Tips on Removing Clothing Stains
Everyday life routine like cooking, working with a car, mending machinery, and dining teach us to treat clothing stains early on in life. Oil? Grease? Blood? Lipstick? Wine? No matter the offender, there are some ways to remove the stain before it sticks for good. Quick action can keep it from becoming a permanent blemish on your wardrobe.
Tips on Removing Stains
The General Rules:
- The longer a stain remains, the tougher it is to remove.
- Always treat a stain before laundering.
- Blot gently but never rub and do not ever blot a stain with hot water.
- Figure out what kind of stain it is. Ink, grease stains, juice, wines, or coffee.
We all have had most of these stains in our life. They are treated differently. So, just make sure you know what it is so you know how to treat it best.
For Grease Stains
- Baking Soda: Wet the stain with a little water and cover it with a bit of baking soda. Then rub it off with a damp towel.
- Salt: Mix up 1 part salt with 4 parts rubbing alcohol and rub it hard on the grease stain.
- Chalk: Rub chalk on a grease spot on clothing or table linens and let it absorb the oil before you brush it off. Mark the stains heavily with chalk before laundering. The chalk will absorb the oils that hold dirt in.
- Pre-treat the stain with detergent and wash it on the warmest water setting that a particular fabric can endure.
- Cover with talk or baby powder immediately and allow it to sit at least half an hour. Then brush it off, apply a stain remover, and wash in the hottest water fabric can stand.
For Juices, Coffee, and Wines Stains
- Blot a stain with cold water, and then sprinkle the stain with salt so it can absorb the liquid. After a moment or two wipe clean with club soda and pre-treat for a wash cycle.
- Coffee stains can be removed by applying liquid bleach for whites and color-safe bleach for colors onto the stain, letting it set before washing normally.
- Douse a red wine stain with salt, dunk in cold water, blot until the stain disappears, and wash as soon as possible.
- Soak the fruit juice stain in cold water then rub bar soap into the stain. Launder the item immediately with detergent and the appropriate bleach for white or colored fabric.
For Ink Stains
- On cotton: apply rubbing alcohol to the spot, then wash. On polyester: spray liberally with hair spray and pat with a clean, dry cloth. Then wash.
- To remove ink stains from colored clothes, an overnight mil bath will often do the trick.
- Put non-gel toothpaste on the stain and rub the fabric vigorously together. Rinse with water. Repeat the process a few more times until you get rid of all the ink.
For Lipstick Stains
- Blot the lipstick stain with a baby wipe or a washcloth moistened with rubbing alcohol.
- Apply a pre-wash stain remover and rinse in warm water. Do not rub, blot or dab the stain with the stain remover using a white washcloth or towel.
- If the stain still isn’t out, apply a liquid detergent and rinse in warm water.
For Blood Stains
- If the stain is fresh, blot repeatedly with cold water, an ice cube, or club soda. If it is dried, use a 3 percent hydrogen-peroxide solution.
- A little washing liquid goes a long way in stain prevention. Dilute dishwasher detergent with some water or use full strength and blot the stain to remove blood. Once the blood is removed, blot again with a damp sponge. Launder the clothing as usual.
- Apply the vinegar directly to the stain and blot. When the stain is removed, blot again to remove the smell and launder.
- Spray glass and window cleaner directly onto the stain and let sit. Blot after about 10-15 minutes to remove stain. Launder as usual.
- Regular bar or liquid soap works well. Wash the clothing under the water with soap. Rinse until the soap and the stain have been removed.
For most other stains, rinse, treat with stain remover and launder as usual. One exception is nail polish, which you should first rub with acetone (nail polish remover), and then send through the laundry cycle.