March 7, 2021

How to remove stains from clothes and tablecloths in an ecological way


The stains accompany the bibs of shirts, pants, jackets, sweaters and sports shirts on these dates. The reason is none other than the nougat that we drop, the wine that is spilled in a tipsy toast or the sauce lamparones of the poularde, as well as the oil of the stuffed turkey, etc.

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Is this a reason for having to throw away the clothes or subject them to the high temperatures of the washing machine, with aggressive and not very sustainable detergents from an environmental point of view? Absolutely, there are remedies even for the most stubborn stains and the most convoluted fabrics, and also with biodegradable products.

How to deal with a recent stain

Whether we realize that we are staining ourselves or if the event happened a few minutes ago, the main thing to avoid is that the stain dries -in the case that it is an aqueous-based fluid- or that it oxidizes by browning -if it has fatty matters-, because in such cases the difficulty of eliminating it will multiply.

For this we must keep the stain moist with a cotton ball, or with kitchen paper, as well as covered if it is a greasy stain. The next thing will be to press it with kitchen paper to try to absorb the maximum of the stain but prevent it from spreading, and after this operation moisten it a little again with a damp cloth, perhaps rubbing if there are already hardened parts.

After these operations we can proceed to take the part of the stained garment to a bowl and proceed to its elimination or, at least, to its reduction before putting it in the washing machine, where you will no longer need aggressive detergents, long times or high temperatures.

How to remove the various stains

To eliminate the different types of stains we will use different products, all of them ecological such as alcohol, sodium percarbonate, talcum powder, hydrogen peroxide or enzymatic cleaners.

Other more traditional products with less environmental impact, but also less cleaning intensity are the white vinegar, lemon, or baking soda, which we can always apply in the first instance to see if they are enough.

And we can also specify sometimes others such as ammonia, bleach, white spirit or acetone, They are not environmentally friendly and can damage our eyes, hands or respiratory tract, since they are abrasive, so we will use them only as a last resort.

For coffee or tea stains

If the stain is very recent, we will dry it with kitchen paper, pressing hard on both sides of the fabric. If it is already a little dry, we will put it in a bowl with warm water and leave it for a few minutes, rubbing from time to time, after which we will remove it from the water and dry it by pressing hard with kitchen paper.

The remains that we have then we can treat them with a little percarbonate or with a enzymatic stain remover for five minutes. A mixture of white vinegar and alcohol can also be used. Finally, we must wash with neutral soap or in a washing machine, with a short program at 30 degrees.

For wine stains

Again if the stain is very recent and wet, we will press on it with kitchen paper to dry the excess as much as possible, we can even use a few grains of salt on it. Once this operation is done, we will apply a damp cloth to hydrate parts that may have dried.

Then we will proceed by applying percarbonate directly on the stain and letting it act for a few minutes. After this, we will apply a diluted hydrogen peroxide solution and rub and rinse.

For oil stains and sauces

In the case of pure oil stains, we will use talcum powder applied to the dirty fabric and press gently with kitchen paper or a cloth. We will let the talcum absorb the oil and we will remove it and change it for a new one. After a few hours in which the stain will be exposed to talcum powder, we will proceed to wash it with soap and warm water.

If it is sauce stains, which usually have their liquid part and another fat, the best alternative is to first act as if it were a water-based stain. That is: try to remove most of the color and water from the stain with kitchen paper.

Then apply and perborate or an enzymatic detergent, or mixed alcohol and vinegar. Later we will apply the talc in order to eliminate the oil stain that remains, proceeding that has been related two paragraphs above.

For dessert or chocolate stains

As these types of stains, which mix a large amount of saturated fats and sugars, there is no other alternative than to moisten the area of ​​the fabric a little with a wet cloth and then rub to try to eliminate as much of the residue as possible.

Once this is done, we must apply an enzymatic detergent, let it act and wash with cold water and soap or in the washing machine. Another alternative is to mix water with a tablespoon of ammonia in a full glass, pour it on the stain -after removing the garment- and wait twenty minutes, after which we will rub and wash with soap and water.

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