Now the kids are back at school, you may be in charge of a laundry basket full of dirty uniforms and gym clothes. If you have children of school age, you’ll be all too familiar with the grass stains, the ink stains and those mystery stains that look like they’ve come from another planet.

Before you resort to cancelling their allowance to pay for replacing clothing (that it seems you bought only yesterday), here at MOLLY MAID, we’ve been polishing our household knowledge to bring you some useful tips for getting rid of the most common stains that you’ll find on school clothing:

Ink – Blot off what you can if it is still wet, then use a water-based stain remover, letting it soak for at least 10 minutes before washing in your machine as normal.

Crayons – Place a folded paper towel under the stained area. Spray the back of the fabric with WD-40 to help transfer the colour. Turn the fabric over and rub a little liquid dish detergent onto the crayon marks to loosen them even more. Wash in the hottest water possible with all-fabric bleach.

Grass – Grass stains will come out with prompt laundering and stain treatment. When trying to eliminate grass stains, don’t use ammonia, degreaser or alkaline detergents because they may permanently set the stain.

Mud – Removing a mud stain really comes down to the type of mud that’s on the clothes. Generally speaking, dark-coloured or red muds can be harder to remove than lighter, sandier muds. Mud is simply wet dirt, so trying to remove the mud stain with water can simply make more mud. If it’s a light mud stain that hasn’t had time to set into the fabric, however, you can rinse the stain under the tap from the back of the item of clothing, so the mud washes down the sink instead of washing further into the fabric. It can be easier to remove mud once it is dry, in which case you can brush away much of the dirt from the item of clothing with a soft brush.

Chewing gum – Put the clothing in the freezer, wait for the gum to harden and then chip and scrape it until it comes off the fabric.

Blood – Hopefully, you won’t be faced with this one too often, but accidents in the playground and on the sports field do happen. Rinse the stain in cold water as soon as possible. If it has dried, brush off as much as possible then apply a solution of salt and lemon juice. Rub into the stain then, once it has started to clear, wash with cold or warm water.