For our first cleaning tip we thought we would address a problem that afflict us Brits more than any other: I’m referring, of course, to tea stains.
Here in Britain we chug 165 million cups of tea every day (compared to 70 million cups of coffee). All that slurping amounts to a huge pile of caffeine-related laundry and, as we know, tea stains are some of the most stubborn to remove – particularly from crisp white shirts!
You might be surprised to learn that there are over 2,000 chemical compounds in the humble cuppa, including flavonoids, which are the molecules responsible for the colour of the plant. Once oxidised, these flavinoids give the tea its colour and flavour, as well as healthy antioxidant properties. Flavinoids are also responsible for the distinctive beige stain!
Fortunately, removing tea stains is easy (when you know how). The next time you spill tea on yourself, while the clothing is still wet, rinse it under a warm tap and then pop it in the wash with a biological detergent. By attacking the stain before it dries, you prevent the molecules from penetrating deeply into the fabric and setting in. Use a similar formula for upholstery stains: with a warm cloth, apply a bio detergent solution and blot dry.
To remove tea from carpets, sponge immediately with cold water and then wash with carpet shampoo.
If, however, you’re late for work and the stain must wait, then your only option is to ‘keep calm and carry on’ – then use a pre-wash stain treatment on the offending garment when you get home.
The nation’s favourite drink has a lot to answer for, but with the right treatment, slips and spills needn’t spoil your morning.