Linen Stain Removal Tips
Always follow CARE labels. If you are going to launder, follow these instructions for removing stains. Check your linen to determine its approximate age. Prior to 1935, linens may not be colourfast and may fade or clean unevenly. Watch for any signs of the colours running out of the cloth. The water will be tinged with red, green or orange. Remove immediately and rinse in cold water.
Use liquid detergent full strength. Mix powder with water to form a paste when working into a stain.
Non-chlorine powdered bleach products may be used to remove stains by soaking in tepid water.
Stain removers (Ease-out, Zout, Sunlight Bar) are most effective on food, grease, oil, protein and dirt-based stains. They can remain on fabric for up to one week.
Immediate Stain Removal
Try a little club soda.
Do not allow stains to sit. Plunge immediately into cold water. Wash and rinse.
Many stains can be removed by soaking in a non-biological solution overnight.
Gin or vodka - these colourless spirits dissolve stains immediately.
Nature is the best bleacher. Hanging tablecloths from a clothesline or laying it outside on a sheet in the grass after washing will do a beautiful job of lightening yellow stains. Make sure that if you hang your tablecloth on the clothesline, you are not stretching the ends. Use several clothespins to hang it straight across the line.
ALCOHOLIC DRINKS:Launder in the hottest water safe for the fabric. Soap may make the stain permanent. Soak in a solution of water and non-chlorine powdered bleach. Line dry in sun. If all the sugars from the alcohol are not removed, a brown stain will appear when the fabric is ironed, as the sugar caramelizes in the heat.
ALLPOINT INK Hold stain against towel, spray closely from behind with aerosol hair spray. Ink should transfer to towel
BEVERAGES Soak in cool water. Re-wash with stain remover. Launder using chlorine bleach (if safe for fabric) or oxygen bleach.
BLOOD Immediately rinse with cool water. For dried stains, soak in warm water with a product containing enzymes. Launder.
CANDLE WAX Scrape off as much as possible with dull side of knife, then iron between absorbent paper, changing paper until wax is absorbed.
COFFEE / TEA:Rub stain with a liquid detergent and launder in the hottest water safe for the fabric or soak in a solution of water and non-chlorine powdered bleach.
CHOCOLATE Pre-wash with product containing enzymes in warm water or treat with pre-wash stain remover. Launder.
COLLAR, CUFF SOIL Pre-wash with stain remover, liquid laundry detergent or paste of granular detergent and water. Launder.
COSMETICS Pre-wash with stain remover, liquid laundry detergent or paste of granular detergent and water or rub with bar of soap. Launder.
DAIRY PRODUCTS Soak in a product containing enzymes for at least 30 minutes (hours for aged stains). Launder.
DEODORANTS, ANTI-PERSPIRANTS Pre-treat with liquid laundry detergent. Launder. For heavy stains pre-treat with pre-wash stain remover. Allow to stand 5 to 10 minutes. Launder using an oxygen bleach.
EGG Soak in product containing enzymes. Launder.
FRUIT JUICE Rinse with cool water.
GRASS Soak in product containing enzymes. If stains persist, launder using a chlorine bleach (if safe for fabric) or oxygen bleach.
GREASE SPOTS, OIL Pre-treat with pre-wash stain remover or liquid laundry detergent. For heavy stains, place stain face down on clean paper towels. Apply cleaning agent to back of stain. Replace paper towels under stain frequently. Let dry, rinse and launder using hottest water safe for fabric.
INK Use ink eradicator on undyed, untreated linen.
LEMON, LIME JUICE, VINEGAR Rinse immediately with cool water.
LIPSTICK On pure linen, rub with a little salad oil to dissolve lipstick, then launder to remove oil.
MEAT JUICE Rinse with cool, never hot, water.
MILDEW Badly mildewed fabrics may be beyond repair. Launder stained item using chlorine bleach, (if safe for fabric). Or soak in oxygen bleach and hot water. Then launder.
PERSPIRATION Use pre-wash stain remover or rub with bar of soap. If the color of fabric has changed, apply ammonia to fresh stains, white vinegar to old stains and rinse. Launder using hottest water safe for fabric.
RED WINE Cover with salt if stain is fresh, then rinse with cool water. If stain has dried, try club soda.
RUST:Bleach will make the stains permanent. Remove stains with repeated applications of lemon juice and salt. Do not allow fabric to dry between applications.
SCORCH Treat as for mildew (listed above).
SMOKE ODOURS / YELLOWING: Soak tablecloth overnight in a solution of tepid water and non-chlorine powdered bleach and place outside all day in the sun.
TAR Scrape residue from the fabric. Place stain face down on paper towels. Sponge with cleaning fluid. Replace towels frequently. Launder in the hottest water safe for the fabric.
TOMATO Rinse with cool water.
WHITE WINE Use club soda.