A stain solution
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I HAVE A TENDENCY to forget my wet laundry
in the washer until after it has already soured.
So I put white vinegar in the little cup in the
center of the agitator so it flings vinegar over
my clothes in the rinse cycle. This keeps my
clothes from going sour smelling if I forget
them in the washer. A
A STAIN DOESN’T HAVE TO ruin a garment. With the right steps, even the
toughest stains can be removed.
The best defense in removing stains is to treat them immediately. Make
sure you blot up liquid spills or scrape off solid buildup with the edge of a dull
knife. Work from the outer edge to the center of the stain—and don’t rub.
Always check the care label first, and pretest stain-removal products. If
the item is dry-clean only, blot the excess and take the item to the cleaners
within 24 to 48 hours of the stain.
Most stains fall in one of the following categories. With all stains, rinse
and inspect the washed (or treated) garment before drying.
Protein: Baby food or formula, body soils (feces, urine, vomit), blood, dairy,
dirt/clay/mud, egg, gelatin dessert.
The solution: Soak fresh stains in cold water. Rub fabric against itself gently
to dislodge stains. If stains are old, scrape off the crusted material and soak in
cold water with a good liquid detergent. Launder in warm water.
Do not use hot water to soak or wash items with protein stains; hot water
may set these types of stains.
Oil-based: Grease or oil from cars, makeup and food (including butter
and mayonnaise), collar/cuff soil, deodorant/perspiration, gasoline.
The solution: Pretreat with a good liquid detergent. Make sure to work detergent into the stain and let set for 10 to 15 minutes, then wash in the hottest
water safe for the fabric.
Tannin: Beer, coffee, tea, soft drinks, fruit and juice (including red berries),
The solution: First rinse in cool water, then wash fresh stains in the hottest
water safe for the fabric, with a good laundry detergent. Use a detergent
with bleach or bleach alternative for old stains. Do not use bar soap on
tannin stains—it makes them harder to remove.
Dye: Dye transfer, fruit (blueberry and cherry), grass, Kool-Aid,® mustard.
The solution: Pretreat with a good liquid detergent and rinse thoroughly.
Soak in a diluted solution of water and a detergent with bleach or bleach
alternative, then wash in the hottest water safe for the fabric.
Others: Ballpoint ink, candle wax, chewing gum, crayon, lipstick, shoe
polish, chocolate, gravy, ketchup, tomato-based sauces.
The solution: These stains generally involve two components: oil/wax and
dye/pigment. Remove the oily portion first and then the dye portion.
For most other combination stains, rub a good liquid detergent into the
stain, then wash in the hottest water possible for the fabric with a detergent
with bleach or bleach alternative.
For more information on removing specific stains, see www.tide.com
and visit the Fabric Advisor. A