Frequently Asked Questions

How many types of stains are there?

Stains are divided up into four main categories:

  • greasy stains (e.g. from cooking oil and cream)
  • protein-based stains (e.g. from blood and milk)
  • bleachable stains (e.g. fruit juice, coffee, red wine, tea, mildew, mould etc.)
  • pigment stains (e.g. ink, felt-tip pens, watercolour, lipstick, grease, soil, makeup etc.)

In addition to these, there are also more complex stains, such as rust and so-called mixed stains, which are a combination of different stain types.

How do I carry out a colour fastness test?

When treating stains, it is vital to know whether a textile is colour-fast or not. That is why we always recommend performing a colour fastness test before applying stain removal products. Simply soak a clean, white cloth with some Stain Devil solution and dab it onto an inconspicuous spot of the textile e.g. the inside hem of the garment. The white cloth should remain white, unaffected by the coloured fabric. Provided neither the colour nor the structure of the fabric has changed following exposure to the fluid, washing and drying, you can safely proceed with stain removal treatment.

Why are there so many Stain Devils?

Because no two stains are alike. There is a broad range of stain types with very different structures and properties. So, in order to combat a certain kind of stain, the stain remover must be tailored to tackle its specific structure and properties. Surfactants, which reduce the surface tension of water to facilitate stain removal, are for example an essential component in grease stain elimination. As for pigment stains (e.g. ink and makeup), certain active substances are needed to both dilute and release the pigments to ensure successful stain removal. Bleachable stains are removed via oxidation i.e. with the help of oxygen. And this is why Dr. Beckmann offers a range of eight unique stain removers – specially designed to remove the most diverse and challenging stain types.

Can all stains be removed?

Unfortunately not. Non-removable stains can include:

  • superglue and polyurethane construction foam (stains are too intensely hardened)
  • (drawing)-indian ink (not water-based)
  • Edding®
  • permanent inks/felt-tip markers and permanent ballpoint pens (particularly black ink).

Pigment-based stains that have been washed prior to stain removal treatment and/or ironed, can also no longer be removed.

What is so unique about mildew stains and why are they dangerous?

Clean clothing and textiles that show mildew stains must be treated with a specialist product. Moisture stains are more than just an optical problem – They can cause allergies and prove harmful to health.

Some mildew stains are black and may accumulate on tile joints or in silicone cracks. These typically belong to the “Aspergillus Niger” black mould subtype. To combat these kinds of stains, the Dr. Beckmann Fruit & Drinks Stain Devil provides a highly effective solution that actively fights mildew while being gentle on fibres and colours.

What are laundry additives?

Laundry additives are substances that are used alongside washing detergents to boost washing performance.

What are optical brighteners?

Optical brighteners are compounds with fluorescent properties. Their purpose is to increase the whiteness-degree of a textile by compensating for the yellowish tint: the ultraviolet light absorbed from sunlight is radiated again as a weak bluish fluorescence, which is the complementary colour of the yellowish tint. This will cause the textile to appear "whiter".

What are natural fibres?

There are two types of natural fibres:

  • plant-based natural fibres made of cellulose such as cotton, linen, flax, hemp, rayon etc. They are compatible with heat, friction and oxygen-based bleaching agents. They are easy to bleach because they tolerate a certain degree of alkalinity. However, they must not be exposed to acids.
  • animal-based natural fibres such as silk, wool, merino wool, cashmere etc. Like human skin, they contain proteins which make them highly sensitive to heat, friction and oxygen-based bleaching agents.
What are man-made fibres?

There are two types of man-made fibres:

  • chemical-based ones e.g. polyamide (PA), polyacrylamide (PAC), spandex, lycra, polyester (PES) etc.
  • cellulose-based ones e.g. viscose (CV), lyocell, modal, cupro, acetate etc. These are extremely sensitive to friction and oxygen-based bleaching agents. They also have a reduced wet tensile strength, which is why the Dr. Beckmann Office & DIY Stain Devil cannot be applied to these fibres.

All types of man-made fibres are synthetically manufactured.

I just cannot remove certain odours from my textiles! What can I do?

Everyday odours such as sweat, fat, nicotine, urine often cling to clothing fibres – even after multiple washes. Due to the stubbornness of foul odours, they cannot always completely removed by standard laundry detergents. However, thanks to the Dr. Beckmann Odour Remover, bad odours no longer stand a chance! Its patented ingredients eliminate all unpleasant smells – reliably and effectively. Freshness depot capsules simultaneously ensure that new odours are quickly neutralised during wear.

How can discolorations be avoided?

Sorting laundry into different coloured piles can prove time-consuming and often ineffective. Thanks to the Dr. Beckmann Colour & Dirt Collector, however, all kinds of different colours can now be washed together safely. The Colour Collector Sheets pick up running colours during the wash cycle and reliably lock them in. Meanwhile, colour-collecting molecules released from the sheet efficiently bind any lingering dyes left in the water – to ensure your laundry remains fresh and vibrant.

How can I rescue discoloured laundry?

As a rule, laundry should always be sorted according to colour before washing – unless laundry additives like Dr. Beckmann Colour and Dirt Collectors are being incorporated. But how do you successfully remove discolorations from laundry? Only a Colour Run Remover can really help. Thanks to its unique ingredients, it restores the original colours of affected clothing garments by removing any unwanted dyes. Nevertheless, instructions for use must be observed closely to ensure successful removal of any discolorations!

How do I restore radiant whiteness in discoloured white textiles?

White textiles often acquire a greyish, yellow tinge that develops over time rather than in the washing machine. Unfortunately, this tends to happen if garments are washed repeatedly at low temperatures or left lying around in the wardrobe. And this is where Dr. Beckmann Super White can help. The washable pouch can be placed directly in the drum with your whites. Just one application of the whitener is enough to both restore and prolong that radiant glow.

Why does my washing machine smell bad?

Sometimes, it is not only your washing machine that smells unpleasant, but also your freshly washed clothes.Odours can build up inside the washing machine due to frequent washing at low temperatures. The moisture in the washing machine encourages micro-organisms to develop and these cannot be completely eliminated at low temperatures. By using Dr. Beckmann Washing Machine Hygiene Cleaner on a regular basis, however, your washing machine will remain hygienically clean and prevent unpleasant odours from forming – ensuring your laundry comes up consistently fresh.

How come my dishwasher smells bad?

With every wash load, grease, dirt and detergent residues settle in gaskets, joints and non-visible parts of the dishwasher. The humidity inside the machine can create the perfect breeding ground for microorganisms. And over time, these deposits may result in unpleasant odours or malfunctions. The Dr. Beckmann Dishwasher Hygiene Cleaner therefore provides the ideal solution: It targets areas where odours typically occur i.e. in seals and joints, as well as hard-to-reach parts such as sieves, drains, water pumps or spray arms.

What are bleaching agents?

Bleaching agents remove stains from fruit, vegetables, tea, coffee, wine etc. via oxidation i.e. with the aid of oxygen. They also brighten whites and have an antibacterial effect. Due to their brightening effect, we recommend carrying out a colour fastness test on coloured textiles before treating. Textiles made of either new or merino wool and cashmere must not be treated with bleaching agents, as they will damage their protein-rich natural fibres.

What is oxidation?

When oxygen reacts with a substance, it is commonly referred to as oxidation. Or more precisely: a chemical reaction in which electrons are emitted. This process can, for example, be practically applied to oxygen-based bleaching.

What are surfactants?

Surfactants are active washing substances that reduce the surface tension of the water. They ensure fibres are saturated more thoroughly and surfactants are particularly necessary for dissolving oil and grease stains from textiles. There are 4 main groups of surfactants, namely: anionic tensides, non-ionic surfactants, cationic surfactants and amphoteric surfactants.

What are enzymes?

Enzymes are a type of protein that either accelerate or indeed catalyse various chemical processes in an organism. In cleaning agents, enzymes help decompose or "dissolve" organic contaminants, which makes them a key component in cleaning and stain removal products. Enzymes are highly effective proteins that are even able to perform in small quantities or at low temperatures. Amylase, cellulase, lipases and proteases can moreover be distinguished according to their individual effects.

What are solvents?

Solvents are liquids which dissolve active ingredients without changing their composition. They assist the cleaning effect and partially evaporate once applied. They are commonly used in the removal of stubborn, adhesive dirt such as oil, fat, wax, tar, paints, coatings and various adhesives.

What are acids?

Acids are highly corrosive liquids, which should be handled with care (e.g. hydrochloric acid, sulphuric acid, nitric acid). Certain acids are able to dissolve lime, as well as both dissolve and remove rust.

Why are alkalis used in cleaning products?

Ammonia, soda, sodium, and potassium hydroxide are key dirt-dissolving alkalis, which are able to remove stubborn grease and oil-based residues (e.g. in ovens) and obstructions (e.g. in drains). Alkalis are, however, unable to dissolve lime. Cleaning agents which primarily consist of strong bases are highly corrosive. Hazard labels and safety notices must be closely observed at all times.

What are polishing agents?

In abrasive substances such as metal polishes and oven cleaning agents, abrasive components serve as mechanical grinding and polishing elements. The size and hardness of their grain is designed to clean surfaces effectively without damaging them.