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Bargain Hunters Reveal £1 Hack For Removing Chocolate, Ketchup & Grass Stains

August 24, 2021, 4:00 PM
  • 7 tips to remove stains on a budget from members of money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk
  • Tricks include several £1 cleaners which get rid of stubborn stains and some old-fashioned solutions using everyday items found around the house
(Picture: Freya Farrington)

Whether it’s a glass of wine, a chocolate bar or a ketchup spill, getting stains on clothes, walls and furniture can be frustrating and stressful. However, there are a number of ways to get rid of them that don’t have to break the bank.

Members of money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk provide their top tips on getting stains out while on a budget.

Use Elbow Grease for curry or chocolate

A favourite among bargain hunters is Elbow Grease spray, which costs just £1 in most shops. Lynne Fripp recommends the spray in conjunction with a hot wash: ‘It works every time. My daughter got chocolate from a Magnum over her top, I’d washed it on 30 as normal and it didn’t come out, so I put Elbow Grease spray on it, scrubbed it in and did a 60 degree wash - it’s like new again.’ Similarly, Tracey Glasscoe said: ‘Elbow Grease sprayed on stains with a 40 degree wash hasn’t let me down yet. Grease, ketchup, all done, even on the cheapest of clothes.’

Jaimie Ash also loves the product. ‘I had a tub of blackberries from when we went blackberry picking spill out under the pushchair, all over my little girl’s pale pink favourite jumper. Fairy and Elbow Grease worked a treat!’ Angela Stewart has had similar success: ‘Yellow Elbow Grease has removed various stains from clothes, carpets and dining chairs.’

Use The Pink Stuff for grease and felt tip pens

For difficult stains on walls and carpets, many have found success with the Pink Stuff. Sarah Cadwallender said: ‘I use the Pink Stuff spray, £1 from Home Bargains. I accidentally found out when my son dropped raspberries on the carpet and stood on a couple. The spray lifted every single bit of stain. Amazing.’

Elsewhere, Maxine Chidlow said: ‘I had a grease stain so bad on a top I couldn’t get it out with anything, even after lots of washes - I got some Pink Stuff out of the tub, rubbed it in the stain, straight in the washing machine, stain gone!’ Karen Horne has found success for another stain: ‘Dunno about stains on clothes, but Pink Stuff has removed felt tip pen off my walls and dye (from tie-dying) off my hands...no idea how I managed without it!’

Use white vinegar or bicarbonate of soda to remove underarm stains

Emma Bissett asked LatestDeals.co.uk members for help: ‘I’m looking for something to get suncream stains and underarm stains out. It’s a nightmare, my daughter's new tops are all ruined with it.’ Holly Taylor suggested: ‘White vinegar on underarm stains, let it soak for 10-15 minutes.’

Meanwhile, Kelly Williams had another solution: ‘I get some bicarbonate of soda and some water, turn it into a paste and rub it on with a toothbrush. I leave it for a bit then chuck it in the washing machine. It works for sweat stains on our work shirts.’ Diane Haig agreed, providing her own version: ‘Bicarb and vinegar works amazing for most things - that or bleach if it’s for something white.’

Make the most of supermarket brand stain removers

It may be tempting to buy the more expensive brands if you’re dealing with a bad stain, but plenty of bargain hunters have had success with supermarket brands. For example, Charlotte-Louise Hart said: ‘I use Sainsbury’s own spray stain remover, pink bottle. My son got a blackcurrant fruit pouch all down his white sleepsuit and it came out new.’

Kylie Garrad recommended Morrisons own stain remover, saying: ‘It’s fantastic, it’s my go-to every time. I accidentally cleaned the bath with it once - that worked a treat too!’ Similarly, Lynda Lawson said she used the same product to remove blue bubble gum lolly drips.

Use a magic sponge for crayon and paint stains

Magic sponges, also known as magic erasers, are rapidly gaining popularity - and they’re available for as little as £1 at discount stores. SB Sarah said she uses a magic sponge for trainers, walls and kitchen cupboards. Similarly, Simon Newman commented: ‘I use a melamine sponge - or magic sponge as it’s commonly known - as this will even take off crayon. I removed some paint from another car off mine (they opened their door onto mine).’

Tom added: ‘Magic erasers are a cheap method for removing some of the most stubborn stains on walls and floors. Just make sure they don’t remove the paint by testing them in a small area first.’

Use washing up liquid to remove tough stains

Sometimes all you need to remove stubborn stains is some old-fashioned washing up liquid. Andrew Pyne explained how he used this method to remove ketchup from a white T-shirt recently. ‘I scraped off what I could, then I rinsed it with cold water. Afterwards, I got washing up liquid and rubbed it on the stain with clean fingers. Next, I rinsed again from inside the shirt with cold water and checked the stain. I repeated the washing up liquid step, and rinsed one more time. I then rubbed the stain - which was almost gone - with a Vanish stick and washed it in the machine on the hottest temperature the label would allow. Job done.’

Lori Westgarth was in agreement: ‘Washing up liquid works better than any stain remover,’ with Ceri Beament adding: ‘I only learned it last year, but it’s saved several tops!’ Rachel Clifford questioned whether only Fairy Platinum worked, but Lori replied: ‘Nope, any Fairy works. I took grease off a yellow jumper with just normal green Fairy liquid.’

Soak clothing before washing it

A popular method is to soak clothes in stain removing products before they go into the washing machine. For example, Kim de Ronde shared her trick: ‘I pre-treat clothes with the Astonish Fabric Stain Remover. I spray it on and work in the product, then add it to the washing machine. Works all the time for me.’ Anuca Apetri had a similar method: ‘Soak in Napisan pre-wash, add Napisan on the wash, wash at a low temperature and dry in the sun as it is a natural cleaner.’

Tom Church, Co-Founder of LatestDeals.co.uk, said: ‘Letting the product soak in before putting them in the washing machine can save a lot of time and stress. It also avoids running several washing cycles to try and get the stain out, which uses up electricity.’

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