Stain Removal

Up Your Laundry Game - Stain Removal

“Out, out, d@!# spot!” - Lady MacBeth

In the past, different stain types, such as proteins, oils, dyes, etc. called for different stain removal techniques. Today’s stain removers use a mixture of enzyme types to remove stains. Oxygenated cleaners work differently, providing an alternative should enzymatic stain treaters and detergents not work. 

Safety Warning: Keep stain removers, laundry detergent, and other cleaners out of the hands of children. If you have younger children lock the storage place or store them in higher places. Some cleaners may appear to children like bottled punch or candy (pods), so check the laundry area before you leave to ensure products are stored out of reach.

Treat the Stain as Soon as Possible

Tide Stain Sticks or Shout Wipes are great for immediate stain treatment on the go, especially when traveling. Shout Advanced Spray and Wash Laundry Stain Remover Gel is our go to for heavy duty stain issues.   After all, the blouse is ruined with the stain, you have nothing to lose by pretreating, rubbing, soaking, until it comes out.  

A stain removal option with greener ingredients we suggest is Seventh Generation Laundry Stain Remover, Free & Clear.  Puracy Baby Stain Remover is both safe and effective.

A natural deodorizer and stain remover, baking or washing soda can be made into a paste with water and then used to scrub stains and presoak. To remove strong odors, add ½ cup of baking soda/washing soda to water and soak garments or linens overnight. My grandmother was big on making do rather than buying something new every time a need comes up. Baking soda and vinegar are both wonderful household cleaners and can be found in most homes already. 

Steps to stain removal:

Some stain removal products no longer require presoaking, however, it will not hurt washable garments and linens to presoak.

If you have stains that won’t come out with the products above, or have this cleaner on hand, try mixing up a bucket/bowl/sink of OxiClean Stain Remover Powder as directed, wetting and scrubbing the stain, and then soaking according to package directions. The longer you soak, the more likely OxiClean is to lift the stain. We keep OxiClean Spray on hand; however, soaking the garment may provide better results.

Not everything will come out. My daughter just came home from the salon where hair color toner got on her favorite white jean jacket. The hairdresser said it would come out in the wash. Ha!

Here's what we tried:

I was about to resort to bleach when Lizzie said that the spot (about the size of a quarter) was inconspicuous under her hair and not to take a chance with bleach. I proposed a decorative patch, and she said it was okay as is. Whew!

What I did not try, and was recommended to do first was soak in undiluted liquid detergent, then in color-safe bleach, and finally in bleach. I did not have the first two on hand and will try for any dye stains in the future.

When you are scrubbing a stained area, consider using a laundry cleaning brush or a soft toothbrush.

For all these cleaners, test the stain remover on a hidden part of the fabric if you are concerned about colorfastness. 

Do not put a stained garment in the dryer until you are certain the stain is out. Consider air drying if you are not sure. Dryers will set the stain with heat.

These stain removers come with satisfaction guarantees. If you are not happy with this or any other product, recoup your money by returning it to the retailer or contacting the company. 

Susan Kook 

My family long ago dubbed me Safety Susan because I have done safety training for dangerous work sites, especially chemical and waste hazards. This learning experience caused me to apply caution in everyday living situations, including what products we buy and how we use them. In this blog, I have included safety considerations for working with these products. Please read and follow all manufacturer's safety warnings on product packaging.