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The 5 stains of an afternoon tea

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Photo by Sebastian Coman Photography from Pexels

There is nothing quite as satisfying, and delicious, as an afternoon tea. A smorgasbord of finger sandwiches, patisserie, scones, and, to top it all off, a glorious cup of tea. If you are enjoying your afternoon tea so much that you manage to spill some down yourself, don’t panic, follow these steps, and your clothing will be good as new. 

  • Tea
  • Clotted cream 
  • Mayonnaise
  • Cream cheese
  • Custard

Tea

You can’t have an afternoon tea without tea- it’s quite literally in the name. If your tea manages to escape your cup and dribble on your clothing, lift the stain following these simple steps. 

To remove a fresh tea stain you will need… 
  • Warm water
  • Laundry detergent 
  • Washing machine

If you catch your tea stain immediately, begin by flushing as much of it from your clothing as possible with warm water. Gently pour the warm water over the stain so that it runs through your garment, and continue this for at least 15 seconds. 

Once you are satisfied that you have flushed out as much of the tea as possible, rub a few drops of laundry detergent onto your stain until it lathers. Make sure that you target both sides of the stain in order for it to be successfully lifted. 

After your stained item has become well lathered on both sides, rinse the detergent using warm water. Continue to rinse until all of the detergent has been removed from your item. 

Finally, put your stained garment into the washing machine, and wash as you usually would. Once your cycle has finished, your stain should be completely removed.

If your tea stain remains, it may have already set into the fibers of your clothing. If this is the case, an alternative method must be used. 

To remove an old tea stain you will need… 
  • White vinegar
  • Laundry powder
  • Lukewarm water
  • Washing machine

The best way to remove an old tea stain is by making a paste from equal parts white vinegar, laundry powder, and lukewarm water. For the most effective paste use two tablespoons of each ingredient. 

Rub you paste directly onto your stain using your fingers. Alternatively, you can use a soft-bristled brush or clean white cloth. Using your chosen tool, work your paste into your stain until it has been completely covered. 

Once you are satisfied that your paste has been worked into your stain, rinse your garment with lukewarm water until all of the paste has been removed. If you notice a tea stain still on your garment, work more paste into the stain and re-rinse. 

Wash your garment in your washing machine as you usually would. 

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Clotted cream

Jam and clotted cream are the perfect accompaniment to a freshly baked scone. The only question is, do you put the jam or the cream on first? More importantly, how do you remove a clotted cream stain if a blob makes its way onto your clothing?

To remove a clotted cream stain you will need…
  • Spoon or blunt knife
  • Coldwater
  • Liquid laundry detergent 
  • Washing machine 

The most important thing to remember with any cream stain is to tackle it as soon as possible or it will turn yellow and be much harder to remove. 

To begin removing your clotted cream stain, first remove as much of the solid cream as possible using a spoon or a blunt knife. Be careful if you are using a knife as you don’t want to push too hard and damage the fibers of your item. 

After removing as much solid cream as possible, turn your garment inside out and flush your stain with cold water. A clotted cream stain is made from protein which, if exposed to warm or hot water will curdle and set the stain deeper into your fabric. 

Once you have flushed as much of your stain as possible, pour a small amount of liquid laundry detergent directly onto the stain and work it in using your fingers. You want to use a detergent containing enzymes as these will help to break down the protein in the clotted cream. After working your detergent into your stain, soak it in cold water for a minimum of 30 minutes. If your stain is not fresh, you may want to leave it soaking for longer, potentially overnight. 

After soaking your stain, remove your garment from the water, and wash as you usually would. After washing, if you notice that your stain has not completely lifted, repeat the process and try soaking your item for longer. 

Image by Zul Vent from Pixabay

Mayonnaise 

Part of the afternoon tea experience is enjoying a selection of finger sandwiches, many of which will contain mayonnaise. It is only too easy for a blob of mayonnaise to fall from within the crusts of your sanwich and land directly on your outfit. If this is the case, follow these simple steps. 

To remove a mayonnaise stain you will need…
  • Blunt knife or spoon
  • Heavy-duty liquid laundry detergent 
  • Washing machine 

Begin removing your stain by using a blunt knife or spoon to lift as much solid mayonnaise as possible. Be careful to not push too hard on your garment or you risk causing rips and tears. 

After removing as much of your mayonnaise as possible, pre-treat your stain using heavy-duty liquid laundry detergent. You must make sure that your detergent is heavy-duty so that it can break down the oils in the stain. Use your fingers, or a soft-bristled brush, to gently rub your detergent in. Continue rubbing until you are satisfied that the detergent has been adequately rubbed into your stain. 

Allow your detergent to sit for at least 15 minutes, before washing your garment in the washing machine, using the hottest temperature on your items care label. Once your item has completed its cycle, remove it from the washing machine and check that your stain has been completely removed. If your stain remains, repeat the process. 

Image by Marco Verch Professional Photographer

Cream cheese

Aside from mayonnaise-based fillings, salmon and cream cheese is a very popular finger sandwich filling for afternoon tea. Like mayonnaise, cream cheese can also easily escape from your bread and find its way onto your clothing. 

To remove a cream cheese stain you will need…
  • Blunt knife or spoon
  • Heavy-duty liquid laundry detergent
  • Washing machine 

Begin removing your cream cheese stain by using a blunt knife or spoon to lift as much solid cream cheese from your clothing as possible. Do not use a cloth to rub at the cream cheese as this will only set the stain further into your item and make it harder to remove. 

After removing as much solid cream cheese as possible, work a few drops of heavy-duty liquid laundry detergent into your stain. The heavy-duty detergent contains enzymes that will break down the oils in the stain and help to lift it. After working your detergent into your stain, set your garment to one side and allow it to sit for at least 15 minutes. 

Finally, wash your item as you usually would. This is the final step in dissolving and lifting the oils and proteins that make up the stain. After washing, check that your stain has been completely lifted prior to drying. If it has not, repeat the process and try leaving your detergent to penetrate your stain for longer. 

Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

Custard 

The final component to any successful afternoon tea is a delightful selection of cakes, many of which are filled with custard. As delicious as these cakes are, when you bite into them, the custard has a nasty habit of squirting out and landing on clean clothing. 

To remove a custard stain you will need…
  • A spoon or blunt knife
  • Coldwater
  • Heavy-duty liquid laundry detergent 
  • Hot water
  • Chlorine bleach or colour safe bleach
  • Washing machine 

Begin removing your custard stain by lifting as much of it from your garment as possible using a blunt knife or spoon. Be careful when doing this as custard can be slippery and you don’t want to risk spreading the stain to other parts of your garment

Once you have removed as much of the stain as possible, turn your item inside out and flush the stain with cold water. This will help to push out as much of the custard from the fibers of your clothing as possible. 

When you are satisfied that you can not flush out any more custard with cold water, use a heavy-duty laundry detergent to pre-treat your stain. Rub the detergent into the stained area using your fingers, or a soft-bristled brush if you so wish, making sure that it is rubbed into the whole of your stain. Leave your detergent to sit for a minimum of 15 minutes to ensure that your stain has been adequately penetrated. 

Next, wash your stained item at the hottest temperature that the care label will allow, adding chlorine bleach if your item is white, or colour-safe bleach if not. The bleach will help to break down and lift any remaining stain that the detergent failed to remove. 

Once your cycle is complete, remove your item and check that the stain has been lifted. If not, repeat the process until the full stain is removed. 

Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

Afternoon tea is fun, and something that should not be spoiled by stains or the worry of having to remove them. Instead, enjoy your afternoon tea with the knowledge that we can lift your stains for you. Simply head to the Laundryheap website or download the free Laundryheap app to book your order now. 

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