Stain removal guide

Stains in general
Never iron something that is stained – correct! You’ll simply ‘seal’ the stain with the heat. The single exception is clothes with wax on. Out tip: Cover with brown paper, iron slowly over the stain and watch as the paper absorbs the wax.

Moths
The only way to moth-proof your clothes is to store them with moth balls – wrong! Moth balls can have a very pungent smell and aren’t always necessary to protect your clothes. Firstly, moths hate light and being disturbed, so regularly opening drawers and shaking clothes might convince them not to cuddle up to your cashmere. Our tip: Moths also loathe heat, so wash clothes at a high temperature – or, if too delicate for that, wrap in a plastic bag and place in the freezer for twenty four hours.

Blood
Blood stains are impossible to remove – wrong! Try soaking up the blood with salt, then washing on a cool wash.

Red wine
White wine can remove a red wine stain – correct! Soak whatever you have split red wine on with white wine, cover with lots of salt, then wash.

Chewing gum
Chewing gum can’t be removed from fabric – wrong! It may seem like it’s stuck for good but put the garment in the freezer for a few hours, and then you should be able to pick off the gum. Our tip: Put a few drops of liquid lighter fuel on a clean cloth (test the effect on a hem or somewhere inconspicuous first) then rub over remaining gum and wash as usual.

Ink 
Ink can be removed from clothes with washing up liquid – correct! First run the garment under a cold tap until the water runs clear. Then apply a washing up liquid the back of the stain. Rinse again with cold water and wash as normal.

Sweat 
Old sweat stains are very difficult to remove – yes and no! It can be a bit fiddly but they can be made to disappear. Sweat stains are the drawback to many a vintage fabric but you can eradicate them by dissolving one tablespoon of white distilled vinegar in 250 ml of warm water, then using this to sponge the sweat stain. Wash as normal. If the stain (and the smell!) remains, soak the article in a solution of one teaspoon of borax dissolved in one pint of warm water. Wash as normal and hang out to dry.