Stain Removal Basics: How to Keep Your Clothing Clean
Stain removal is an important element in helping your clothes last longer. Learning how to treat stains properly will keep your clothing looking its best, and encourage you to keep your clothing vs. tossing them when disaster strikes.
There are a lot of products on the market targeted towards stain removal. A lot of them get the job done. I also know from experience a many of them don’t do all they claim.
A few years ago, in an attempt to live a healthier life, I eliminated as many toxic chemical cleaners from my home as possible, and sought to find more earth-friendly alternatives. This journey led me to figuring out that most stains can be treated with some items you probably already have in your home!
Read on for some essential pro tips on understanding how to treat stains.
Treat the stain as soon as possible.
The less time a stain has to soak in, the easier it will be to remove.
Different types of stains require different treatments.
Substances react in unique ways to different water temperatures and treatment solutions. Using the wrong solution can make the stain worse or damage the fibers of the garment. Avoid these mistakes by following the tips in this article and downloading the free guide below.
Most stains take more than one treatments.
If a suggested method doesn't work, it is very likely that you just need to try again. Sometimes if takes 3-4 rounds of stain removal before the stain is completely gone!
Dab or Blot vs Scrubbing.
Scrubbing can not only push the stain further into the fibers, it can also spread the stain. Carefully blotting the stain is aways your best bet.
Flush from the backside of the garment.
This will help in pushing the stain out and keep it from setting in further.
The dryer is NOT your friend during the stain removal process.
Heat can set stains even deeper into the fibers of your garment making it even harder to remove them. During the stain removal process air dry garments until you are confident a stain is gone.
Hydrogen Peroxide is a great follow up to finish removing a stain.
It works for stain removal on protein and plant based stains. It is great for mold/mildew, blood, sweat, fruit and vegetable, and dye transfer stains. HOWEVER, you only want to use Hydrogen Peroxide on washable, dye-stable garments! Always test on colored clothing in an inconspicuous spot before treating a stain and only let sit on garments for 10-15 minutes before rinsing off or washing according to directions on care tag.
Know your stain removal go-to products.
A few key ingredients on hand will have you ready to treat just about any stain.
White Distilled Vinegar is one of the best natural cleaners. White Distilled Vinegar is mildly acidic so it works to break down stains without damaging clothing.
Dish Soap or Castile Soap is a mild and effective solvent, great at cutting the grease that exists in most stains.
Baking Soda is sodium bicarbonate and is known best for softening wash water and which helps detergent be more effective. It works great as a stain remover when turned into a paste with a solvent and an acidic or lightening agent.
Lemon Juice has citric acid that can help to break down stains. Lemon juice is a natural whitening agent--which is great for getting stains out of white or light colored garments.
Hydrogen Peroxide has a bleaching effect without destructive color changed.
Rubbing Alcohol is great for removing inks, dyes, and chemical based stains.
Stains happen and its disappointing. But don't let the despair tempt you to throw your favorite articles of clothing away. Download my FREE GUIDE: The Stain Removal Criteria for specifics on how to treat the most common stains.