Sustainability tips for your wardrobe

 

Your clothes will last longer if you look after them. It is good for both the environment and your wallet. We've put together a few of our best tips for a sustainable, flawless wardrobe without the use of unnecessary chemicals.

First aid for stains

Instead of washing garments that only have a small stain, we recommend treating just the stain. Here are a few tips:

  • The faster you treat the stain after the mishap, the better your chances of removing it.
  • Most stains can be removed using cold water if they are still damp.
  • A stain has to be dissolved, not rubbed off the fabric. Rubbing pushes the stain into the fabric and can make it even harder to remove.
  • Place the garment on a flat surface, preferably on top of a towel. Start with the inside of the fabric, dabbing it with a flannel or cotton pad. Hopefully you will see the stain 'float away' from the fabric. When this happens, the towel you have placed underneath the garment will absorb it.

Natural stain removers

A lot of the most common stain removers contain chemicals. Using a few common household items you can treat most stubborn stains just as successfully and with a clearer conscience. Here are a few natural alternatives:

Olive soap is a naturally produced soap that you can buy from us at INDISKA
Bile soap is an organically produced detergent that is available in supermarkets
Ammonia solution can be found in well-stocked supermarkets and paint stores
Chemically pure petroleum can be found in well-stocked supermarkets and paint stores
Clear spirits – for example, vodka (not to be confused with white spirits, which is actually turpentine)
Glycerine/Glycerol can be found in pharmacies
Sparkling mineral water/Club soda can be found in supermarkets
Household vinegar 12% – dilute 1 tbsp per litre of water
Tartaric acid and citric acid you will find among the herbs and spices in supermarkets

Stains A-Z

Oranges and blood oranges
Dissolve 1/2 tbsp ammonia solution in 1/2 litre of water. Dip a fabric cloth into the solution and dab the stain until the discolouration fades as much as possible. Place the stain between layers of kitchen roll, squeeze out the liquid between the paper towels until the stain is gone and the fabric is almost dry. Be careful with delicate fabrics.

Banana
Freshly squeezed lemon juice and water can work. Be careful with delicate fabrics and remember that the colour might fade. White cotton fabrics can be soaked in water with a little ammonia (one tablespoon of ammonia solution per litre of water).

Blood
Never use hot water, as there is a risk that the stains will become permanent. Soak and rinse in cold water with a few tablespoons of salt. Then treat the stain with soap or detergent if necessary.

 

Ink/marker pen
Treat the stain with methylated spirits or a citric acid solution. First test the solution on a less noticeable area of the garment, which will not matter if it gets bleached.

 

Berry stains
White vinegar, lemon juice or an ammonia solution can be dabbed directly onto the stains. Otherwise, washing in soapy water is recommended.

Chocolate and cacao
Never use hot water or soap. Wash in cold water or rub liquid detergent or milk into the stain.

Grease
Heat 3 tbsp potato starch in water, spread the warm mixture onto the stain and leave overnight. Brush off or wash in warm, soapy water (preferably olive soap) or washing-up liquid.

Fruit and vegetable stains
Rinse the garment in cold water immediately. Then treat the stain with a citric acid solution – half a teaspoon of citric acid to 10 cl water. Be careful with delicate fabrics and remember that the colour might fade.

Grass
Fresh stains can be dipped into hot water. Mix together 1 tbsp vinegar and 1 tbsp washing-up liquid, dab the mixture onto the stain and leave for 30 minutes, then rinse with warm water.

Coffee
Fresh stains can be removed with cold water and soap. White garments can be dipped into boiling water. For coloured garments, you can whisk an egg yolk in lukewarm water and add this to the stain. Alternatively, you can soak it in cold water and a few tablespoons of 12% vinegar.

Glue
Treat the stain with cooking oil.

Resin
Remove from woollens with pure alcohol. For other fabrics, try using some other type of white alcohol.

Lipstick
Rub washing-up liquid or liquid detergent onto the stain and wait a few minutes for the stain to dissolve. If necessary, white spirits can be used for residual stains.

Mayonnaise
Treat the stain with a small amount of washing powder dissolved in cold water. Dry washing powder can be sprinkled onto synthetic fabrics, which can then be treated with an ammonia solution.

Milk
Soapy water (soap and water). For delicate garments just use cold water.

Mould
Soak the garment in soured milk and a few pieces of horseradish for a couple of days. You can also try using sodium carbonate.

Nail varnish
Dabbing acetone onto the stain works on most materials. Note that this does not apply to synthetic materials – acetate or triacetate – as these fibres are fragile and might dissolve. Be careful, and try it out on a less noticeable area of the fabric, such as a seam on the inside.

Oil
Rub butter into the stain and then wash with lukewarm soapy water. If there are a lot of stains, you can first try soaking the fabric in a bucket of cold water, dissolved washing powder and 3 tbsp of salt. Then wash the garment, treat the stains with this solution and rinse in cold water. If it is a delicate fabric, try carefully using chemically pure petroleum or some other degreaser.

Face powder/make-up
Use washing powder or soap and water on the stain. If this does not help, dab the stain with chemically pure petroleum.

Rust
Treat the stain with a concentrated tartaric acid or citric acid solution. Lemon juice works too. Then cover the stain with a cloth and iron it until the stain is gone.

Spinach
Cold water is the best thing for fresh stains. Rubbing half a raw potato onto the stain is an old-fashioned household trick.

Soya
Dissolve the stain by soaking the garment in warm water – change the water often to prevent discolouration.

Wax
A warm iron and a couple of layers of kitchen roll or greaseproof paper between the iron and the stain. Iron the paper so the wax melts and sticks to the paper. Alternatively, place the fabric in the freezer and snap the wax off after a while. Then treat it like a grease stain.

Sweat
Moisten the stain and rub soapy water onto it, or use diluted vinegar to treat the stain. If this does not help, dab the stain with undiluted alcohol.

Tea
Drip fresh lemon juice onto the stain and rub it with a damp cloth. Be careful with delicate fabrics and remember that the colour might fade. Alternatively, dip it in boiling water or wash it in milk.

Chewing gum
Freeze the stain by placing the garment in the freezer. Then carefully scrape/snap the chewing gum off the garment without damaging it. If necessary, any residues can be removed using alcohol or vinegar.

Wine
The best way to remove red wine stains is with carbonated mineral water. Sprinkle salt or potato starch onto red wine stains, if you are unable to do anything about them straight away, and then rinse in cold water. Alternatively, try rubbing bile soap into the affected areas. Use cold water or warm milk on white wine stains.