Stain removal: part three

Welcome to the third in our series of posts about stain removal. Before having children, things used to get stained ‘occasionally’, now, well lets say it’s a bit more frequent. It’s not deliberate on anyone’s part, more of an occupational hazard so to speak.

Parenting requires you to be an expert in so many areas: nurse; councilor; chef; teacher; dietitian; cleaner to name just a few. An expert in stain removal certainly comes as part of the role.

There are those moments, when you realise that no matter how hard you scrub that stain just isn’t coming out, but most of the time there is something you can do.

I had a mega stain situation just the other day when one of the toddlers managed to flick spaghetti bolognese at the wall and hit a black and white canvas print of himself as a baby. I was speechless as it was one of those fluke shots but with a tiny bit of bleach and an old toothbrush I’ve fixed it.

Today I’ll be looking at how to remove some of the tricky food stains that families can find themselves having to deal with.


I think this can be one of the hardest stains to get out of clothing and of course at Christmas there were plenty of these situations. Scrape off any excess, and that doesn’t mean licking it! Hold the back of the fabric under cold running water and rub laundry detergent into the stain and then leave for 15 minutes to soak, again in cold water. Every five minutes, briefly take the fabric out and rub at the stain, then return to the water. Rub in a stain remover such as Ace and then wash as normal.


Chewing gum

Chewing gum is not something that anyone in our house has, however, that doesn’t mean that people don’t step in it or sit in it from time to time. It is the most annoying thing for me because I hate the stuff. Place the shoe or clothing in a freezer bag, seal and pop in the freezer for around two hours. Peel off the gum whilst it is frozen, you might need to use a skewer to pick it out of a shoe tread.


This is a common one in our house as we eat a lot of berries. Use a stain remover like Ace and soft toothbrush and a little cold water. If the item is white then add a little lemon juice to the wash.

What are your top tips for getting these tough stains out of shoes and clothing?

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