Stains - The Tools You Need

Removing stains is a mixture of knowledge and guesswork. Where a stain is, what it is on, it's colour and texture, wheather it has a hard edge or soft edge and if it's stuck tp the fibres or sunk in all give a clue as to what is is.

From that information you choose the reagents (chemicals you introduce to get a reaction with the stain) and method you're going to use to remove it.

Without the right tools ready to hand it makes the job much more dificult

Here are a basic set of tools that you really shouldn't be without

This video may help

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Reason for using the tool

Ironing Board with Plastic Cover

An ironing board is exactly the right height for dealing with stains and it's a pretty good shape too. Slip a simple plastic bag over the end to stop it from getting wet with reagents


These are used to work chemicals and reagents into a stain. To do this use a flat area, not the point, a good spatula has rounded edges so that it doesn't scrape and damage the fabric.

You can use the wrong end of a spoon to the same effect.

Bottle (Medicine) and Dropper

The easiest way to control how you add a chemical to a stain. You can use the bottle to mix a reagent with water and the dropper to add just one drop at a time on to the stained area. Overtreatment isn't good - and any chemical you add has to be removed, so the more you put on the harder the job.

Soft Brush

A soft brush often has close bristles and is used to tamp a stain, lifting the brush over the stain and letting it fall under it's own weight. This helps break up a stain. Your aim is to do no damage, so use a soft brush on all delicate fabrics and most other fabrics.

You can always go harder later - there's no rush.

Hand Sprayer

Keeping the spray as a narrow stream effectively forces water through a stain. The speed that you squeeze the handle increases or decreases the force of the stream, weaker for delicates and stronger for normal materials.

Hard Brush

Used in exactly the same way as a soft brush a hard brush can be used on non-delicates to tamp a stain and loosen hard matter, such as food.

Kitchen Towel

The particular cloth in the video is a SPEEDO towel. Small and convenient it is exceptionally absorbent and will dry an area better than almost anything else. If you treat a lot of stains it may well be worth investing in one. There are many microfibre cloths that now do the same and even some Kitchen towels advertise their super absorbency. The aim is to remove as much liquid from a stained area as possible.

Extra Absorbent Cloth

Very absorbent cloths can be used to dry off a stained area after and during treatment. Try not to rub with a kitchen towel as it will break up and leave a residue on the fabric, use by pressing onto the stained area instead.