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rsz_care-of-oilclothWhat’s the best way to get rid of stains on oilcloth is a question I get asked a lot.  As a company making oilcloth products for messy little ones, this isn’t really surprising.   Our oilcloth is resistent to most stains and a simple wipe with some soapy water or a quick spray with a kitchen surface cleaner will remove most marks.  There are however, some foods and products which are more likely to stain.  Tomato and carrot based sauces, bolognaise, black and blueberries, felt tip pens, curries and red wine are some of the common culprits.  Add an enthusiastic, messy toddler into the mix and the potential for some staining is unfortunately higher…

Wiping up the marks as soon as possible is the first thing to do and whilst this sometimes does the trick – sometimes the mark has already stained or you just don’t notice the mark at the time – thus leaving a stain.    This can be REALLY annoying…. as you can guarantee you’ll then notice the stain forever more, even if other people don’t!

Over the years, we’ve tried and tested various ways of removing stains from our oilcloth.  They vary from fairly traditional to rather unusual!  Unfortunately, there isn’t one which is guaranteed to work each and every time, but here are our favourites which have worked on some occasions:

IN ALL CASES, WE RECOMMEND TESTING THE CLEANING PRODUCT ON A SMALL AREA OF THE OILCLOTH WHICH IS NOT VERY VISIBLE BEFOREHAND TO CHECK FOR COLOUR FADING.

  • Sunlight – whilst leaving your oilcloth in the sun for too long can cause it to fade, leaving the oilcloth outside one sunny afternoon will often fade stubborn pasta sauce stains.
  • Bicarbonate of Soda – make up a paste with some water, rub gently onto the stain. leave for a few minutes and wash off
  • White toothpaste  – leave it to harden slightly then wipe off – this may need to be done 2-3 times for the stain to fully fade.
  • Nail Varnish Remover – a small dab with some cotton wool, rub gently onto the stain.  Again, leave for a few minutes and wash off.
  • Milton Sterilising Fluid – diluted, rub into stain and wash off.
  • The good old English Rain – this has worked for a couple of mums who were unsurprisingly sceptical to start!  Leave the oilcloth outside in the rain – ideally allow it to dry naturally outside as well (Does make you wonder what’s in our rain…)
  • WD-40 has worked on some occasions.  Spray onto the mark, leave for a few moments and wipe away.  If trying this tactic, please wipe the oilcloth afterwards with warm soapy water to remove any traces of WD-40.
  • Hairspray – strange but true!  This can often be the one to remove pen or biro stains.

Sometimes a combination of any of the above with sunlight will do the trick.

Here at Messy Me HQ, we’re doing some more testing of all these solutions on different stains over the next couple of weeks so will report back on our successes and any new tips and tricks we’ve come across

If you’ve any other ideas for removing stains from your oilcloth, please do let us know!