How to Clean Stains on a Wool Blanket
Everyone loves a warm and cosy wool blanket. It's cuddly, it's soft, and it reminds you of the long winter nights at home when you were a small child. You could probably smell the hot chocolate and the stuffing already. What you did not see and enjoy at that age though, would be all the stains your mom had to fight to keep your favourite blanket clean. Lucky for everyone, the Internet exists and will gladly help you when you need it.
That's why we've prepared some useful stain removal tips and tricks, so you can enjoy those beautiful wool blankets. If you're an outdoor kind of person and go camping alot with your wool blanket, you'll often find you need to keep it clean on a regular basis after long trips. So let's take a look at those tips:
Taking care of general stains:
The first golden rule is not to treat it with hot water. Don't use any heat at all. This will seal the stain and it would be unnecessarily hard to remove after. High temperatures also make the wool shrink and it's easily damaged when scrubbed.
Now that you understand what to avoid, as a base rule, we can continue with some stain cleaning techniques in more detail. According to Matt, a Melbourne cleaning professional, like every stain on any other fabric or hard surface, the best way to take care of it would be immediately after it's appeared. Here's a dash of tips on what to do:
- Don't give it any time to settle in comfortably.
- Take a paper towel and gently blot up all the excess moisture until you have tried your best and there is nothing left to blot.
- Remember not to rub the stain, no need to embed it further into the fabric. Find the mildest, softest detergent and mix it with an equal part of water.
- Apply the solution to the stain and then blot again patiently and with less pressure.
- Keep going until there is no more moisture left and repeat the process if the stain is still present.
- Set your washing machine to a slow cycle with cool water so you're as careful with the fabric as possible.
- Add a gentle wool detergent and 2 cups of vinegar, which is known to brighten colours, remove stains and soften fabrics. It has a similar effect on hair, as well. In two words - vinegar is a blessing from the gods.
- Let the basin fill up, turn off the machine and submerge the blanket inside.
- Let it stay there for around 15 minutes and after that, run it through a 2-minute gentle cycle.
- Then, rinse the blanket, without spinning it, before hanging it to dry. Again - do not expose it to direct sunlight or place it near any heat sources, unless you want a new blanket for your cat because you couldn't decide what to get him for Christmas.
* Important note: Methods like steam cleaning or hot water extraction can damage your wool blanket and their use is not advisable. Wool is extremely sensitive and you should always handle it with extreme care.
How to clean other types of stains?
Although the process above works perfectly for most general stains, it may be a bit time-consuming. Well, we've got some quicker solutions for you to apply. And almost all of them include vinegar (God bless you, Vinegar).
How to clean grease?
- Baby powder: Sprinkle it over the stain, press firmly and leave to sit overnight. In the morning, gently rub the powder off with a slightly wet cloth. Again, do not dip the cloth in hot water. Never.
- Vinegar: Get some of this godly substance and moisten a paper towel with it. Dab the stain before you put your wool blanket into the washer. This trick works very well with old stains, as well.
- Artificial sweetener: Very useful when it comes to taking care of a stain on the go. If you were travelling somewhere with your blanket or you took it out to a picnic in the woods, this is a very easy and effective way for removing stains. So don't panic if you forgot your vinegar, just blot up the grease spot with a bit of the sweetener and you are ready!
How to clean makeup stains?
It's very important to remember that lipstick and mascara are oil-based. This means that using water when you try to remove makeup stains will be ineffective. Try to blot up a bit of the excess stain, first, without rubbing it in any further. For other types of makeup, just flush the stain out from the other side of the blanket with cold water.
- Shaving cream: This works best for a foundation smudge or spill. Apply the cream to the spot, leave it for a bit and wash off with cold water.
- Dish detergent: Mix half a cup of detergent with half a cup of warm water and sponge the stain, again without rubbing it.
Food and wine:
Similar to makeup, if the food stain is oil-based, ignore all your basic instincts and don't clean it with water. If it's not - then flush it from the other side with cold water.
- Our saviour - the vinegar: The best type to use would be white vinegar. Sponge the stain with the substance and wash. If it's a stubborn one, then mix a solution of three parts vinegar and one part water and let it stay for around 30 minutes.
- Salt: Salt is perfect to use for red wine stains. We all love to drink in bed but by Murphy's law, a blanket cannot stay unstained. Don't panic when it happens, leave the glass aside and take some salt. Sprinkle a bit of it on the stain and leave for 5 minutes. Rinse with cold water while gently rubbing it as well. You can repeat if it's needed.
How to get rid of blood stains from a woolen blanket?
Unfortunately, vinegar won't help us here. Most of the times if the stain is old and forgotten, there is nothing much we can do about it. But for fresh blood, we do have some tricks for you. If you have a washable wool blanket, you can try machine washing as soon as possible, but here are some other tips:
Hang some garlic on the window to keep Dracula out and prepare.
- Lemon juice: The first thing you need to do is to soak the wool blanket in cold water. Mix up a solution of 2 cups of lemon juice and a cup of salt. Pour the liquid over the stain and place the blanket in a plastic bag for a couple of minutes. After that, hang it somewhere to dry before washing it how you normally would.
- Hairspray: Saturate the bloody area with the spray and leave it for a couple of minutes. After that, just wipe the stain up with a damp cloth.