Removing Scorch Marks on Clothing

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Removing Scorch Marks on Clothing
Removing Scorch Marks on Clothing (Image: http://www.flickr.com)

Causes

Almost everyone has had clothing with scorch marks on them. The most common ways clothing is stained by a scorch mark is either by accidentally dropping a burning cigarette or by leaving a hot iron on the clothing too long. It is often assumed that scorch marks on clothing mean that the clothing is ruined for good. That is not always the case. There are a few ways you can try to get the scorch mark out. Different kinds of fabrics have different methods.

A forgotten iron is a main cause of scorch marks
A forgotten iron is a main cause of scorch marks

Cotton or Linen Fabrics

Use peroxide on cotton and linen fabrics that have been scorched. Put some peroxide on a second piece of old fabric. Place the fabric over the scorched part of the clothing. Rub lightly with the heated iron. The peroxide will pull the scorch stain out, repeat the process as many times as needed to remove the scorch mark. If you have just scorched cotton fabric put it in cold water right away. Fresh scorch marks can come out by soaking the clothing in the cold water for 24 hours. Vinegar comes to the rescue too when treating newly created scorch marks. Rub the scorched area with white vinegar, then with cold water. Repeat until the scorch mark has vanished.

You can also cover the scorch mark on the clothing with lemon juice. Then lay it directly in the sun. The combination of the lemon juice and sunshine should bleach the mark out. This works best with white or light colored clothing. Dark fabrics might lose color along with the scorch marks.

Cotton Fabric
Cotton Fabric

Wool, Satin or Silk Fabrics

Wool is different than other fabrics. When wool is scorched the fabric actually burns leaving less fabric. The best thing you can do is to use a small brush, fine sandpaper, emery paper, or emery board to lightly scrape away the burnt ends. A coin can also be used to scrape away the scorched area. No matter what you use to scrape, be sure it is clean so that it does not replace the scorch mark with another stain. Another way that used to be a common method, but that is rarely used today is to use chalk. Scrape a piece of chalk into powder. Wet the scorch stain on the wool clothing. Apply the chalk powder to the wet area and lay the garment out in the sun. Repeat when the area dries. This won't remove the burnt fibers but may lighten the appearance of the scorch stain.

Satin fabrics can use another peroxide method if the scorched stain is light and the fabric is a light color. Dab peroxide on the stain and place the garment in the sun. Darker fabrics, unless they are colorfast cannot have this method used on them. Silk fabrics may respond to the same scraping methods as wool on the burned area. However scorch marks will probably not come out of silk fabrics.

Wool Fabrics
Wool Fabrics

Other Fabrics

Fabrics such as Rayon and polyester should not be ironed because they will melt. If a scorch mark is made by a cigarette the peroxide and sun method can be tried on light colors. Most of the time though, scorch marks cannot be removed from these fabrics at all.

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