How to remove clay stains
Coffee - it tastes great, keeps us awake when we need it - but it can make one nasty stain. Coffee stains aren't the end of the world. Here's what to do if your cup of joe goes all over the couch, the carpet - or your clothes.
Removing coffee stains from clothes or fabric
So you've just spilled coffee on your favourite top? If you act quickly, your clothing won't have a permant coffee stain and will be as good as new in no time.
First, sponge the coffee stain thoroughly. Then dunk the whole item in a bucket of water as hot as the fabric will tolerate and leave it for 30 minutes to soak. Wash the garment as normal. The coffee stain should be completely gone. Be sure to line dry as the dryer may set the stain.
Other stain removal solutions to try for coffee stains include:
- If there is milk in the coffee, try to use an enzyme laundry detergent.
- Using a wet terry towelling cloth that has been dipped in cold water. Sprinkle a teaspoon of baking soda onto the coffee stain and gently massage into the fabric. Rinse off thoroughly before washing.
Removing coffee stains from unwashable fabrics
If the stained item of clothing is dryclean only, you should book it in with the professionals. They'll have the best equipment to remove a set coffee stain. Be sure to point out the stain to the cleaners first - and always be sure to ask whether the garment can be saved beforehand.
Removing coffee stains from carpet or furniture
Argh! You've just come across a spot of coffee on your new couch or carpet, but before you scream - remember acting fast can help remove that coffee stain forever.
- For carpet: Mix up one teaspoon of mild detergent with half a litre of water. Blot the detergent mix directly onto the coffee stain, and then blot with a clean cloth to absorb the stain and liquid.
- If the coffee stain remains, try a 50/50 mix of water and white vinegar and repeat the above process.
- Another stain solution for carpet is to mix one tablespoon of liquid hand washing detergent with one tablespoon of white vinegar and two cups of warm water, then apply this mixture with a clean white cloth to the stain (after blotting up as much as you can of the original coffee stain). Apply the detergent/vinegar mix a little at a time whilst blotting, until the coffee stain disappears. Follow by sponging with cold water before blotting dry.
- For removing coffee stains off your furniture, combine one tablespoon of liquid hand washing detergent with two cups of cold water. Apply the mix onto the coffee stain using a clean white cloth. Blot thoroughly until the coffee stain disappears. Keep sponging on the detergent mix and blotting off until the stain disappears. Follow by sponging over the affected area with a little cold water and blot to remove the solution.
Stain remover notes
- The quicker you deal with a stain, the more likely you are to remove it.
- Unless it’s a fat stain, cold water is best for rinsing a stain, so as not to set it and make it harder to remove later.
- Before using a cleaning solution, test on an inconspicuous section, such as the inside of a sleeve, to check it won’t ruin the fabric.
- Always rinse out one cleaning solution before trying another to remove a stain as certain chemicals are not supposed to be mixed.
- Read the care instructions on the item of clothing before attempting vigorous stain removal. Some clothing may be too delicate to attempt stain removal and are better taken straight to the drycleaners.
- Don’t rub fabric harshly to remove stains as this can abrade fibres and cause fading.
- The white towel blotting method is often recommended for stain removal. Simply fold a clean white towel and, once you have treated the stain with water, gently dab it with the towel and check to see how much of the stain has transferred to the white towel.
- If using commercial stain removers and detergents, always follow the product label to understand the proper use and safety precautions you may need to take.
- It’s always easier to treat a stain on a washable fabric.
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