Fabric Stain Removal Tips
In a perfect world we would all have our dedicated stitching rooms from which children, pets and anyone carrying noxious liquids would be barred. Tea or coffee and the odd light repast would regularly be served just within the doorway. There would be no interruptions or domestic crisis and when we chose to leave the room the precious embroidery would be carefully covered, undisturbed until we returned.
Back in the real world where accidents happen, however careful we are, the following suggestions might be of use.I have tried to cover obvious stains but if anyone can think of or has experience of dealing with removing stains from precious stitching please contact me with your comments and I will try and include them in any updates.
There are of course some excellent specialist cleaning products out there but the shop stocking these might not be immediately accessible and if the stain is fresh you'll want to tackle it yourself.
General Points for Fabric Stain Removal
Fabric Stain Removal - Drinks
If stain is set then dab with methylated spirit, soak and then wash in soapy water.
Fabric Stain Removal - Pen MarksMany of us will have a pen to hand for marking off progress on our charts. There are fabric pens available that mark paper or fabric and are cold water soluble but in case you haven't got one...
Felt tip and Ballpoint
Non Soluble Ink
An American contributor recommends rubbing a mixture of baking soda and water into the stain, rinsing and washing. It sounds sensible but so far ink and my embroidery haven't coincided, though most other thing have down the years. Excuse me while I race off and touch wood.
Fabric Stain Removal - Grease or FatSpread talcum powder over the grease mark brushing it off as it absorbs the grease. Repeat until grease mark is gone, then wash in warm soapy water
To remove rust stain from fabricI wouldn't use this one on coloured fabrics unless you can incorporate any possible bleaching of the fabric into your design at this point. You may therefore want to test run it on a spare, similar piece of fabric first.
Dip half a lemon in salt, rub over the fabric and leave for an hour. Then rinse and wash as usual
To remove blood stain from fabricSoak as soon as possible in cold salty water. If item is heavily stained then keep changing water until it is clearThen wash in warm soapy water. Never use hot water with a bloodstain because it will set it.
Fabric Stain Removal - ChocolateThis is for those who believe in the possibility of doing two of your favourite things a the same time and get a mite careless.
If chocolate is still soft, place stitching in a plastic bag and put it in the fridge for a few moments until the chocolate has hardened. Take it out of fridge and scrape off surplus chocolate. Stain can now be sponged with warm soapy water before being washed in same.
Avoid if possible any family member seeing you do this - you will never live it down.
P.S. This works on chewing gum too! You need to wait until it's hardened in the fridge, when you can peel most of it off and then pick any surplus bits out with a fine needle.
Fabric Stain Removal - NewsprintRemember a pattern can become damp and mark your stitching if the two come into contact.Dab with methylated spirit, rinse off and then wash thoroughly in warm soapy water.
If all else failsHere I am thinking of fabric stain removal from a fairly small part of fabric. I'm also presuming that the expensive stain remover that you purchased the next day wasn't successful.
If you can't get that stain off, how about embroidering over it. A train of a dress can be extended or a border changed or a small appropriate motif such as a flower petal, star etc, put in. On one of my first designs a stain turned into a distant seagull in the sky. Well three months work wasn't going to be wasted, and I felt rather proud of that seagull in the end!