Messy obstacles are constantly being placed in front of our lives, just begging to wreak havoc on our laundry. From cooking in the kitchen to working on the lawn everything we do risks the liability of sullying the clothes we wear. Even working at the office there are chances for accidents to occur. Here, we’ve listed a few common stains and ways to remove them. For each process on this list make sure to first test the method on a small hidden area of the clothing to ensure no discoloration or harm to the type of fabric occurs.
Ink stains typically happen from pens or printer toner cartridges and can be very difficult to remove. Using alcohol can help lift the stain immensely before throwing it into the wash cycle. To do this take a piece of cloth or cotton swab moist with alcohol and gently dab the stained area. As the stain lifts continue to dab with another clean alcohol moistened cloth or cotton swab and repeat this process until the stain is removed. Afterwards, make sure to then dab the area with water to dilute the remaining alcohol in the fabric. Wash as usual with hot or warm water.
An unexpected menstrual cycle, sheer clumsiness, or just having young children are the usual culprits for blood stains to occur. If you are a victim of this stain, make sure to rinse the stained area as soon as possible to get as much of the blood out as you can. Next, take hydrogen peroxide on a paper towel or cloth and apply to the remaining stains. This should lift the rest easily and quickly. If washing afterwards, use cold water for your wash cycle.
If you or anyone in your household likes to work in the yard or is a member of an outdoor team sport, then you’re already very familiar with these stains. In case this is your first grass stain here’s the gist of the removal process: Soak the grass-stained area in a mixture of two parts water with one part vinegar. Let it soak undisturbed for 15 minutes. After soaking take an old but clean rag or toothbrush and gently brush the stain with laundry detergent. Let the laundry detergent set into the fabric for a few minutes then wash as usual.
Coffee is one of those pleasures most of us can’t live without. Because of this, it’s one of the most common stains that can occur. Coffee can prove to be a difficult stain to remove especially if you aren’t able to clean it immediately. If this is the case, try mixing one cup of warm water with a tablespoon of vinegar and a tablespoon of liquid detergent or dish soap. Separate a few tablespoons (depending on the size of the stain) of the mixed solution aside to use for blotting later. Soak the stain in the cup of solution of 15 minutes. After soaking, place the cloth between your fingers and gently rub in a circular motion but do not press your fingers firmly. Blot the remaining stain with the separated portion of solution, if any, and wash as usual.
Sweat tends to be easy to wash out unless it’s the dreaded armpit stain that seems to ruin all shirts and blouses, particularly the light-colored ones. If you want to revive those favorite tops, try a mixture of baking soda and water. Create a paste with 3 parts baking soda and 1 part water. Use an old toothbrush to scrub the affected areas. Let clothes sit for an hour with the scrubbed solution soaking through the fabric then wash as usual with hot water. Repeat process again for older sweat stains.
Pizza, spaghetti, tomato soap, and all the other beloved comfort foods with a tomato base have high potential to cause these bright orangey stains. To lift these tough stains, wash as much of the tomato sauce out by running cold water through the back of the stained fabric. Next, use a sponge and soak it with either hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, or lemon juice (for white clothing) and press lightly into stained area. Repeat this process up to 3 times and use a clean side of the sponge each time. Rinse the solution out of the fabric once you have finished and wash as usual with cold water.
It’s important to note that some stains require different water setting temperatures when putting through a wash cycle. Some stains like blood and tomato sauce can be pushed further into the fabric, causing more harm than good, by using hot water rather than cold. If the stain you’re dealing with wasn’t listed here, make sure to do your research to confirm the method you use is the most effective one possible. Whatever life throws at you (whether it’s a spilled coffee or saucy pizza) we hope this guide will help you to get through the cleanup.