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Stain removal on clothes

Most stains vanish completely if you act fast. Here's advice about what you should do before you attempt to treat a stain and useful hints on how to remove those particularly difficult ones.

Selecet a stain type from the alphabetical list below

Woman does washing using Persil Small and Mighty

Before treating stains don’t forget to read the care label on the garment, patch test for colour fastness and wear gloves if your hands are sensitive to cleaning products.

Beer

Sponge with white vinegar and warm water, then rinse and wash with Omo, Persil, Omo Front Loader or Persil Front Loader laundry detergent. Remember to read the care label to make sure that your garment will not be damaged when you attempt to remove the stain. Check for colourfastness and dye stability before treatment.

Beetroot

Flush stain from the back with cold running water, then wash immediately with Omo, Persil, Omo Front Loader detergent or Persil Front Loader laundry detergent. If the stain persists, soak overnight in Omo Front Loader or Persil Front Loader powder, using water that is as hot as the fabric will allow. Always check for colourfastness and dye stability before soaking.

Blood

Do not treat blood stains with hot water as it will set the stain onto the fabric.

If the stain is fresh, flush it out under cold running water. If it remains or it’s not fresh, soak the garment in a plastic bucket of cold salted water (1-2 tablespoons salt/litre water) for several hours, then wash as usual with Omo, Persil, Omo Front Loader or Persil Front Loader laundry detergent.

Soak persistent stains in a warm solution of Omo Front Loader or Persil Front Loader powder. Rub gently around the edge of the stain with the soaking solution before leaving the garment to soak. Always check for colourfastness before soaking.

Older stains are difficult to remove, so treat as soon as possible.

Candle wax

Allow candle wax to go hard. Scrape off excess wax with the blunt edge of a knife. Then place the stain between two sheets of white blotting paper or 2-3 layers of kitchen/paper towel and press with a warm, dry iron to melt residual wax.

After allowing the cloth to cool, lightly sponge the stained area with dry-cleaning fluid and blot onto kitchen/paper towel to help remove residual coloured staining. Always check for colourfastness before using dry-cleaning fluid.

Take care when handling dry-cleaning fluid. Ensure safety directions on the bottle are followed and store out of reach of children. Only apply the fluid when the cloth is cool. Do not iron a fabric treated with dry-cleaning fluid.

If the stain persists, soak overnight in Omo Front Loader or Persil Front Loader detergent in water as hot as the fabric will allow. Always check for colourfastness and dye stability before soaking.

Finally, wash as usual with Omo, Omo Front Loader or Persil, Persil Front Loader laundry detergent.

Chewing gum

Place the garment in a plastic bag, with the chewing gum facing outwards, and place in the freezer. Allow the gum to harden. Remove from the freezer and then break it off the surface of the fabric. It may be picked off with tweezers – care should be taken with knitted articles to avoid pulling out threads.

Any residual deposits can be treated by dabbing eucalyptus oil onto the gum. Always check for colourfastness on an inside seam of the garment prior to treatment with eucalyptus oil. Wash as normal with Omo, Omo Front Loader or Persil, Persil Front Loader laundry powder.

Chocolate

If chocolate is still soft, place the garment in a plastic bag in the fridge for a few minutes to allow the chocolate to harden. Remove from the fridge and scrape off the excess chocolate with the blunt side of a knife. Then wash the garment in a warm wash with Omo, Omo Front Loader or Persil, Persil Front Loader laundry powder. If the stain persists, soak overnight in Omo Front Loader or Persil Front Loader and warm to hot water. Always check for colourfastness and dye stability before soaking.

Coffee/tea

Soak the garment overnight in Omo Front Loader or Persil Front Loader. The soaking water should be as hot as the fabric will allow. Always check for colourfastness and dye stability before soaking. Then wash as usual with Omo, Omo Front Loader or Persil, Persil Front Loader detergent.

Cooking oil/fat

If the stain is extensive and appears to have deeply penetrated the fabric, get the garment dry cleaned. However, if the staining is not severe, you could try the following:

If the oil/fat is fresh, sprinkle the stain with talcum powder and gently work it into the fabric. Leave for 30 minutes and then brush off. Then wash the garment using Omo or Persil powder or Omo Front Loader or Persil Front Loader in the hottest water the fabric will allow. Always check for colourfastness and dye stability before soaking.

Fabric softener

Fabric softeners are great for making clothes soft and reducing static. But if the softener does not enter the wash cycle in the correct way, it can stain your clothes. This can happen when the inner bowl of your washing machine is out of balance. If washing is unevenly distributed at the base of the bowl it can wobble, causing softener to spill through the slits at the top of the dispenser. It may then run down the inside of the agitator column and come into direct contact with the fabric, resulting in staining. 

Alternatively, if you add softener manually by pouring it into the rinse water without pre-diluting, it may attach directly to cloth like metal to a magnet, causing blotchy stains. You can remove fabric softener by rubbing with a bar of laundry soap. Detergents are not effective in removing fabric softener staining. To avoid fabric softener staining, always ensure that the undiluted product does not come into direct contact with clothes.

Fruit or fruit juice

  1. Soak the garment overnight in Omo Front Loader or Persil Front Loader laundry detergent. The soaking water should be as hot as the fabric will allow. Always check for colourfastness and dye stability before soaking.
  2. Wash as usual with Omo, Omo Front Loader or Persil, Persil Front Loader laundry detergent. Remember: Always read the care label to make sure your garment will not be damaged when you attempt to remove the stain.

Grass

For washable fabrics like white cotton, linen and colourfast cotton and polycotton garments, soak overnight in a warm solution of Omo, Omo Front Loader or Persil, Persil Front loader powder and then wash in the machine on a warm wash. For acetate, rayon and non-colourfast fabrics, sponge with one part methylated spirits to two parts water. Wash as usual.

Grease

Washable fabrics: If grease is fresh, sprinkle with talcum powder and work gently into fabric. Leave for 30 minutes and then brush off. If any grease remains, soak in a warm solution of Omo, Omo Front Loader or Persil, Persil Front Loader powder overnight, then wash in the machine on a warm wash.

Non-washable fabrics: If grease is fresh, sprinkle with talcum powder and work gently into fabric. To treat any remaining stain, place stained area face-down onto absorbent cloth like towelling. Using a cotton ball and starting from the outside of the stain working towards the centre, sponge the back of the stain with methylated spirits. Move the towel to a clean area each time and change the cotton ball as necessary.

Mud & dirt

Scrape off any excess mud and dirt, allow to dry and then brush off the fabric. Sponge the remaining stain with cool water and a laundry soap such as Sunlight. Rinse and repeat if necessary. Alternatively, soak overnight in a solution of Omo Front Loader or Persil Front Loader laundry powder, then wash as usual.

Perspiration

Wash the garment in warm water with Omo, Omo Front Loader or Persil, Persil Front Loader laundry detergent. If the perspiration has changed the colour of the fabric, try to restore the colour by rubbing a little ammonia onto a fresh stain, or white vinegar onto an old stain. Soak the garment in a concentrated solution of Omo, Omo Front Loader or Persil, Persil Front Loader powder overnight. Rinse and wash as normal. If the stain is still evident, rub on lemon juice, leave for 30 minutes, rinse in warm water and allow to dry in the sun.

Spaghetti

  1. Scrape off any excess sauce and flush the stain immediately with cold water from the back of the fabric.
  2. Soak overnight in a warm solution of Omo, Omo Front Loader or Persil, Persil Front Loader laundry powder (1/2 scoop to 5 litres of water).
  3. Wash as usual. Dry the garment in the sun which should fade any residual stain. Remember: Always read the care label to make sure your garment will not be damaged when you attempt to remove the stain.

Tea

  1. Soak the garment overnight in Omo Front Loader or Persil Front Loader. The soaking water should be as hot as the fabric will allow. Always check for colourfastness and dye stability before soaking.
  2. Wash as usual with Omo, Omo Front Loader or Persil, Persil Front Loader. Remember: Always read the care label to make sure your garment will not be damaged when you attempt to remove the stain.

Tomato sauce

  1. Scrape off any excess sauce and flush the stain immediately with cold water from the back of the fabric.
  2. Soak overnight in a warm solution of Omo, Omo Front Loader or Persil, Persil Front Loader laundry powder (1/2 scoop to 5 litres of water).
  3. Wash as usual. Dry the garment in the sun which should fade any residual stain. Remember: Always read the care label to make sure that your garment will not be damaged when you attempt to remove the stain.

Wine

  1. Soak the garment overnight in Omo Front Loader or Persil Front Loader laundry detergent. The soaking water should be as hot as the fabric will allow. Always check for colourfastness and dye stability before soaking.
  2. Wash as usual with Omo, Omo Front Loader or Persil, Persil Front Loader detergent. Remember: Always read the care label to make sure that your garment will not be damaged when you attempt to remove the stain.

Need to know more? Ring the Omo Careline in Australia on 1800 225 508 or the Persil Careline in New Zealand on 0 800 737 745.

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