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Tips for ​Removing Stains from Clothing

Jul 08, 2020

Tips for Removing Stains from Clothing

We have all endured this common problem – our favourite shirt or blouse gets stained and we don’t really know how to get it out. We’ve tried all the usual solutions but sometimes there’s a stain that poses a real challenge. The typical reason for this is because most people use the wrong kind of remover for a specific stain. This is what this article is all about – teaching you how to remove stains depending on what kind they are.

Oil-Based Stains

We’re starting with oil-based stains because these are usually the most difficult to get rid of. Another big problem with oil-based stains is that they generally aren’t noticeable right away because they tend to leave a slightly darkened spot instead of creating a brightly stained area. If this oil-based stain doesn’t get taken out quickly, it can leave a permanent mark on your clothes.

Some of the common oil-based stains are from butter, mayonnaise, gasoline, deodorants, cooking oil, and makeup. The best solution for oil-based stains is to use hot water and detergent. We recommend soaking the stained item in hot water and after a few minutes, start rubbing liquid detergent or even dish soap on the stained area.

Make sure that you carefully check the stained area before drying the piece of clothing, because cleaning it after it dries will be a lot more difficult the second time around.

Water-Based Stains

Cleaning a shirt or blouse with a water-based stain is easier than oil-based stains, but you still need to get it cleaned quickly before the stain sets. The most common water-based stains are coffee, water-soluble paint, dyes, and wine. The most recommended solution for water-based stains would be blotting the stained area gently and then soaking the piece of clothing in cold water for around 30 minutes. If you have Oxo-Brite or a similar product, you can use that as a pre-treatment solution before laundering.

For coffee stains, you can also try pouring hot water over the stain slowly before washing it as usual. For wine, you can try covering the stained area in salt, then soaking the garment in cold water and detergent for a few hours before washing it. Dye stains can be removed by soaking the garment in Oxo-Brite (or a similar product) overnight, then rinsing in cold water. Repeat the process as necessary.

Protein-Based Stains

The stains you get from blood, sweat, raw eggs, and grass or plants are some of the most common examples of protein-based stains. The most important thing to remember when cleaning these kinds of stains is never to apply heat, so using hot water is a big NO.

A shirt stained with blood can be cleaned by quickly blotting and soaking in cold water for 30 minutes or more. Rub some liquid detergent after soaking and rinse. For a more stubborn blood stain, try mixing in 2 tablespoons of ammonia and liquid detergent in a gallon of cold water, then soak the stained shirt in that for at least 30 minutes. An enzyme detergent works best.

For other protein-based stains, you can usually fix these with a long soak in cold water and an enzyme detergent. Sweat stains can be removed by creating a paste made out of baking soda and water. Rub the mixture onto the stained area, let it sit, and then soak and rinse in cold water and Oxo-Brite.

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