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29 September 2014

Stain removal techniques - white vinegar

There are so many old wives tales and millions of different ‘how to’ guides for removing stains out there, so it can be hard to know exactly how you should go about removing certain stains from certain materials. In many ways, there is a lot to be said for trying out a few stain removal methods in advance, so that you know that you have a complete tool kit for battling stains that occur around the house. It is particularly important that you focus on the stains that can affect fabrics, as they will often be the hardest to remove. The fibers involved in fabric will form a perfect place for staining pigments to bed in and dry out, meaning that they are almost impossible to get rid of once they have dried. When you are tackling an older stain, there are plenty of different pre-washing actions that you can do to try and break up the stain in a way that makes the washing more effective. However, you should never use a hot water wash on a stain that has not been completely removed, as it will heat the stain in to the fabric, and that will leave you with a stain that will never come out! The same goes for drying machines, so always wash on a cool wash, and be sure to dry things naturally, as otherwise you may well end up in trouble! Before you attack the stain, ensure that you had rid the area of any excess that could get in the way. You need to be careful as to how you do this, especially if the stain is still wet, as spreading the excess around to the surrounding clean areas of the fabric will only lead to a larger stain over all, and that will be what makes your life even more of a misery.

stain removal techniques
Vinegar is great for cleaning as it is natural, and pretty safe in terms of use on a variety of fabrics and materials. You should however be very careful of using it on older materials, like antique clothing, curtains or upholstery. The acid in vinegar is extremely good for breaking down dirt and residue, but that acidity can be a problem for older fabrics, as they are very susceptible to damage and are extremely weak. In reality, antique garments or fabrics of that kind should be cleaned professionally, rather than with vinegar! Given that the process that you are relying on in this method is a chemical one, the vinegar will need some time to work on the stain, so once you have rid the area of all excess material, and flushed it with water, you should submerge the affected area in a bowl of white vinegar for an hour. Every twenty minutes, agitate the fabric so that the reaction does not settle down. Keep inspecting the area as the hour goes on, and rub the fabric around the stained area, applying friction to the stain itself. This will hopefully draw out the stain as the vinegar breaks it all down. Once you are happy that the vinegar is doing its work, then you can flush the area out with cold water. Try laundering the area normally, with laundry soap, or on a cool wash, to ensure that there is the highest chance of the stain getting out, and then repeat all the steps if the stain is not fully removed. You should hopefully find that a couple of goes will get even the most stubborn of stains out. http://www.londoncleaner.org.uk/blog/cleaning-your-yard-and-garden.html

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