||Allow to dry before scraping off excess. Soak
washable articles in biodegradable detergent or sponge with
a weak vinegar and water solution before washing.
Non-washable articles: Sponge with weak ammonia and water
solution, then white vinegar, then cold water. Dry thoroughly
||Sponge fresh blood stains quickly with a mixture of one
tablespoon of salt in two cups of cold water, then with an
ammonia solution. Wash in cooler water than usual.
Old stains should be soaked in a hydrogen peroxide or ammonia
solution (one part to eight parts of water), then wash in
detergent with a few drips of ammonia added.
Carpet: For carpet or mattress, apply a thick paste of raw
starch and water, allow to dry, then brush off.
||Scrape closely, then place absorbent paper over and under
stain and iron with a warm iron.
For washable items, rub powdered detergent well in, then rinse.
Try white spirit or dry-cleaning fluid if the stain is still
there, then wash in water as hot as the fabric will stand.
Non-washable items: Try ironing through paper, then dab with
dry-cleaning fluid. Blot dry as soon as possible.
||Scrape off as much as possible, then put the article in
the freezer for an hour or two. Otherwise, use a few ice cubes
in a plastic bag to harden the wax. then place fabric between
sheets of absorbent paper or between several tissues with
stronger paper on top, and iron with warm iron. Remove any
fragments with methylated spirits or dry-cleaning fluid.
Carpet: Place absorbent paper over the mark, iron on a cool
||Rub with ice cubes or put in freezer to harden, then scrape
off as much as you can. Dab remainder with fluid, white spirit
or methylated spirits.
Non-washable items: Blot dry as quickly as possible.
||Scrape off solids with a blunt knife.
For washable articles: use boiling water poured from a height
(taking care not to splash yourself or apply biodegradable
detergent with enzymes to the back of the stain, mopping as
Rinse. Use aerosol grease solvent to remove any residue.
Wash as usual.
||Soak washables in a solution of 30g borax to one litre of
warm water, then wash as usual.
Non-washables: Sponge first with grease solvent then the borax
Carpet: Sponge with borax solution (one tablespoon to one
cup warm water.
||Washable articles: Soak in a borax or biodegradable detergent
solution or treat with liquid detergent.
If fabric will stand boiling water, cover stain with borax
and pour boiling water over it. Let stand in borax solution
for half an hour.
Use hydrogen peroxide to remove final traces of stain. Rinse,
wash as usual.
Non-washable articles: Sponge with borax solution. Mop with
warm water or apply a borax paste. Leave for 30 minutes, brush
off; repeat if necessary.
Carpet: Dab with dry-cleaning fluid, sponge with cold water,
then as for chocolate.
||On carpet, mop up excess immediately from outside to centre
of spill. Lightly sponge remaining stain with eucalyptus wool
wash in lukewarm water.
||Mop up excess then sponge with one tablespoon of dishwasher
powder dissolved in four cups of warm water.
Non-washables: Mop up excess, sponge with cold water and blot
as dry as possible.
||Most of these have their own thinners, which will remove
the stain but, if not available, try dabbing with a cloth
dampened with turpentine. Sponge with warm water and detergent
to remove the stain remover before washing as usual.
Non-washable items: First check that the colour doesn’t
run, treat as above, and then sponge with cold water and blot
||Remove solids. If washable, apply liquid detergent, then
rinse. Repeat if needed. Any stain remaining can be soaked
in an ammonia solution before garment is washed.
Non-washable articles: Sponge with white spirit or dry-cleaning
fluid until make-up colour disappears. Commercial spot-removing
kits are available for upholstery.
||Scrape or sponge off as much as you can. Rinse washable
articles in cold water, then soak in biodegradable detergent
or borax solution (one tablespoon to one cap water). When
dry, use dry-cleaning fluid on residue. Wash.
Non-washable articles: Dab with dry-cleaning fluid, then methylated
Carpet: Sponge with one teaspoon detergent and one teaspoon
white vinegar in one litre warm water. Dab with dry-cleaning
||Keep alcohol in a locked or childproof cupboard. Even a
small amount of alcohol can harm children.
||Soak stain with white vinegar, then rinse and wash as usual.
Non-washable articles: Carefully sponge with warm water and
|Dying for a Cuppa
||Avoid drinking tea or other hot beverages near babies or
||Soak washable items in cold water and biodegradable detergent,
then wash as usual. Use a grease solvent to remove any remaining
Non-washable items: Expert care is required so find a dry-cleaner
||Remove anything solid, then spray washable articles with
biodegradable detergent. Use grease solvent on what’s
left before washing in the usual way.
Non-washable articles: Dab with grease solvent, then liquid
detergent and sponge oil with cold water, repeating as often
|Fruit, Fruit Juice, Berries
||Sponge or soak fresh stains at once in cold salted water,
soda water or milk. If article is washable, treat it with
detergent, rubbing it into the stain with your fingers; or
treat with borax solution, vinegar or an ammonia solution
(one part to five parts water). Cover wet stain with salt
and wash at high temperature, if possible.
Non-washables; Sponge with cold water when dry, use upholstery
spotting kit or dry-cleaning fluid.
Carpet: Sponge with warm water, then treat as for chocolate.
|Furniture Polish on Carpet
||Dab with dry-cleaning fluid, lighter fuel or turpentine,
then sponge with a solution of one teaspoon of detergent,
one teaspoon of white vinegar and one litre of warm water.
|Gentian Violet or Merchurochrome
||On clothing or carpet, coved stain with calamine lotion.
Allow to dry, then brush off. Dab with clothe dipped in methylated
For carpet that’s heavily stained, make a paste of methylated
spirits and borax and rub into fibre. Cover stain and let
dry before vacuuming. Repeat as necessary.
||Dampen stain on washable items, then rub with
methylated spirits or glycerine. Leave for an hour, then wash
Non-washable items: Sponge with methylated spirits or liquid
detergent, followed by cold water.
For stains that have browned, sponge with one teaspoon wool
wash in one cup warm water. Rinse after sponging.
||Scrape off, then sponge with cold water. If washable, soak
in a pre-wash solution, then wash with biodegradable detergent.
Non-washable articles: Sponge with cold water, then treat
with white spirit or dry-cleaning fluid. sprinkle with talcum
powder; wipe and re-apply.
Carpet: Treat the same as for chocolate stains.
||Scrape off what you can, then put absorbent paper under
and over grease mark and press with a warm iron (change paper
as often as needed). Sponge with white spirit or dry-cleaning
fluid and, if washable, rinse them wash as usual.
Non-washable items: Try as above without washing.
Carpet: Sprinkle with talcum powder, cover with paper towel
and hold a hot iron over the paper. Press only lightly and
repeat if necessary.
||Once it’s dry it will often not come out, so act quickly.
Rinse washable articles in cold water and rub with liquid
detergent. Sponge with methylated spirits or ammonia if necessary.
Rinse, wash as usual.
Non-washable articles: Sponge with alcohol or methylated spirits
||For washable articles, cover stain with damp English mustard
and leave for 24 hours before washing as usual.
Non-washable articles: Sponge with alcohol or methylated spirits.
||Soak or sponge garments in a solution of 30g borax to two
cups warm water, then wash as usual.
Non-washables: Sponge stain with warm water containing ammonia
or borax or use dry-cleaning fluid.
||As with blood, they are harder to remove when dry, so rinse
or sponge with cold water quickly. Soak washable items in
biodegradable detergent, working the powder into the stain.
If it is still visible, use white spirit or dry-cleaning fluid,
rinse, then wash in lukewarm water.
Non-washables: Use a dry-cleaning solvent.
||Scrape off what you can. If washable, rinse in cold water,
rub with liquid detergent or try methylated spirits. Rinse
again, then wash.
Non-washable items: Dab with white spirit or dry-cleaning
||Unless the fabric is drip-dry or permanent-press, soak in
diluted bleach, then wash as usual. Or Spread spots with lemon
juice, cover with salt and leave in the sun. Keep moist till
spots are gone, then rinse and wash as usual.
For dark clothes that have been hanging in a cupboard, sponge
with hot water and a dash of dettol. Iron kill mould spores
and dry well before rehanging.
||Rinse washables in cold water. Then soak in lukewarm water
with detergent and a dash of ammonia. If needed, follow up
with dry-cleaning fluid, rinse, then wash as usual.
Non-washables: Sponge with a grease solvent, then with lukewarm
water and blot dry.
||Let it dry and brush off what you can. Soak in hot water
with plenty of good detergent, then rub by hand in the bucket
to release as much dirt as possible before putting the article
in the washing machine.
Non-washable articles: Sponge the dried mud with detergent
and water solution, then use dry-cleaning fluid.
||Rub a mulberry stain with a green mulberry, then sponge,
or wash as usual.
||Wipe up spill and dab with acetone or amyl acetate: don’t
use oily polish remover. Sponge out any colour left with methylated
spirits. Rinse, wash as usual.
||Leave any household poisons in their original containers.
Never store dangerous liquids in empty food or drink containers.
||Always easier tackled while still wet, it’s a good
idea to note from the can the name of the thinner for the
paint you are using in case of a major spill.
Water-based paint should wash out well in cold water but,
if it has dried, use methylated spirits or paintbrush cleaner.
For oil-based paint, sponge with warm detergent and water,
then soak stained area in white spirit and scrub gently with
an old toothbrush. It takes a while and you will need to repeat
the process, but it will come out in the end.
Alternatively, soak paint-stained garment overnight in warm
water with one tablespoon of vinegar, two tablespoons of ammonia
and one teaspoon of salt. Rinse in cold water and hang to
||Act immediately on spilt perfume, Rub in a little glycerine,
leave for several hours, then wash in warm soapy water and
Non-washables: Sponge with warm water and borax.
||Soak for 30 minutes in warm white vinegar, rinse well and
wash as usual; or dissolve three tablespoons of bicarbonate
of soda in a bucket of cold water, soak for an hour, then
wash in the usual way.
On a silk dress or shirt, make a paste of fuller’s earth
and water and spread over the stain. Brush off when dry.
for a woollen garment, sponge with a weak mixture of bicarbonate
of soda and warm water. If the underarm area is yellow, sponge
with hydrogen peroxide and keep it damp for half an hour.
If it’s oily, dab with dry-cleaning fluid.
||Scorch marks are difficult to get rid of. Careful rubbing
with fine sandpaper or steel wool with a little peroxide may
help fade the mark.
For washable articles sponge or soak in ammonia, hydrogen
peroxide or borax solution.
On silk or wool, cover scorch with a mix of equal quantities
borax and glycerine, leave for one hour, then carefully hand
Non-washable articles: Sponge lightly with glycerine solution,
then sponge with warm water. Repeat.
||Scrape off what you can. Dab with white spirit or grease
solvent, while holding an absorbent pad underneath to stop
the stain spreading.
Whites can be bleached. After treatment, rinse and wash as
Carpet: Sponge carpet or chair covers with a mix of three
parts wool wash and four parts warm water. Use a rough cloth
like towelling, then sponge with cold water. If necessary,
first treat with white spirit or dry-cleaning fluid.
||See Fruit, Fruit Juice and Berries
||Scrape off deposit. For washables, apply white spirit or
eucalyptus oil. Rinse, wash as usual.
Sponge tar off pets’ paws with eucalyptus oil on a soft
cloth, followed by warm soapy water.
Non-washable articles: Dab with white spirit or eucalyptus
oil or see a drycleaner.
||See Fruit, Fruit Juice and Berries
||Fresh stains on washable articles can be rinsed in cold,
salty water, then washed. Soak dried stains in biodegradable
detergent and use hydrogen peroxide and ammonia solution if
Non-washable articles: Sponge fresh stain with cold water,
then white vinegar solution. For dried stains, you may need
||Remove excess. Run washable article under cold tap, soak
in biodegradable detergent, rinse, then wash as usual. Non-washable
articles; Sponge with cold water. Then sponge with mix of
two and a half cups warm water and one tablespoon of borax.
A wipe with eucalyptus oil helps cover odour.
||Act quickly: Washable articles can be sponged with soda
water, saturated with white vinegar or covered with salt (rub
off when dry). After all treatments, rinse, then wash as usual.
Non-washable articles: Sponge with cold water. Then sponge
with detergent solution or use upholstery cleaner.
||Articles that have been stored for some time and yellowed
can be corrected with a mild bleach solution.
For something that can’t be bleached, soak 12 hours
in one dessertspoon of cream of tartar to four litres of hot
water. Rinse, wash as usual.
||Zinc Cream Remove deposit. Dab with neat wool
wash on a cloth wrung out in hot water. Repeat as necessary,
using a fresh part of the cloth for each application.