How to Remove: Sweater Stains

As we revel in the cold days of the season and the temperature continues to fall, a thick woollen sweater can become our most trusted companion. Warm enough to keep out the biting cold, but comfortable enough to act as a blanket for lounging around the house, a sweater is a huge comfort in the winter. The reason that wool is such a good insulator is that it’s designed for the express purpose of keeping animals that grow it warm in the cold and the wet climate. The masses of fine fibres woven together trap air in between them, which warms up with your body temperature to make sure that you don’t lose any essential heat. This trapped air also acts as an insulation from the colder air, preventing you from feeling its chill.

The unfortunate problem that this presents, is that as there are so many of these delicate fibers that it creates a large surface area for stains. Stains on your winter woollies can be some of the most difficult ones to clean. As with all organic fibers, this surface is porous, so it only provides more opportunity for pesky stains to take shelter, sometimes permanently.

As with every problem, there is a solution – quite literally in this case. A solution of Vanish Oxi Action Gel and cold water can tackle these stains with ease.

There are lots of different types of wool: Cashmere comes from cashmere goats, and is characterised by being very fine and light to create a very tight knit. Angora is similar, although made from the hair of angora rabbits, and it is incredibly soft. It has a ‘halo’: a very soft layer of loosened fibres that sits above the fabric. Merino wool is made from the wool of the Merino sheep, who are able  to withstand an extreme range of temperatures. The fibres are incredibly fine but remain breathable as well as insulating. Lastly, is the most prevalent of wools, that of the sheep, which can be spun into yarn of varying thicknesses, but usually makes up looser and thicker knits.

Despite this variation in types, the stain removal process for these clothes stains are very similar. The first important factor is speed. The quicker you set about removing the stain, the greater the chance that you will remove it. It’s important to remember not to apply heat on the fabric  as this can ‘fix’ the stain,  and to use a dabbing or blotting action rather than rubbing, as this can spread the stain, fade the colour of the fabric and even create holes in the garment.

Dab the Vanish Oxi Action Gel on to the stain with some cold water and leave to soak for five to ten minutes. Rinse with cold water from the inside, so the staining particles exit the way they entered. Hand wash in cold water with a mild detergent and a scoop of Vanish and the stain will disappear. Do not wring or pull the sweater while washing. Once you’ve washed it, lift it gently and wrap it your arm or scrunch it. Do not pick it up by the shoulders or arms as this can stretch the wool. Keep it scrunched up until you can lay it out flat somewhere to dry.

When hot drinks and hearty meals abound, it may have seemed that your woolens didn’t stand a chance against potential stains. But Vanish makes it easy to combat these stains, so you can enjoy your winter.