Fabric Stain Removal

Fabric stain removal can be the most frustrating task at times. There are many solutions, types of fabrics, and stain removal products to keep track of, but don't let this discourage you. Most fabric stains can be easily removed if caught soon after the stain happens.

Fabric Stain Removal

General Fabric Stain Removal Tips

When trying to remove fabric stains knowing the general removal tips could be what you need to remove any stain. The following is a list of rules that will help you each time you come across a fabric stain and are unsure as to how to treat it. Of course there are more in dept step-by-step procedures you can follow for specific stains, but it helps to know these basic tips.

  1. Fresh stains are easier to remove then old dried stains. This means the sooner you can begin the stain removal process the better. Sometimes if stains are left for too long there is no way to remove the stain.
  2. If the stain is fresh you can use a clean white absorbent paper towel to soak up the excess liquid. You need to use a white paper towel to see when you have completely soaked up the liquid. If the stain has dried into a solid you can use a dull knife to scrape away any residue.You will need to be gentle so that you do not scrape a hole into the fabric.
  3. You should not rub dark colored towels or terry cloth towels on a stain. These two types of towels can make the situation a lot worse. 
  4. NEVER rub bar soap on a stain. The bar soap can make the stain set into the fabric more than it already has.
  5. If the garment is dry-clean only try and get the clothing to the dry cleaner in 24 to 48 hours. Again the longer the stain sits on the garment the harder it is to remove.
  6. Suede, leather, and fur are very difficult to treat without ruining the fabric. It might be best to seek the help of a professional. These types of fabrics are expensive and you do not want a botched stain removal attempt to ruin what could have been saved.
  7. Do not use hot water on stains that may contain protein. A few common stains that contain protein are blood, milk, eggs, etc... Hot water will only further set the protein stains into the fabric.
  8. When using any type of stain fighting chemical or product, try testing it on the fabric first. Many stain fighting chemicals can cause colored fabrics to fade or become bleached. To avoid making the stain worse you should test the chosen product on a small area of the garment. If the fabric does not change color you will know the stain removal product is safe to use on the fabric.
  9. Try to not rub or scrub any fabrics. Excessive rubbing can cause the stain to spread or even cause damage to the fibers or color of the fabric.
  10. Do not iron or dry fabrics that have been stained. Heat will only set the stain into the fibers further.
  11. Before doing a load of laundry check the garments for stains. There are many stains that require a pretreatment before washing. If this step is not completed before laundering you could do more harm than good.
  12. If you have a heavily soiled article of clothing you should wash it separately. If there is too much of a stain you can spread the stain to the other cleaner clothing in the washer. 

These are just a few tips to help you in your mission to remove fabric stains. There are more in depth step-by-step directions for different types of stains and fabrics, but these tips should be helpful the next time you have to remove a stain from your fabric.

Fabric Stain Removal: Candle Wax

What you will need:

  • Clean white absorbent paper towels
  • A dull knife
  • Iron
  • Dry-cleaning solvent or pre-soak
  • Methylated spirits (wood alcohol)- for colored wax
  • Sponge
  • Cold water

Candle wax might seem impossible to remove at times, but the process is really quite simple. Unlike most other stains you will need to let the candle wax sit for a time before treating the fabric.

  1. When you spill candle wax on fabric the first action you need to take will be placing the stained fabric in the freezer. This will allow the wax to harden for easier stain removal.
  2. Once the wax is solid you will need to use the dull knife to scrape or shatter the frozen wax away from the fabric.
  3. Next, you will need to place the wax stain between two clean white absorbent paper towels.
  4. Now you will need to warm your iron. Ensure it is not too hot. Press the warm iron on the paper towels and watch the stain be pulled from the fabric. You can change the paper towels as needed.
  5. After you are sure there is not any more wax stain being pulled from the fabric you can sponge on the dry-cleaning solvent or pre-soakinto the fabric. If you spilled colored wax us a solution of 1/2 cup methylated spirits (wood alcohol) and 1/2 cup of water. Sponge the solution onto the fabric instead of the dry-cleaning solvent or pre-soak.
  6. Launder as you normally would.