Have you ever had to throw away a favorite shirt because of a stain that wouldn’t come out no matter how many times you washed it? Accidents happen, but they don’t have to spell the end for your best garments. Here are some tips for removing common types of stains to keep your clothes in great condition and help ensure they last a long time.
Wash stained clothes as soon as possible. The longer a stain is left on a piece of clothing, the more it sets into the fabric and the more difficult it will be to remove. If you wash your clothes before the stain dries, or at least the same day, there is a much greater chance it will come out easily. It is best not to set it aside to wait for laundry day.
Treat grass stains with cold water and detergent before washing. Soak your garment in cold water for a few minutes, then apply a little laundry detergent and use a paper towel or cloth to rub the stain off. It may take a few tries before the stain is removed completely. If this fails, you can try a stronger cleaning agent such as white vinegar. Grass stains can be particularly difficult to remove from jeans. Start by dousing the stained area with rubbing alcohol. After it dries, rinse it with cold water. Dab a little detergent on the stain and scrub it gently for several minutes with a cloth or paper towel. Rinse the area again, then machine wash your jeans as usual. The stain should disappear, leaving your jeans as good as new.
Clean white socks regularly. White socks pick up dust and dirt that sets in over time, turning the bottom a dull gray color that persists no matter how many times you wash them. Fortunately, there are a few ways to restore your socks to their original brightness. Treat them with a stain remover before putting them in the washing machine. Follow the instructions the product comes with: you may need to leave the stain remover in for a certain amount of time before placing it in the washer, or you may even have to soak it in a solution of stain remover and water. If you prefer home remedies without strong chemicals, soak your socks in a mixture of 1 cup of lemon juice and 4 cups of water. The weak acid in the lemon juice helps draw the dirt out of the fabric and also acts as a natural fabric softener.
Remove tomato-based stains with cold water and an appropriate agent. Ketchup and tomato sauce are two of the most common stains. First, remove any residue by wiping it away. If the sauce is still wet, blot the stain with a wet paper towel or sponge. Soak it in cold water for five minutes, and then rub the stained area with laundry detergent. Next, apply hydrogen peroxide to the stain. Wash it in the highest temperature the fabric can comfortably handle, and your clothes should come out stain-free.
Take stained clothes to the cleaners. Cleaning professionals have years of experience removing stains, so they have the greatest chance of success saving your clothes. Make sure you tell the staff what caused the stains so they can use the appropriate treatments and get the best possible results. If you do not have time to take your clothes to a laundromat, inquire to see if they offer drop-off or delivery services.