Removing stains from school uniforms
Suffering from stained school uniforms? Don’t despair – you’re not alone.
Busy kids mean inevitable messes, as they’re involved in all kinds of fun, games, and adventures during the school year. From accidents in the playground to spills in art class, in addition to how to remove grass, mud, Play-Doh and other items, stained school uniforms can be a continual worry for many mothers.
The good news is that your kids can make all those great memories without you having to worry about the stains they leave behind on their school uniforms. Getting rid of these common stains isn’t as hard as you might think.
Here are a few handy tips to get pesky stains out of your child’s uniform:
Gently scrape or blot the chocolate and remove as much of it as possible without rubbing or spreading. Treat it with a dab of detergent and let it sit for at least 30 minutes. Use a soft brush or sponge to gently work the stain remover into the fabric. Rinse and wash as normal using the warmest water temperature setting that is safe for the fabric. Repeat the steps above if necessary, or rewash the garment using some oxygenated bleach.
White PVC glues are water-based, which means an easy clean-up. Let the glue dry completely, as trying to remove it while it’s still wet will just spread it out. When the glue has dried, peel and scrape off as much of it as possible. Soak in cold water overnight if possible. Remove the garment from the water and then rub in a generous amount of strong pre-treater into the remaining stain. Wash as normal on a warm setting.
Act fast and flush out the blood from the inside of the uniform with cold water. Pour hydrogen peroxide directly onto the stain to help lift it. Rinse well and wash on cold. Check carefully before drying as heat can set stains. Then air-dry the uniform if possible.
Dip the gummed fabric in a bowl of vinegar for one minute and then scrub off with a toothbrush. Or you can heat the gum with a hair-dryer and then scrape it off with a plastic knife. You can also place ice cubes on the gum for at least 30 seconds to freeze it and then scrape it off with a knife.
Rub plain white chalk over the mark and leave overnight and then launder. You can also mix one teaspoon of ultra-dish soap with one teaspoon of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. Scrub into the stain and leave overnight. Rinse well and wash as normal.
Do not use hot water or cleaning solutions to remove Play-Doh stuck to clothes. Instead, allow the Play-Doh to dry and then use a stiff brush to loosen it from the fabric. If the Play-Doh remains stuck, gently vacuum it away using an attachment, or you can wash the garment by hand with a dab of laundry detergent and cold water. Repeat until it’s gone.
Gently scrape the crayon stain to remove as much excess wax as possible. Place the stain face down on a couple of paper towels and then iron with a hot iron on the back of the stain. Wash the stain as normal with warm water. You can also apply liquid dish soap and work it into the stain in circular motions. Let it sit for a few minutes and then rub the fabric under warm water. Launder as normal with the hottest water the fabric allows. You can use your regular laundry detergent and add some oxygenated bleach. If the crayon stains remain, repeat these steps.
Wet the affected area with water. Sprinkle on one tablespoon of salt and gently rub and watch it disappear. This works best on fresh ink, however.
Let the mud dry and flake or scrape off as much of it as you can with a knife. Pre-treat the stain with some stain remover and let it sit for about 10 minutes. For heavier stains, let it sit for at least an hour and use a brush to work the remover into the fabric on both sides of the stain. Wash as normal in warm water and check before drying as the heat of the dryer will set any mud that remains. Repeat if necessary.
*A version of this article appears in print in the 20 October, 2022 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly.