Stain removal guide

When it comes to stains, early action and pre-treatment are key. The quicker you treat a stain the more likely it will come out in the first wash. 

  • Scrape off any excess with a dull utensil like a spoon or butter knife 
  • If you’re out and about a need a quick fix, salt is great for absorbing any oil-based stains 
  • If you have detergent to hand, it’s best to soak the item in a tub of lukewarm water, then before putting it in the wash, drizzle laundry detergent directly on the stain 

Wash on hot? Soak in cold? Before treating your stain have a quick read through this page to find out the best way to tackle your specific problem. 

CAUTION Make sure to test a hidden area first because you risk bleaching or affecting the colour, this is especially true for a garment-dyed item as the colour is not as fast on this fabric. 


  • First of all blot your stain with a clean cloth – avoid rubbing as it can spread and set deeper into the fabric 
  • Rinse the area under cold running water to flush out as much of the coffee as possible. 
  • Create a natural stain remover by mixing equal parts water and baking soda or salt. Rub the paste into the stain using your fingers or a soft brush. Let it sit for a little while to absorb the coffee. 
  • If the stain needs more work then try soaking in a 1:1 water/vinegar solution for around 30 mins. 
  • Wash on a cold cycle adding in a scoop of an oxy stain remover for good measure. 
  • Avoid the dryer in case it sets any residual stain. Try a spot of sunshine to remove any remaining marks. 

Red wine 

  • Quickly blot the stain gently with a clean cloth to absorb as much wine as possible. Don’t rub as it can spread the stain. 
  • Generously sprinkle salt or baking soda on the stained area to absorb and lift the wine from the fabric. 
  • Carefully pour boiling water through the back side of the fabric to flush out the wine, holding it over a sink or bucket. Be cautious with any fabrics that may be damaged by hot water. 
  • Spray with a 1:1 white vinegar/water solution and blot with a clean cloth. The vinegar helps break down the stain and neutralised odours. 
  • Launder on cold adding in a scoop of an oxy stain remover. 
  • Hang out to dry in the sunshine if possible to bleach out any residual stain. Avoid the dryer until you’re sure the stain is completely gone. 


  • Rinse the stained area with cold water as soon as possible. DON’T use HOT water on blood stains. 
  • Soak the item in cold salted water for around 30 mins. If the stain is older or more stubborn you might need to soak for longer and perhaps a gentle oxygen-based stain remover to the water. 
  • Gently blot the stain with a clean cloth or sponge. Avoid rubbing vigorously as it may push the stain deeper into the fabric. 
  • For persistent stains you might want to try hydrogen peroxide which helps break down the proteins in blood. We recommend doing a spot test first though because hydrogen peroxide can cause colour fading or bleaching on some fabrics. 
  • Launder with cold water. 
  • Hang out in the sunshine to let the sun’s rays work their magic on any residual marks. Make sure the stain is gone before putting the item in the tumble dryer as the heat might ‘set’ a blood stain. 


  • Rust can be difficult to remove but here are a few things to try. 
  • First of all try salt and lemon juice. Sprinkle some salt on the stain and then squeeze fresh lemon juice on top. Pop the item out in the sunshine to help accelerate the stain removal. Make sure to test on a hidden seam if you’re worried about any colour fading. 
  • Another method to try is combining 1 tsp cream of tartar, 1 tsp baking soda and a few drops of hydrogen peroxide and mixing to make a paste. Apply the paste to the stain for 30 mins and then rinse thoroughly. This can also be done with a paste made from Wilton London’s Oxy Laundry Bleach, although, again, it’s a good idea to test colour-fastness especially on darker coloured fabric. 
  • Apply a bit of laundry detergent on the stain and wash as normal, but avoid the tumble dryer until you’re sure the stain has gone. 
  • Wash on a cold cycle adding in a scoop of an oxy stain remover for good measure. 
  • Avoid the dryer in case it sets any residual stain. Try a spot of sunshine to remove any remaining marks. 


  • Blot the stain with a clean cloth to absorb as much of the grease or oil as possible. Try not to rub the oil into further into the fabric. 
  • Sprinkle cornstarch, baking soda or talcum powder onto the stain and leave it for about 30 mins to soak up the oil. 
  • Use an old toothbrush to brush off the powder, being careful not to damage the fabric. 
  • Rub a blob of washing up liquid into the stain and leave it to work its magic for a little while. 
  • Wash on a warm/hot wash and hang out to dry in the sunshine if possible. 

Nail polish 

  • If cleaning a big glob of nail polish you’ll need to use the edge of a dull knife or spoon to scrape off the worst of it. 
  • You’ll then need to work at the stain with some acetone, rubbing alcohol or hairspray. Make sure you do a test run on a hidden piece of fabric as it’s likely the colour might be affected. Using a cotton bud or clean white cloth gently rub the acetone into the stain. Make sure you’re working towards the centre of the stain and not in an outward direction so as not to spread the stain. 
  • When you’ve got all the colour out wash the fabric as usual to remove the acetone. 


  • Pre-treat the stain by rubbing a small amount of washing up liquid directly on to the affected area, using your fingers or a soft brush. 
  • Soak for around 30 mins in a solution of equal parts white vinegar and warm water. The acid will help break down the grass stain. 
  • Gently scrub again and launder in warm water, but adding an oxygen-based stain remover. 
  • Air dry, outside in the sunshine is possible, avoiding setting the stain in the tumble dryer. 

Fake tan 

  • You’ll need hot water for this stain. Use a sponge to dab the stain with hot water to remove as much as possible. 
  • Add a dab of washing up liquid and work that into the stain with the sponge. 
  • Adding in a scoop of an oxy stain remover, wash the item on the hottest temperature the care label allows. 
  • Avoid the tumble dryer until you are sure the stain is fully gone.