisten a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol, gin, or vodka, then dampen the bleached area using the moistened cotton. When done, start an outward to inward rubbing. The cloth has to be moist throughout the process to make way for the transfer of colour. Continue rubbing until the bleached spot, and the unbleached place of your clothes are blended together.
- Toothpaste stains
If you’re lucky, toothpaste stains can come off when you wash your garments. However, the stain may spread to other parts of the garment thereby doing more harm than good. The culprit for toothpaste stains is likely titanium dioxide, an ingredient used in toothpaste that makes the paste look whiter. It does not whiten your teeth; it just makes the toothpaste white.
If the toothpaste contains titanium dioxide, take the garment to a professional dry cleaner and identify and point out the stain. If the toothpaste does not contain titanium dioxide and the fabric does not water spot use a white cloth dipped in plain cool water to remove the stain. Gently rub the spots with the cloth and then blot with a dry white cloth to remove moisture.
- Rust stains
Rust stains are ugly. They can destroy not only your clothes but also your floor dusters and other fabrics. The worst part is that they look like dirt. White vinegar is rust’s worst enemy and one of the best rust stain removal remedies you can buy. When you act fast, it can eliminate even tough stains.
You could also apply lemon juice and salt. Start by sprinkling the stain with the salt, then fully cover it with lemon juice. Allow the rust remover to sit for about ten minutes, then rinse.
- Paint stains
Paint stains are easy to get. You can lean against a wet wall, and suddenly your outfit is destroyed. Not to worry, though, because the damage is reversible. A cleaning expert revealed that beer is one of the most effective ways to get rid of paint stains. Rubbing the alcoholic liquid on the stains should completely banish all the visible marks.
Rubbing alcohol is another great solution for removing latex paint stains. First, wet the stain with some warm water so that the stained spot is damp. Then soak a cotton ball or a toothbrush (that you’re finished using, of course) in rubbing alcohol and scrub it on the stain. Rinse it with warm water and repeat the process as needed.
- Red wine stains
While red wine may be one of the greatest pleasures in life, it can also stain your clothes with a bloody red. White vinegar, which neutralizes purples and reds, is a good choice for getting red wine stains out of clothes but it can’t do it alone. Cover the stain in white vinegar, then apply a small amount of watered-down dish soap. Keep blotting to lift the stain. Alternatively, mix one-part dishwashing liquid and three parts hydrogen peroxide. Apply it to the stain with a sponge or cloth, then let it sit 20 minutes to an hour. Blot clean and repeat if necessary.
Bloodstains are not a good sight. Like many other stains, it’s best to remove blood stains when they’re fresh. If the stain is super fresh, place it under cold running water to flush out as much of the blood as possible. Then, sponge the stain with hydrogen peroxide or rub bar soap into the stain and scrub by hand in cold water. If the blood is dry, pre-soak the garment in a mixture of cold water and laundry detergent or stain remover. Pre-treat and launder with fabric-safe bleach, then wash and rinse as normal.
Alternatively, you can also use salt. Rinse the spot with cold water, then prepare a thick paste of salt and cold water and apply to the stain. Let it stay about 10-20 minutes. Salt has strong dehydrating properties and will lift up the water and the blood. After the time is up use more cold water to rinse the stain.
- Tea and coffee stains
Tea and coffee stains can ruin a good day. Many of us love tea and/or coffee. Flood the stained area with plain cool water. If possible, flush the stain from the wrong side by holding the stain under a faucet of cold running water. Or, sponge the stain with a white cloth dipped in cool water. If the stain is stubborn, you may want to consider bleach.
Chlorine bleach can be used on natural fibre white garments and linens by following product directions. For coloured clothes, mix a solution of warm water and oxygen-based bleach completely submerge the stained garments and allow them to soak for at least four hours or overnight. Then wash as usual.
10. Chewing Gum
Chewing gum is not exactly a stain, but it can destroy your clothes completely. More than that, it’s hard to deal with it because it’s a sticky substance. There are two ways to go about it. First, heat the affected area with a dryer until it’s super supple. Scrap it off with a disposable knife or old credit card.
Alternatively, the second way to remove a gum stain from your clothes is to freeze them. Place your garment in the freezer (ensuring the stain doesn’t touch anything) and leave it in for two hours or until it’s hard as a rock. Scrap the gum gingerly with your hard-edged object. Looking for an easier way. Check out these 10 tricks to remove chewing gum from your clothes.