Laundry Stain Removal Tips

Phebean Oyefusi
28 Aug 2017

Generally:Fresh stains are much easier to remove than old, so attack the stains PROMPTLY. Take leather, fur or suede to dry cleaners and make sure you point out and tell them the origin of stain. Hot water can set protein stains such as milk, egg, or blood, so do not use hot water for these stains. Do not use chlorine bleach on wool, silk, or any item labeled “Do Not Bleach.” Use oxygen (all-fabric) bleach instead.Bleaches can alter the color of a garment as well as the stain; bleach the whole garment, not just the stain.Avoid excessive rubbing unless fabric is tough and durable so as not to further spread the stain or damage the fabric’s finish and color.Do not dry in dryer, press or iron stained fabrics until the stain is removed, heat will set the stains.When a procedure calls for using another fabric or paper towel, do not use colored fabric, sponges or paper towels as these can bleed dyes onto your clothes and make dye stains that are more difficult to remove.

· Baby Formula Use this method only for whites or clothes you have determined to be safe for chlorine bleach – Mix a quarter cup of chlorine bleach with a half-cup of automatic dishwasher detergent and one gallon of hot water. Soak clothes in mixture for at least 30 minutes, then wash as usual.

· Beverages (Coffee, soda, wine etc) Sponge or soak stain in cold water, and rinse off. Apply detergent or a pre-spotter to remaining stain, if any, and wash in hottest water allowable for that fabric type. Use bleach if safe for the fabric

· Blood Pour hydrogen peroxide on blood and rinse with cold water. Repeat until it’s all gone. Alternatively, soak in cold water for a minimum of 30 minutes. If the stain is old and set in, pre-treat or soak in warm water using an enzyme detergent. Then wash in the hottest water possible without damaging the fabric. If any residual stains, soak again in warm water with a pre-soak product. Re-wash using fabric-safe bleach.

· Ketchup Scrape off excess with a dull knife and soak in cold water for 30 minutes. Pre-treat stain with a pre-spotter and wash in hot water using a fabric-safe bleach.

· Chocolate and Cocoa Soak in cool water with an enzyme detergent. Wash in hot water using fabric-safe bleach, if needed.

· Color Runs: One product that’s woked for me is Carbona Color Run Remover, however you must make sure you only use it on whites and colorfast fabrics. As with most other stain removal tips, check fabrics for colorfastness before applying solutions to entire garment. Carbona Color Run Remover is not suitable for silk, denim, khaki, synthetic fabrics, leather and suede

· Cosmetics (lipstick, mascara, etc.) Pre-treat stain with a pre-spotter or dampen and rub with bar soap. Wash as usual with fabric-safe bleach.

· Crayon See Wax section.

· Dairy Products including ice cream Soak in product containing enzymes for at least 30 minutes; several hours for older stains. Then wash as usual.

· Deodorants For light stains, rub in undiluted liquid detergent, then launder using the hottest water possible for that fabric without damaging it. For heavy stains, place face down on a paper towel and sponge the back of the stain with a dry-cleaning solvent or laundry detergent. Rinse. Rub in undiluted detergent and rinse. Launder using the hottest water possible.

· Dye Transfer: see Color Runs.

· Egg Scrape off excess and soak in garment in an enzyme presoak or detergent. If stain remains visible, rub with a powder detergent. Rinse with cold water and wash as usual.

· Fruit and Berry Stains Soak lightly with cool water for several minutes, rub and rinse off. For tough stains, rub in glycerin and let set for a few hours. Add a few drops of white vinegar, rinse thoroughly and launder.

· Glue, gum and other adhesives Apply ice or very cold water to harden the affected area. Scrape the stain carefully with a dull knife to remove any excess. Saturate with a pre-spotter or cleaning fluid. Rinse and then wash. Tougher adhesives may require a treatment with acetone. (see Nail Polish directions)

· Grass Begin by pretreating the stained area or soaking in enzyme detergent for 5 minutes (longer for tougher stains) or make a paste of your detergent and rub it in – let sit for 15 minutes. Wash using fabric-safe detergent. If stain persists, sponge with alcohol (dilute the alcohol in two parts water if you’re concerned with the fabric’s colorfastness)

· Grease and oil Spray with commercial pre-spotter or laundry detergent. Wash in the hottest water that’s safe for the garment. If stain persists, place stain facedown on paper towels. Blot back of stain with a dry-cleaning solvent. Allow the fabric to dry, and then rinse. Wash again in hot water. Air dry, if possible.

· Ink:

· Mildew This stain can be approached in a number ways:Wash items in chlorine bleach, if it’s safe for the fabric. If chlorine bleach is not safe, cover stain with a paste of lemon juice and salt. On cotton and linen, make a paste from an oxygen bleach, water, and a few drops of ammonia. Let paste cover stain for 15 to 30 minutes. Flush thoroughly with water and launder again. If stain persists, sponge with hydrogen peroxide. Rinse thoroughly and wash again. When all else fails, your last chance is to try a chemical called mildacide, which is available in a number of cleaning products under different brand names. It can be obtained from commercial laundry products distributors or fabric stores that carry fabric care products. It is one of the stronger products on the market, if this doesn’t work, nothing will. Be careful, however, when mildew has been on an item for a very long time, some of the color will be removed with it or just eaten up by the mildew.

· Mud and heavy soil If mud is moist, rinse off first; if dry, brush of as much as possible. Rinse in cold water and then pre-treat with detergent. If soil is heavy or set in, soak in regular or enzyme detergent and wash in hottest water safe for the garment with appropriate bleach.

· Mustard Pre-treat with a commercial spot remover and wash in hottest water safe for the garment with appropriate bleach (chlorine or oxygen).

· Nail Polish: Never attempt to remove nail polish with oily polish remover.

· Paint

· Perspiration/Sweat: Build-ups may sometimes be impossible to remove if they are set in for a long period of time. The acid and oil in perspiration can discolor the molecules in the cloth. Buy a spray spotter for drycleaners (can be found at laundry suppliers) and spray directly on the stain and run the fabric through a normal wash cycle. You may also use non-chlorine bleach as well.

· Red Wine: If new, rinse immediately and handwash spot with a dishwashing or similar liquid. Alternatively, mix a little liquid soap with hydrogen peroxide and use to presoak the spot for about 15 minutes, you should notice the stains disappearing. Launder as appropriate. This method also works for set stains.

· Rust· · Scotch Marks· · Sugar· · Wax (candles, crayons, etc.) If excessive, it may not be worth your while to attempt removal.· · Yellowing if white, nylon, durable press items.

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