Green Goddess: Ultimate stain removal guide

Long Lunch 27/03/2018
Photo: Stock

It’s all about stains today on the Green Goddess. Pesky spots on perfectly good clothing need special attention. Here is Wendyl Nissen's Green Goddess stain removal guide:

Old-fashioned All-purpose Stain Remover:
½ cup methylated spirits
½ cup hydrogen peroxide
Juice of 2 lemons
¼ cup cloudy ammonia
¼ cup glycerine

Mix all the ingredients together, then strain and keep in a glass bottle. Apply the mixture to the stain and allow to stand for a while, then wash as usual.

You can get hydrogen peroxide and glycerine from most chemists. Most hardwarestores will stock cloudy ammonia and methylated spirits.

Stain Events:
Here are some stain removal ideas I recommend, but the key to stain removal is to act fast. The longer you leave a stain the harder it is to treat it.

Berry Fruit:
Stretch stain area over a bowl and pour hot water through it.
Sponge with hydrogen peroxide 6%, then rinse.
Soak in glycerine overnight then wash normally.
Cover stain with borax then run hot water through it.

Blood:
Pour hydrogen peroxide 6% over it, then rinse.
Rub with a paste of baking soda and water, leave overnight, then wash. You may need to do this a few times if the stain is old.

Butter/Grease/Make-up:
Dab on undiluted glycerine as a pre-wash, then soak in a bucket of water with a cup of washing soda overnight.
Try some eucalyptus oil or, if you don’t have that, some turps and dab it on with a cotton ball to try to dissolve the stain.

Candle Wax:
Place fabric between two pieces of thick brown paper or cardboard. Iron with a warm iron.
Remove any last little bits with meths.

Carpet Stains:
Most carpet stains, if fresh, can be removed by applying neat white vinegar. Rub it in until the stain disappears and then rinse with cold water.
Do make sure you rinse all the vinegar out so that the acid doesn’t continue to eat away at your carpet. This works for red wine, curry and animal mess.

Chewing Gum:
Eucalyptus oil dabbed on neat.
Or try freezing the gum and pulling it off.

Chocolate:
Sprinkle with baking soda and then moisten to a paste with a little water. Leave on overnight and wash as normal.
Dab with neat white vinegar, then wash as normal.

Coffee:
Mix the yolk of an egg with a dessertspoonful of glycerine and rub on.
Wash as normal. You may need to do this several times if the stain is old. If it is fresh, pour boiling water through the stain at height. Wash and dry.
Loosen the stain with glycerine for a few hours or overnight. Wash as usual.

Crayon:
Spray with a lubricating oil then gently wipe with a paper towel. 
If the mark is stubborn, sprinkle with baking soda and rub in circles with a damp sponge.
Then dip a sponge into soapy water (1 cup with a few drops of dishwashing liquid) and rub away remaining oil.
Rinse with plain water and dry with a clean cloth.
Or you can use a blow dryer to heat the wax, which should then enable you to wipe it away.

Make-up:
Most make-up stains can be removed from clothing by dabbing with a little methylated spirits.

Perspiration:
Spray with white vinegar.
Leave for 24 hours then wash as usual.
Or dab on methylated spirits then wash as usual.

Grass:
Take a few tomato plant leaves, crush them up and rub on the stain.
Wash off as usual.
Or dab on white distilled vinegar or glycerine.

Ink:
For an old ink stain get some citric acid and sprinkle it over the stain.
Moisten it with a little water on the end of an old toothbrush and rub the spot gently. You may need to repeat this until it disappears, then rinse with clean water.
If you have a fresh ink stain, get some blotting paper, newsprint or a paper kitchen towel and soak up as much as you can. Then sponge the spot with milk, allowing the milk to stand for several minutes.
Some people fill a saucer with milk then sit the stain in it for a while. Wash out the milk with hot water and assist it to dry by sprinkling with cornflour.
Scoop out the juice from a tomato, spread on the stain and leave overnight. Wash as normal the next day.
Try soaking in vodka.

Wine:
To take wine stains out of linen: Hold the article in milk while it is simmering on the stove and the stains will soon disappear.
Act quickly by pouring soda water over the stain.
Use white vinegar neat on the stain.
If red wine, pour white wine over it immediately.

The Long Lunch with Wendyl Nissen, 12pm - 3pm on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.

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