All about types of stains

by Jan 3, 2021Cleaning


Stains happen. It’s a fact of life. It could be a patch of grass on your son’s pants, red wine on the rug or hot coffee on a clean shirt. But stains do not have to be permanent, which means you do not have to throw that shirt out or live with the spotted red carpet.

Types of stains

You see, stains are not as mysterious as some people think. Most stains fall into one of four main categories: protein, oil-based, tannin, and dye. The rest is usually a combination of these spot categories. By understanding what is in place, textile scientists can determine what removes it. Armed with this stain removal know-how, you can also beat most stains before they hit you – with a few exceptions of course.

There are three main categories of fabrics that can be dyed: washable fabrics (clothes, linen, towels), rugs and upholstered furniture.

Protein-based stains

These are caused by substances such as baby food and formula, cream or cheese-based food, eggs, feces and urine.

For fresh protein stains on washable fabrics, Cold water is sometimes all you need to remove them. Do not use hot water as it may cook the proteins, which will cause the site to coagulate between the fibers of the fabric.

Soak fabrics in cold water for half an hour, place the spot under running cold water and gently rub the fabric against itself to loosen the spot.

2. Wash in the washing machine in hot water.

To an old or dried protein stain on a washable fabric, You may need to take your spot-removal tactics to the next level.

Soak fabric for half an hour in a solution of 1 teaspoon of liquid detergent (preferably one containing enzymes – the label says if it has them) per. 1.75 liters of cold water.

2. Follow this soaking by washing the fabric in your washing machine in hot water.

Examine the article before drying. If the stain is still there, soak the fabric for another half hour and then wash again.

4. If the stain remains after that, your only option may be to add the recommended amount of bleach to the next wash cycle, especially if the stain was caused by colored ice cream or baby food.

For a fresh protein stain on carpets or upholstery, spray with cold water and stain, repeat until clean.

For a dried protein stain on carpets or upholstery:

1. Prepare a solution of ¼ teaspoon mild dishwashing detergent (one that does not contain lanolin or bleach) in 1 liter of cold water.

2. Apply the solution on a cloth and use a blotting motion to work the solution into the affected area.

Simply with a clean paper towel to remove the solution.

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4. Rinse by spraying the site lightly with water and then blotting. Do this until all the soap suds are gone. Then spray lightly with water again. Just not this time. Instead, place a pillow with paper towels over the place, place a weight on it, and let it dry.

5. If the stain persists, repeat the procedure with a stronger solution: ½ teaspoon of liquid detergent (preferably one containing enzymes) per. 1 liter of cold water.

6. If it still does not completely remove the stain, moisten the stained patch with 3% hydrogen peroxide. Let it stand for an hour. Simply repeat until the rug or upholstery is immaculate. No rinsing is required after this procedure because light causes peroxide to switch to water. For drying, use the previously mentioned method with a pillow with paper towels and a scale. But beware: hydrogen peroxide is a bleach and can brighten colors.

Oil-based stains

These include spots from car grease or engine oil, hair oil and mousse, hand cream, kitchen grease, lard, butter, bacon, oils, ointments, salad dressing and sunscreen. Oil-based stains are not as difficult to get rid of as most people think. Many stain remover products contain special solvents to remove oil and grease.

For oil-based stains on washable fabrics:

Pre-treat new and old stains with a commercial prewash stain remover. If you do not have one of these products, apply liquid detergent (or a paste made from granular detergent mixed with water) directly on the spot. Work the detergent on the spot.

2. Wash the article in the washing machine immediately after the pre-treatment in hot water (if it is safe for the fabric and the colors).

Examine it before drying the fabric. If the spot is still clear, repeat the process until it is gone.

For oil-based stains on carpets and upholstery:

1. Apply isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) on a clean white cloth or white paper towel and ink the stain. Discard the dirty towels, and repeat with fresh paper towels and alcohol until the spot is gone. Do not allow alcohol to seep into the back of the rug as it may damage the latex lining.

2. If the treatment does not remove the stain, try the method recommended above for removing dried protein stains from carpets and upholstery.

Tannin stains

These include stains from alcoholic beverages, coffee or tea without milk, fruit and juices, soft drinks and wine. Most jellies also contain tannins, but cherry and blueberry jellies should be treated as dye stains.

For tannin stains on washable fabric:

Soak for half an hour in a solution of 1 teaspoon of liquid detergent (preferably one containing enzymes) per. 1.75 liters of hot water.

2. Then wash the washing machine in the warmest water that is safe for the fabric, using detergent and not soap. Natural soaps – including soap flakes, bar soap and soap-containing soaps – make tannin stains harder to remove.

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3. To remove stubborn tannin stains, you may need to wash with bleach. If all the sugar from one of these stains is not removed, they can turn brown when put in the dryer as the sugar will caramelize.

For tannin stains on carpets or upholstery:

1. Apply a solution of ¼ teaspoon mild detergent and 1 liter of water. Use a blotting motion to work the solution into the affected area.

Simply with a clean paper towel to remove the solution.

Rinse by lightly spraying with water and blotting to remove excess water. Do this until all the soap suds are gone.

4. Spray lightly with water again, but do not ink. Instead, lay down a pillow of paper towels, weigh it and let it dry.

5. If the stain persists, repeat the procedure with a solution of ½ teaspoon of liquid detergent (preferably one containing enzymes) per. 1 liter of water.

6. If this does not completely remove the stain, moisten the tufts in the stained area with 3% hydrogen peroxide. Let it stand for an hour. Simply and repeat until the place is gone. No rinsing is required after this procedure. To dry, lay the weighted pad of paper towels mentioned above.

Dye stains

These include spots from blueberries, cherries, grass and mustard. Dye stains can be a problem. After all, dyes are usually meant to stick. They are what color our clothes.

For dye stains on washable fabrics:

Pretreatment with a commercial stain remover. Or apply liquid detergent directly on the spot, work the detergent into the spot and rinse well.

Soak the substance in a dilute solution of oxygen bleach (identified as “all substance” or “perforated” on the label) according to the instructions on the package. Wash.

Examine the item to see if the place is still there. If this is the case, try soaking the entire garment in a solution of chlorine bleach and water. (Follow the bleach container instructions again.) But be careful: bleach can change colors drastically and weaken the fabric.

For dye stains on carpets or upholstery, good luck. You may need to call a professional cleaner or in the case of a plain carpet you will need to cut out the stained part and patch it with clean carpet. But before you go that far, try the procedure described above for tannin stains on carpets or upholstery.

Combination stains

These contain both oils or waxes and dyes. They are often divided into two categories:

  • Group A combination stains include those from lipstick, eye makeup (mascara, pencil, liner, eye shadow), furniture polish and shoe polish.
  • Group B combination stains include chocolate, gravy, hair spray, face makeup (foundation, powder, blush), peanut butter and tomato-based foods.
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To remove these stains, first remove the oily or waxy part, and then try removing the dye. As with any hard place, your success is not guaranteed. But by following the steps below, you have a chance, especially if you get to the place while it is fresh.

For washable fabrics with stains in group A:

Start by using a solvent for dry cleaning available at pharmacies.

2. Rub with a liquid detergent and scrub in warm water. This should remove the oily or waxy part.

3. Wash with a detergent and oxygen or bleach in all fabric.

4. Inspect before drying. If the stain persists, try washing with chlorine bleach.

For washable fabrics with stains in group B:

1. Skip the detergent. Rub the spot with a liquid detergent.

2. Wash in the washing machine in the hottest water possible for the fabric.

3. If that does not work, try the oxygen bleach first and then, if that fails, the chlorine bleach.

For combination stains on carpets and upholstery, also begins by first removing the oily or waxy part. Apply isopropyl (rubbing alcohol) on a clean white cloth or white paper towel and ink the stain. Discard the dirty towels, and repeat with fresh paper towels and alcohol until the spot is gone. Do not allow alcohol to seep into the back of the rug as it may damage the latex lining.

If alcohol treatment does not work, try the next step:

Apply a solution of ¼ teaspoon mild detergent (one that does not contain lanolin or bleach) and 1 liter of water.

Use a blotting motion to work the solution into the affected area. Simply with a clean paper towel to remove the solution.

Rinse by light spraying with water and blotting. Do this until all the foam is gone.

4. Then spray lightly with water again. But instead of exposing this time, lay down a pillow of paper towels, put a weight on it and let it dry.

5. Finally, if it does not remove the stain completely, moisten the stained tufts with 3% hydrogen peroxide and leave it for an hour. Simply and repeat until the place is gone. No rinsing is required after this procedure. Use a pillow with paper towels and scales to dry.



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