Not sure how to remove tough stains from clothes? Wondering what is the best homemade stain remover? Keep reading to learn how to tackle any laundry stain that comes your way!
Laundry stains are inevitable.
There’s no way to avoid them – especially if you have kids. But even if you don’t, we’re all susceptible to spills, smudges, and scrapes… and the damage they can do to our clothes, linens, and more.
Fortunately, there are ways to fight those pesky stains and, in many cases, restore those shirts, pants, and bedsheets to their former glory. All it takes is a little elbow grease – and the right stuff to make it happen!
This post will tell you everything you need to know about fighting stains. Want info about other cleaning hacks? Check out the Spring Clean Your Home Guided Workbook. It takes you step by step through your entire house!
Wondering where to begin? Get our FREE guide, The 30-Minute Organizing Secret, and discover easy ways to overcome the chaos of clutter – even with kids at home!
Laundry Stain Fighting Tips: Do’s and Don’ts
So you’ve just realized your favorite blouse has a stain.
What do you do? And just as importantly, what should you avoid?
- Panic. It’s going to be OK. Chances are, you’re going to be able to scrub out that stain – you just need to figure out how.
- Immediately throw the stained item into the washer. In many cases, this is actually not the best way to get that stain to go away.
- Try to identify what caused the stain. Blood and ketchup look similar – but you’d treat those stains differently.
- Research the best method to treat your stained laundry before you do anything to it. It might be tempting to immediately run it under hot water or scrub it with soap – but you shouldn’t do that. By doing your research and understanding what’s going to be most effective, you’ll stand the best chance of getting it out.
Laundry DIY: The Best Homemade Stain Removers
While there are tons of stain removal solutions available for purchase, I’ve got some good news. There are lots of different stain removers you can make using stuff you’ve already got in your pantry or medicine cabinet.
Here are a few go-to DIY stain removers you’ll benefit from knowing about:
- Baking soda. Baking soda is great for removing stains on virtually anything, from countertops to clothing. When mixed with water, it can be transformed into a paste that’s perfect for drawing out set-in stains and restoring your clothes to their original state.
- Lemon juice. Need to get a stain out of something white? Skip the harsh chemicals and squeeze some lemon juice over it to see if that does the trick. It’s a natural bleaching agent and, in many cases, an effective stain remover.
- White vinegar. Thanks to its acidity and deodorizing abilities, white vinegar is another great choice when it comes to stain removal. It can be a little harsh on its own so you’ll want to mix with water first.
- Salt. It might sound strange, but salt is a surprisingly effective stain remover – especially when it comes to wine, grease, and other tough-to-remove substances. Thanks to its dehydrating properties, it can lift away stains and separate them from fabrics.
How To Remove Tough Stains From Clothes: The Most Common Culprits
There are so many different things we come across in our day to day lives that can cause a stain, it’s impossible to list them all. Today, we’re going to focus on a few of the biggest culprits – and how you can address them when they strike.
Laundry Stain Fighting Tips: Grass Stains
Spend time outside? Got kids? Chances are, grass stains are far more common than you’d like them to be. Even something as simple as sitting on the grass can result in big green splotches on your favorite clothes.
To start, add one part laundry detergent to three parts water and apply liberally to the stain. Let it soak for fifteen minutes, then grab a soft-bristled brush and gently scrub to see if you can remove it.
If the stain remains, it’s time to open your pantry. You can combine vinegar with water (using the same ratio above) and let the soiled item sit in the solution for 30 minutes. Then, scrub and rinse with cool water.
Laundry Stain Fighting Tips: Oil and Grease Stains
If you spend any time in the kitchen, chances are you’ve been the victim of splattering oil – and so has your favorite shirt. These stains are easier to remove when fresh, so you’ll want to act fast.
Then, apply baking soda, salt, or cornstarch to the stain and let it sit for at least 15 minutes to absorb the oil. Shake off the powder – or scrape it off, if needed – and assess. If the stain remains, repeat this step.
Once it looks like the stain is gone, run it through your washer as normal.
Laundry Stain Fighting Tips: Ink Stains
Ink stains are an easy way to ruin your day – but you don’t have to let them! While they’re tough to remove, they certainly aren’t impossible to eliminate.
To start, blot away any excess ink on the fabric. Be careful to avoid rubbing it in or spreading it around.
Alcohol is an effective agent when it comes to removing ink stains, so grab some rubbing alcohol (or even hand sanitizer!) and apply to the stain. Let it soak for about fifteen minutes, then grab a clean cloth and carefully blot the stain. The alcohol should release the ink from the fabric and transfer it to your cloth.
Repeat as necessary to remove the stain; don’t wash and dry until it’s gone.
Laundry Stain Fighting Tips: Sweat Stains
Sweat stains don’t happen quickly – instead, they’re often a sign of a well-loved piece of clothing. And if you want to get them out? It’s usually possible!
Start by soaking the stained item in a solution of distilled white vinegar and water with a 1:2 ratio. Examine the item after a half hour and see where you’re at.
If the sweat stain remains, take your stain-fighting efforts to the next level by making a paste of baking soda and water and applying liberally to the stain. Let it sit for 30 minutes, then rinse.
And if that doesn’t work, you can blot with hydrogen peroxide and let it sit for 30 minutes. Once the stain is removed, wash with hot water.
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