In today's world, a world of high concentration laundry detergent and high performance washers, you would think the old stain removal technique of the past would have stayed in the past. However, while the detergent and washers may work better we all have a nasty habit of stuffing them full of clothes to get done with the boring task of laundry faster. To get done faster we stuff them way over the recommended amout. Because of our overstuffing habits, washers cannot clean as efficiently and clothes still come out spotty.
These tough stains can come out easily if you just use the laundering techniques your mother used. I have compiled a big list of the toughest stains and the best ways to get them out without ruining your clothes with overwashing.
|Stain||What To Do||Still There?||Inside Dirt|
|Blood||Immediately rinse under cold running water, then rub the stain with bar soap and rinse||Add 1/4 cup of Ammonia to one gallon of cold water and soak for 15 minutes. Launder with color-safe bleach.||For best bleaching action, wait five minutes into the wash cycle before adding bleach.|
|Candle Wax||Using a dull knife, gently scrape off as much wax as you can. Then, place fabric between two paper towels and press the stained area with a warm dry iron, rotating the towels to absorb the wax.||
Sponge with a cleaning fluid like a degreaser then machine wash with bleach.
Pretreat with a candle was remover like Un-Du so you do not have to break out the iron.
|Flower Pollen||Do not rub, instead vaccum or shake off loose debris. A hand vac works well.||Spray on a powder remover, let dry, then brush lightly. Launder with color safe bleach.||Tide Stain remover pen removes pollen stains amazingly.|
|Fruit Juice||Let stain soak in cool water for ten minutes, then rub in liquid detergent, wash in warm water and rinse.||
Rub in liquid color safe bleach or let soak in a bleach solution, 1/4 cup bleach to a gallon of water for five minutes or longer then rewash.
|Red Erase Red Stain Remover works best on red stains.|
|Grass||Work a liquid detergent into the stain and wash.||Rub in liquid color safe
bleach into the stain, let soak for five minutes then rewash.
|Pretreat with the Tide
Stain Remover Pen.
Tide was made for Grass stains.
|Gum||Harden with ice, scrape off excess with a dull knife or a spatula. Sponge with liquid detergent.||Soak in liquid detergent for five minutes, working the detergent into the fiber of the shirt, then rewash.||A degreaser works great on gum. Also, tar and tape residue are removed easily with it.|
|Ink||Dab or soak affected area with rubbing alcohol. Rinse under warm water. Treat with liquid detergent before washing.||Relaunder with bleach,||Again, Tide Stain Remover Pen cuts through ink.|
|Soak fresh stain in cool water for ten minutes, rub in liquid detergent, wash in warm water and rinse.||Sponge in degreaser and rinse. If a residue remains, rub in color safe bleach.||Soak these stains in cool water right away to keep then from setting. Also, try treating with vinegar.|
|Paint||Scrape with a dull knife, rub stain with petroleum jelly until soft, and soak in undiluted paint thinner. For best results, work paint thinner into the fibers, but be sure to wear gloves.||Hand wash in warm water and detergent, then machine wash with color safe bleach.||Do not let latex paint set, if tackled immediately, stains often come out with warm water alone.|
|Red Wine||Sponge fresh stains with white wine to keep from setting then soak in cold water. Spot treat with liquid detergent before washing.||Launder fabric again using bleach.||Red Erase Red Stain Remover can save the day again here.|
|Crayon ( if you happened to wash clothes with one in them)||Place the item face down on a few paper towels and spray the wax stained are liberally with WD-40. Let sit for five minutes then do the reverse side. Rub in liquid dishwashing detergent and rinse in warm water before machine washing||Scrape off any wax if there still is any. If no wax is there, rub in liquid detergent and rewash.||If the crayon has not gone through the washer, blot the stain with pieces of white paper.|
|Color Bleeds||Relaunder immediately before the stain dries and sets in. Usually it will come out in a warm wash if it has not set in.||Soak the piece of clothing in a solution of bleach and cold water for about an hour and relaunder.||If you have a lot of affected items, you will need a lot of bleach and water. Rewashing them before bleaching them will just make them worse.|
As you may have noticed, a big go to with tough stains is to pretreat them with liquid detergent. Detergents these days have become super powerful and are not to be underestimated. When you find yourself faced with a tough stain, just rub a little detergent into it and let it do its job.
So, when in doubt, detergent it out.
Also, when bleaching colors, always check and recheck the bleach to make sure it is color safe. Nothing hurts more than pouring the not color safe bleach on your favorite colored shirt.
Also be aware of fabric you are working this on. If it is something delicate that says warm wash only and I told you to treat the stain with a cold wash, ignore that. If you are washing a delicate fabric, always use the recommended wash because anything else may get the stain out, but it would hurt your fabric.
As a special little bonus, I have found that tossing the recommended amount of Oxyclean into your laundry machine works very well are removing tough stains that you are just too tired to pretreat. Though if you do want to pretreat them, Oxyclean and water makes a lovely paste that does that well too.