Cleaning Clothes in Hackney: Red Stains 06 January 2015

Although most stains will come out in the wash, some are more stubborn and need a little more work to get out of your clothes when doing the washing in your home in Hackney. Red wine, blood and anything tomato-based all seem to be really tricky to get out and sometimes you have to resign yourself to the fact that it’s never coming out, no matter how much scrubbing and cleaning you subject them to. Red stains just seem to love hanging on to our clothes for dear life. Fortunately, this isn’t always the case and, if you act quickly, you can save that white t-shirt from the bin. Here’s how.

Firstly, immediately rinse the stain with cold water. Don’t use warm water, as this can actually set the stain in more and make your job cleaning it out even harder. This is true for most stains, so bear this in mind in the future.

Identify the stain
Hopefully, if the stain is food-related, you should know which food it is. Similarly, if it’s blood, hopefully you should be able to identify this too. Each stain has slightly different protocol and some methods work better on some stains than others. Therefore, knowing exactly what you’re dealing with in your home in Hackney, E5 will help in the long run.

Make a cleaning solution
For tomato-based stains, like ketchup or Bolognese sauce, mix a concentrated solution of either cold water and washing detergent or white vinegar. If the stain is particularly bad, rub the cleaning solution into it directly before soaking for a couple of hours. The longer you soak the stain for, the more likely the stain is to be completely lifted from the material. If you need to, repeat the process and then throw it in the washing machine on a cool wash for good measure.

Red wine is notoriously difficult to get out of clothes. Fortunately, this means that there are plenty of ways of dealing with it that people in the EC2 area have discovered over the years.

One method is the salt method. While the stain is still wet, put sea salt over the stain and press it into the stain. This absorbs the red wine and prevents it from staining too badly; then clean as normal. Other methods include pouring club soda or milk over the stain and rinsing it through the material. However, one of the most practical is the hot water method, where you boil your kettle and pour the boiling water over the wet red wine stain from a height of a few feet. Allow the boiling water to run through the material.

When it comes to dry red wine stains, it may sound like somewhat of a myth, but white wine mixed with baking soda can be affective at removing it. Rinse the stain with the wine, and cover it in baking soda, then wash as usual. A similar method can be used with vodka. Often, mixing a little vodka with baking soda so that it makes a paste and rubbing it into the stain is enough to lift it.

When it comes to blood, the main issue people in Hackney have is when they try do wash it out with warm water, which just sets the stain into the fabric further. Instead, like with most stains, rinse with cold water and then rub some cleaning detergent, soap or washing up liquid into the area. Proceed to wash as normal. If the stain is dried on, simply carry out the same process, but instead of rinsing the soap straight out, rub the stain against itself. The friction should be enough to lift the blood stain enough to rinse it out.

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