How To Remove Stains From Your Favorite Clothes
Spilling something on your clothing is inevitable, and it always seems to happen at the most inconvenient times – like when you’re finally wearing your brand new shirt or pants and decide to chow down on French fries with loads of ketchup, or when you’re checking out that new wine bar down the street and get a little too careless with your glass of Pinot Noir. We’ve all been there, and we’ve all felt that moment of panic, rage, and disappointment of thinking we’ve ruined yet another item of clothing too soon.
However, with a little bit of elbow grease and a few tips and tricks, you can pretty much tackle almost any stain that your clothing encounters, thanks to our handy guide that breaks down how to get rid of some of the most common, everyday clothing stains.
How To Remove Stains From Clothing in General
For minor, everyday scuffs and stains that may make their way onto your clothing, there’s a general formula you can use to get those suckers out ASAP – especially if you don’t have the time to perform stain-specific “surgery” on your garments.
The first thing to keep in mind when battling stains is that you want to take care of it as soon as possible: the faster you tend to the stain, the easier it’ll be to get out. If you let it sit for days and days, there’s a good chance that stain will remain a stain, and even if you can get most of it out, there’s a chance that your clothes will be marked forever.
Start by pretreating the stain with a stain remover, like OxiClean Max Force Spray Laundry Stain Remover, which you can find on Amazon or in-store at places like Target, Walmart, or even your local grocery store. Let it soak for five minutes, and then wash according to the garment’s launder instructions. Typically, regular stains should come out when washed on cold, however, if the stain is extra grimy or tough, you can wash on warm. If the stain doesn’t come out after the first wash, repeat the above steps and wash again. Whatever you do, don’t put the garment into the dryer if the stain is still there – keep trying to get the stain out with the remover and washing it until it’s no longer there.
How To Remove Wine Stains
If you find yourself with a wine stain (or two) on any item of clothing, don’t freak out, because there is a way to get those stubborn stains out. First, you can either “flush” the stain by turning the item of clothing inside out and running it under cold water, or you can sponge the stain with cold water. Then, soak the garment in cold water for 30 minutes to an hour if you’re in a pinch, or if you have the time, up to four hours or even overnight. Then, pretreat with a stain remover, and wash according to care instructions. If it is safe for the fabric, you can add chlorine bleach to the wash, then wash as usual and check for the stain before throwing it into the dryer.
How To Remove Ink Stains
Ink stains can be pretty tricky to get out of clothing, and if you’ve got a Sharpie stain or permanent marker stain to take care of, well, then you’re shit outta luck, because those babies are permanent, as the name suggests. However, we’re happy to inform you that regular old ink stains can totally be removed from your clothing, it just takes a bit of patience and persistence in order to do so.
First, dip a cotton swab or sponge in rubbing alcohol and apply it to the area around the ink stain, then place the stain facedown on clean paper towels and apply rubbing alcohol to the back of the stain, frequently swapping out paper towels. Rinse the stain thoroughly, then launder according to care instructions.
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How To Remove Grease and Oil Stains
Grease and oil stains can be a pain in the ass to remove from clothing, but where there’s a will, there’s a way. Use a solution made of 50% vinegar and 50% water and apply liberally directly on the stain, then apply liquid laundry soap and wash on the hottest setting safe for the fabric. Again, whatever you do, do not put the item of clothing in the dryer if you see that the stain is still there; repeat the above steps until it’s completely removed.
How To Remove Pet Urine Stains
Even the most well-behaved cats and dogs have accidents sometimes, so if you find a urine stain from one of your four-legged furry friends on your favorite shirt or sweatpants, you don’t have to toss that item, but you do have to take a few extra steps if you want to get the stain and smell out for good.
Start by adding one cup of distilled white vinegar to cold water; if the stain is old and the odor is especially strong, add two cups of white vinegar to a bucket of cold water, and submerge the fabric completely and let it soak overnight. Then, wash the item with a heavy-duty detergent in the hottest water safe for the fabric. Once you can see that the stain has been removed, skip the dryer and hang outside to dry, which will help remove the odor even more.
How To Remove Bloodstains
Bloodstains can be incredibly difficult to remove from any item of clothing, however, there’s not just one be-all, end-all method to getting rid of them – it all depends on whether the blood stain is fresh or old.
If the bloodstain is fresh, you should never use warm or hot water to treat the stain. Rinse the area in cold water or soak the entire garment, then treat the stain with either a bit of heavy-duty laundry detergent or a stain remover and work the remover into the area with a soft-bristled brush. Let sit for 15 minutes, then wash as usual according to care instructions in cold water. If the stain doesn’t budge, mix a solution of oxygen bleach and water, then submerge the entire garment for at least four hours. Wash according to care instructions, and repeat until the stain is completely lifted.
For dried blood stains, pretreat the area or soak the entire garment in warm water with a product that contains enzymes, which will help break down the stain. Wash according to the care instructions, and if the stain persists, you can rewash the item with a bleach that is safe for the fabric.
How To Remove Coffee and Tea Stains
How many times have you been driving to work or just lounging around the house on a weekend, and you end up spilling coffee all over your clothes? Too many times to count, probably. Thankfully, getting coffee stains out of clothing is relatively easy – just run the stain under hot water until it lifts, and if it’s already set, then mix a solution of 50% vinegar and 50% water and use a brush and some laundry soap to gently remove the stain.
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