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01May 2014
Stain Removal Techniques - Baking Soda
Stain Removal Techniques - Baking SodaGetting stains out of fabrics like carpet and clothing is a difficult thing to be able to do, and you will often find that there are so many different ways of supposedly getting rid of stains, that it can be difficult to know what is old wives tale, and what is scientifically proven. It is also similarly difficult to know whether you can use certain techniques on certain materials, as sometimes there is a risk of completely ruining the garment of surface of the carpet or furniture. Whilst there should always be caution used when applying chemicals to fabrics, it is a good idea to have a decent base understanding of the way in which the various and confusing techniques all work. If you have a simple idea as to what exactly you are doing to the stain, as well as the effects that that has on the material otherwise, you can make quicker decisions as to whether you think that it is the best method for you going forward. Before you apply any substance to a stain, you should always ensure that you are getting rid of the excess material that might be getting in the way of the staining aspect in the first place. For instance, if there is a big blog of tomato sauce on a child’s tee shirt, you need to get rid of the actual tomato sauce, so that you are not at risk of spreading more sauce around the surrounding fabric. Similarly, the sauce needs to be removed, in order that the baking soda can get to the stain in the first place, rather than just combining with the sauce and making a mess!Baking soda is a fantastic substance as it is carbonated. This basically means that it fizzes up on contact with water, which makes it a great cleaning tool. The fizzing action will speed up the reactions involved in breaking down the stain, and will also help to keep the staining pigment suspended, away from the material, so that it does not simply set back into the fabric. Baking soda will make up a great cream cleaner, and can be used to clean all sorts of hard surfaces as well, it is even used in some tooth paste brands! In order to harness the power of baking soda, you should apply a little of the powder to the stained area, and then dab that area with water on a cotton pad of a cloth. The water will get the soda fizzing, as well as lubricating the whole thing, and making it much more easy to clean with. Be sure to dab at first, ensuring that the stain is not spread around. Once you have dabbed away all the excess, ensure that you give the baking soda some time to fizz away at the stain, as this will ensure that you are always with the best chance of getting rid of it. Give it a rub, flush out the area with water, and inspect the stain. If it is not gone, then try again, you may want to think about adding white vinegar or lemon to the mix, as these acids will break down the stain further, and add to the cleaning power of the stain removal. Be sure to tread carefully if you are cleaning delicate or expensive materials, like cashmere or silk. White vinegar can even burn holes in older silk garments, so be sure to read up on the manufacturers washing instructions first, or you may have a much bigger problem than you thought!

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