Cleaning stained breeches. Bang! and the dirt is gone! well…..almost

Getting up at 5.45am to go and ride a dressage test in torrential rain, get a dismal mark, become soaked from head to toe in the process, then have an hours drive back home, sort the horse out, clean the lorry, finally get back into the warm and dry only to realise that your previously Daz white competition breeches are now filthy!….is all part of the fun right?…. 😉

Wet horse, rider and gear I can deal with but trying to keep my competition breeches whiter than white in these conditions is near enough impossible. It rained so hard that the dye from my black saddle leached out leaving inky blue stains on the knee and seat areas of my breeches. There also appeared to be a multitude of other assorted stains and marks all over me by the end of the day (heaven knows where they came from!) I looked like I had been playing rugby not dressage!

In the vain hope that they ‘might just wash out’ I chucked my breeches in a normal 30 degree wash and crossed my fingers. This is what came out. Now admittedly they were cleaner…they just weren’t clean!

I then thought I would enlist the help of the internet, and posted a ‘help me’ question on e-venting’s facebook page, where the helpful people of the internet came up with lots of useful suggestions, such as…

1/ Vanish (stain remover)
2/ Dr Beckmann (stain remover)
3/ Napisan (nappy cleaning product)
4/ Swarfega (de-greaser scrub)
5/ Giving up all hope of wearing them in competition again and dying them a darker colour!


I opted for Vanish (because I spotted it on offer in Tesco) and a pre-scrub with Swarfega  (because I knew my Dad had some I could pinch!)

It is semi-terrifying applying bright orange Swarfega to previously white, and originally very expensive breeches, but I thought there’s nothing to lose so ‘in for a penny….

I applied and scrubbed them all over with the Swarfega, and then applied the Vanish directly on top of that. I left them like that for about 5mins, and then I soaked them in a bath of Vanish solution for 3 hours. At this stage I was slightly freaking out by their increasingly orange appearance!

After 3 hours soaking in a warm Vanish solution I put them in the washing machine, added a scoop of Vanish to the wash, and put them on a 30 degree cycle. When they finally came out they did look cleaner, but not great, but as they dried they started to look a lot better.

This is them now…

I am pleased they are back to a wearable colour again, but there are still residue stains and marks on them when you look up close (OCD alert!), but that it not the end!

I have a secret weapon up my sleeve…..mother!

I mentioned my Daz white challenge issues to her and in true mother style she said ‘give them to me, I’ll see what I can do’ so fingers crossed she can use some ‘mother magic’ and improve them further still!



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