Removing stains

  • Stains is the dirt which got on the surface of textile as the result of use of the furniture or by the influence of the environment. In other words it is non desirable matter in an inappropriate place. The kind and the composition of stains usually differs a lot. In general stains rarely consist of one substance. Most often it is a mixture, which has to be eliminated by proper stain removers. Consequently, to remove a stain, it is quite often necessary to apply various kinds of stain removers one after another. When starting to remove a stain, first it is important to determine the kind of substance, which has created the stain and the kind of material the textile is made of. It will allow using such agent, which will remove the stain and will not damage the fabric.

    It should be kept in mind that:
    strong acids destroy textiles made of plant fibres(cotton and linen),
    even weak or diluted lye, weakens materials made of animal fibres  (wool, natural silk),
    - hot water and caustic soap destroy woolen and synthetic materials,
    - oxidizing agents (chloride, soda) weakens cotton, linen and destroys wool,
    - to clean the stains use solvents, bleachers or special bleachers – in small amounts,
    - while cleaning, always open the window and find a place far away from fire, 
    - the quality of dye should be checked before cleaning,
    - do not use acetone to clean the materials made of acetate fibrebecause they will dissolve,
    - do not mix chemicals. When a fabric has been already cleaned with one of chemical agents, first it should be thoroughly dried, rinsed and only then another agent can be applied.

    After choosing the stain removing agent the technique of getting it out is to be set. In case of dyed materials first you should perform a test, in the place that is not easily seen, to check what effect the agent has on the dye. The stains removing process should be done as soon as it is possible after noticing the stain. A fresh stain can be removed much easier, because the substance which caused the stain has  not managed to go deep enough inside the fibresthe textile consists of. While removing stains you can use different techniques like mechanical actions (e.g. crumbling, scraping), higher temperature (a hot iron), solvents (e.g. turpentine, petrol) porous substances (e.g. magnesia) and those which decolourizethe staining substance or make it easy to remove chemical compounds.

    After using a solvent it is important to thoroughly remove it together with the impure, remaining part. Otherwise around the place of the stain an outline will be created i.e. seepage.To avoid seepage you should put a thick piece of white cotton or linen cloth under the stained fabric and then with the gauzy material dipped in solvent, punch the stained place, gently pressing.
    After a few, such actions the piece of gauze should be changed to new one. Often the cloth which is placed under the fabric should also be changed. To prevent the creating of an outline around the stain it is helpful to wet the fabric around the stained place with water. After using substances causing chemical reactions on the material it is valid to thoroughly remove the cleaning agent (by rinsing the stained place in water or neutralizing it with proper reagent), otherwise the fabric will be damaged instantly or after some time.


    Finally, here are a few pieces of good advice which allow an easy and efficient removal of the stains from our textiles.

    Try to eliminate the stains right away after they have appeared.

    Use the absorbing piece of cloth, wiping the stain with circular motions towards the centre. Do not rub in.

    In case of oily or wet stains some absorbent paper should be used first. Then use clean, damp and soft sponge to absorb the stain. Next wash it with lukewarm water with neutral hand washing cleaning solution. Rinse the soap out with clean water. Wipe it with a piece of cloth and leave it to dry in room temperature.

    In case of dried stains use a dull tool e.g. a spoon, to take away the excess of the dirty substance and then follow the tips given in the paragraph 3.

    Do not stretch nor jerk the fabric.

    When using the solvent do not apply it directly on the stain but use clean piece of cloth or, as a trial, put it on the part of sofa which is out of sight.

    When using a stain remover take out all the remaining part with a clean piece of cloth and a soft brush, always brushing in the direction of threads creating the nap of the fabric.

    Never sit on the upholstered piece of furniture until it has completely dried.

    After drying, vacuum the furniture with the power set the lowest using proper tip for cleaning furniture.