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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

How to Remove Tough Stains from Clothing

Spilled makeup and makeup pads

Do you have a tough stain on a piece of clothing and you're frustrated because it didn't come clean in the wash and now your thinking you might have to throw it away?

Wait!! Before you toss it in the trash or use it for a cleaning rag, check out these cleaning tips. You might just find something that works for your situation.

How to Remove Baby Formula

Most of the time, if you catch a fresh formula stain on baby’s clothing, you can pre-treat it (with something like Dreft Stain Remover) and wash it, and then the stains are gone. But what if you have been given some baby clothes with formula stains that have been there a while?

Pre-Treating Baby Clothes

Here are a few things you can try:
  • Apply a detergent like Dawn to the stain and gently work it in with a clean, old toothbrush. Let sit for an hour or so.
  • Dissolve 2 to 3 scoops of OxiClean into one gallon of cold water and let soak between 24 and 48 hours.
  • Good old Mother Nature is another great option. Spritz the stain with cold water and let sit out it the sun. If it’s a tough stain, spritz the baby clothes again and then pour lemon juice over the stain before laying in the sun. There’s nothing like Mother Nature and the stain removal power of lemon juice.

Removing Deodorant Stains from Clothing

My husband likes his white cotton shirts, but over time the deodorant and/or sweat stains can become quite evident, as they will turn the fabric a yellow color.

Not all is lost though - you can get these stains out.

OxiClean and Water

Dissolve 1 tablespoon OxiClean into 1 cup hot water. Dampen the stain with the mix and rub it between your hands, then soak the stained areas for 30 minutes on each side. Wash as usual.
I know OxiClean can be expensive, though. If you don’t happen to have it on the shelf, but do have the ingredients below, you can make something very similar to OxiClean:
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 1/4 cup Hydrogen peroxide
  • 1/4 cup Washing soda
Because we are only soaking the armpits of the shirt, you don’t need a whole lot of this mixture. Again, dampen the stained areas and rub between your hands, then let the stained areas soak in the mixture for 30 minutes before washing. If you don’t want to dump this out and you’re washing whites, you can add this to the load of clothes.

Using Borax

Borax is something I keep on my laundry room shelf because it’s so useful for so many things around the house.

Rinse the stained armpit area with warm water. Sprinkle on the borax and rub together with your hands. Wash as usual.

Removing Liquid Makeup from Clothing

I’m sure all of us girls have spilled makeup on our clothes a time or two. As with any stain, it’s best to act fast. Even if you can only give yourself a couple of minutes before rushing out the door for work, that’s all you need to pre-treat. Then you can wash the item when you get home.

Using a Laundry Pre-Treater

  1. To use a laundry pre-treatment, first use water to rinse the area of the spill really well from the back side of the shirt.
  2. Continue until you’ve removed as much of the makeup as you can. If necessary, rub the stained area with your fingers (under the water) to help get the makeup out, but be careful not to spread the makeup around.
  3. Apply your pre-treatment option to the remaining stain, and again carefully rub this between your fingers.
  4. Wash as you normally would.

Using Bar Soap, Shampoo or Dish Soap

If you don’t happen to have a laundry pre-treater on hand, follow the steps above, except use a bar of soap, shampoo, or dish soap like Dawn in place of the pre-treatment.

After removing any of these tough stains, wash as you normally would. Be sure to check the items before placing them in the dryer to make sure you’ve removed all of the makeup.

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