I’m one of those people who wears a new blouse and gets ketchup on it the first time I wear it. I try to catch stains on my clothing prior to washing so that I can pre-treat them, but I am not always successful. This can be a super-costly mistake!
Three helpful hints for tackling stains:
- Treat the stain immediately if possible.
- Stains may require more than one treatment.
- Don’t dry the item until the stain is completely removed.
To remove the four most common stubborn stains—grease, grass, blood and food stains—try out some of these unconventional stain-removal methods!
1. Grease/oil stains
- Cheese whiz: Simply smear cheese whiz on the grease stain, and throw it in the washing machine immediately. Problem solved!
- Shampoo: Since shampoo removes oil buildup in our hair, it’s a natural product to use for grease stains. With shampoo, you should rub it on the stain as you would a pre-treatment, then wash normally.
- Hair spray: Spray hair spray over the grease stain, and wash normally.
- Cornstarch with dish soap: Sprinkle the cornstarch over the stain and let it sit for one hour. Then rub dish soap into the stain and wash normally. Allow to air dry.
2. Grass stains
Grass stains are one of my biggest challenges as a mom. Grass stains are like a dye stain and bind to the fibers of the fabric, which makes them super difficult to remove.
- Rubbing alcohol: This helps to disengage the green pigment from the fabric fiber. Use a sponge to wet the grass stain. Let it dry and then rinse the stain area with cold water. Apply liquid laundry detergent directly to the stain area, rinse, and then wash normally
- Molasses or Karo syrup: One of my favorite treats also works on grass stains. Apply directly to the grass stain and let it sit for 15 minutes. The stickiness helps pull the stain off the fabric. Wash on normal cycle. You can also use molasses on shoe leather and wipe clean. Molasses or Karo syrup can be used on any fabric but really works great on your child’s jeans!
- White vinegar: Combine water and white vinegar. Rub this mixture directly onto the stain and let sit for 15 minutes and then wash normally.
3. Blood stains
- Milk: Soak the stain in plain milk prior to washing. The milk enzymes help to loosen the stain from the fabric fibers. Immerse the entire stain in the milk and let soak for up to two hours depending on the severity of the stain.
- Hydrogen peroxide: Dab hydrogen peroxide on the blood stain with a Q-tip, rinse the peroxide off, and wash normally. I use this method on my white uniforms. Be careful when you use this on colored fabrics—test a small area of the fabric to see if it’s color-fast.
- Vinegar: Carefully blot the stain with vinegar, then continue to blot until stain is removed. Wash as usual.
- Baking soda with water: Use one part baking soda and two parts water and blot the blood stain until it’s removed, then blot the area with a sponge soaked with water and baking soda. Wash normally.
4. Food stains
- Lemon juice: Apply lemon juice to a stain on white clothing, rinse with cold water, and wash normally.
- Salt: For a red wine stain, pour salt over the stain or use white wine to counteract the red stain.
- Denture tablets: Use this more cautiously for stubborn stains. Place the stained item in a container with warm water, and add several denture tablets. If you’re using this method for the first time, use it on a less favorite item as a test run to learn how to use this method.
- Vinegar: Vinegar is a solution that’s found in your pantry and works well on more stubborn stains. Soak item in a half cup of white vinegar and two cups of warm water for approximately one hour. Rinse the clothing item, then wash normally. This may require two washes if the vinegar odor remains.
This is a post by Tammy from St. Pauls, NC.