We’ve all experienced it: a stumble in the yard, a spill when drinking, or a dribble from ink pen resulting in the staining of your favorite shirt. Even after numerous applications of Tide-To-Go, the stain is still visible. Don’t rush to replace it or go online just yet. You can use a few techniques to get rid of the stain and keep your garments clean (and save money).
Fortunately, all stains share a few characteristics, and the sooner you become aware of them, the better you will be able to remove them. First of all, it’s best to treat stains as soon as possible. Second, always try to get rid of as much of it as you can by wiping away any surplus and blotting (not rubbing) the area with cool water or clean water. If you can’t start working on removal right away, try keeping a wipe in your bag or car so you always have the means to pretreat it. Last but not least, always double-check that the item is out before putting it in the dryer. The stain can set & become permanent due to the dryer’s heat.
1. Dye stains
Because dye is the exact method by which we introduce color to fabric in the first place, dye stains that arise from washing colored items with other colors (often whites) can be difficult to remove. To get rid of them, immerse the impacted clothing in the washing machine for eight hours in cool water mixed with oxygenized non-chlorine bleach according to the package guidelines. Repeat as necessary, and when the stain is removed, wash and dry your clothes as usual.
2. Fruit & fruit juice stains
Use an enzymatic laundry detergent straight on the stain, make sure to completely cover it, and let it sit for 20 minutes after diluting the stain with cold running water. Wash the item on the cycle recommended on the label at the highest temperature suitable for the fabric before rinsing off the detergent.
3. Stains from red wine
The stain should be covered in salt to absorb the color (the salt will start to become pink), followed by an overnight soak in ice water with an enzyme laundry detergent. If required, repeat the soak with fresh water and then wash as usual.
4. Espresso stains
To get rid of the stain as much as possible, rinse it with cold water. After that, apply an enzymatic laundry detergent to the stain and work it into the cloth with a soft-bristled brush. After allowing it to sit for five to ten minutes, wash as usual (before rinsing out the detergent) on the highest temperature recommended for the fabric type.
5. Stains from mud
Avoid the desire to immediately wash it or to attempt to wipe or blot it. Let the mud to dry first, then carefully scrape off any extra. When required, rinse the fabric after creating suds over the stain using laundry detergent and little water. If the stain on a colorfast fabric isn’t eliminated after one effort, you can treat it with a solution of equal measures of vinegar and water before washing it with an enzyme detergent.
6. Grease stains
Grease-fighting dishwashing solutions come to the rescue with grease stains, just like it does with tomato-based stains. Whether it’s cooking oil or motor oil, wipe the stains with a dishwashing liquid to help remove the grease, then quickly rinse it with cold water. Repeat the process as necessary. Then, carefully work an enzymatic laundry detergent into the stain, completely covering the area (so you get all the way through the garment if the stain is motor oil), and allow it to sit for five to ten minutes, or perhaps a little longer. Use the hottest temperature that the fabric can withstand while washing it as usual without rinsing off the laundry detergent.
7. Ink stains
Put a piece of scrap fabric or a paper towel underneath the affected area and spray hairspray all over the stain. After letting it sit for a short while, blot the extra with a clean cloth. Repeat as necessary, then use an enzymatic washing detergent to wash the item as usual.
Also watch our Web story on How to Remove 8 Different Kinds of Stains from your favorite Clothes:
8. Combination stains
Combination stains are challenging because they contain multiple stain types. The appropriate approach can still be used to treat items like makeup, numerous meals (sauces, condiments, etc.), and ice cream (which may contain stains from fruits and oils in addition to being a dairy stain).
Always begin by treating any grease component of the stain first by brushing the area with a dishwashing detergent that fights grease, allowing the grease to release, and then rinsing. Then, take on any protein stains by using an enzyme presoak, washing at the maximum temperature advised for that fabric, and adding more enzymatic laundry detergent (starting with cold water to prevent “cooking” any dairy or eggs).
Finally, you can remove pigment-based stains by soaking them in a mixture of water and oxygenated non-chlorine bleach. Additionally, colorfast fabrics may be treated with a solution of equal measures of vinegar and water and then washed once more if that doesn’t work.
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