For those moving away from home, coping with laundry duties is something that you might not be all that used to. In particular, tackling stains and dirt accumulated on fabrics is a task that might seem intimidating and perhaps impossible.

What happens if you spill red wine on your bed linen after a chilled movie night in your student room? Or when you get an ink stain on your best sweater after class? Well, hopefully this guide will arm you with all the insider tips to ensure you salvage those items that you love.


Quick stain removal tips

From grass to grease and wine to biro, tackling stains is easy when you know how.

So, just before we get into the nitty gritty of removing individual stains, let’s run through some general top tips on dealing with general stains…

  1. Deal with a spill as quickly as you can. The sooner you act, the more chance there is of removing it.
  1. Blot as much moisture from the stain as you can with a cloth or piece of clean fabric. You might be able to dilute most stains with a drop of water, but sometimes the water is likely to spread the stain even further, so only use a tiny amount.
  2. If the stain is on a garment, then get it into an appropriate wash asap with washing powder to break down the stain. If you’re tackling really large stain or very muddy clothes, rinse them individually before you wash with other laundry items.
  3. For older stains, try soaking the garment or fabric in cold water for a few hours first before putting it into the washing machine.


How to remove red wine stains 

We’ve all been there when the wine glass tipples over and out pours the red wine all over the white fabric! The thing about red wine is that it contains tannins. They are an organic substance that is used in various types of ink. When the wine hits the fabric, it sinks into the fibres wherever it can find space to move. Therefore, your initial reaction needs to be quick!

Beware – Don’t scrub the stain and do not apply any heat initially as the stain will spread.

First of all, apply a dry material or cloth that will lift out some of the red wine.

Next, apply a powdery substance that will soak out more of the moisture. This could be table salt, baking soda, dry soap powder or talcum powder.

Then after about ten minutes, it’s time to put the item in the washing machine with laundry powder or liquid to dilute the stain. Be sure to put it at the right temperature as listed on the garment care label.

Also, contrary to popular believe, applying white wine to red wine stains will not miraculously remove the stain – in fact it’s likely to just cause the red stain to spread out even further. Milk, however, has absorbent quantities and could be applied after the powdery substance and before you place the item in the wash!


How to remove biro stains from fabric

Left your pen in your pocket and stained your best joggers? Or, been working from your bed and accidentally left a stain on your clean white bed linen?

Either way, eliminating biro stains from clothes, or any other fabric item is actually not as tough as it might seem.

As with any stain, the key is to act fast. Here is what we recommend…

Go and get a cotton pad and hold it behind the ink mark. Note that if the mark is quite big, you may need to use several pads to cover the full area.

Then apply a few sprays of hairspray on top of the biro mark. You may notice that the mark gets a little darker in colour at first, but this is normal! Make sure you do this in a well-ventilated space with open windows as hairspray can be dangerous if sprayed and inhaled in a confined space.

Next, gently rub the ink marks with another cotton pad to remove further ink.

Now, immediately put the item of fabric into the washing machine with washing powder or liquid. Be sure to check the label on the garment/item to ensure you are washing it at a safe temperature for the fabric.

During your uni life, you are sure to encounter some stain emergencies at some point. Therefore, we hope you are now more prepared to tackle them with confidence and ease.