Have a stain you can't get rid of? The stain is always still there? Here are a few simple tips on how to best treat the most common types of stains.
Rinse or presoak the garment in cold water and wash in cold water with laundry detergent. Do not use chlorine bleach, which can make the stain even worse. Back to top
Rub the gummy spot with ice to harden it. Scrape away as much of the gum as possible with a dull knife. Saturate what remains with a prewash stain remover, rinse and launder as usual. Back to top
Pretreat or prewash the garment in warm water with a cleaning product that contains enzymes. Launder as usual. Back to top
Sponge with or soak in cold water. Apply a pretreating product on the stain. Wash as usual and air-dry; repeat if stain remains. Back to top
Pretreat the spot with prewash stain remover or a liquid laundry
detergent. Wash the garment in the water temperature recommended for the
Use petroleum jelly for removing lipstick stains. Another possibility is to rub in a little vegetable shortening and then launder as normal. If an item is dry clean only, getting it to the dry cleaner sooner rather than later helps to make sure they can get the stain out. Back to top
Scrape off surface wax with a dull knife. Soak the fabric in a product containing enzymes or oxygen bleach in the hottest water safe for the fabric. Launder using the hottest water it can withstand. Back to top
Presoak or prewash the garment in warm water in a bucket or your washing machine (using the presoak setting) with a detergent containing enzymes. Launder as usual with chlorine bleach if it's safe for the fabric. If the cleaning instructions advise against it, use oxygen bleach instead. Back to top
Place the stain over the mouth of a jar or glass. Hold the fabric taut.
Drop rubbing alcohol through the stain so the ink will drop into the
container as the soil is removed. Rinse thoroughly and launder as usual.
Read the care label! If it says dry clean only, or the mark is large, rush it to the cleaners. Washable? Try cleaning fluid, spot remover, or petroleum based prewash spray. Test in an inconspicuous area to be sure it's safe for the fabric. Place garment stain side down on paper towels and dab cleaner on stain using paper or terry cloth towel. Check paper towels underneath and move frequently so there's always a clean area under the stain to absorb ink. Let area dry and check it. If ink remains, treat with prewash spray and launder. Before drying, check again. Still visiable? Repeat steps. Back to top
Soak in cold water, then apply a pre-treating product on the stain. Launder as label instructions recommend. Air-dry; do not place in dryer until the stain is completely gone. Back to top
Douse the garment with diluted solution of bleach and launder as recommended for the garment. For mildew on leather brush on an antiseptic mouthwash. Back to top
Brush off as much of the surface dirt as possible. Pretreat or presoak with laundry detergent. Launder as usual. Back to top
Use a prewash stain remover; if the stains are old, apply white vinegar.
Rinse, then launder using oxygen bleach in the hottest water that's safe
to use with the fabric.
Deodorants - Stains on the underarms of washable shirt: Sponge on white vinegar (or soak stain in it); wait 30 minutes. Launder shirts in the hottest water safe for the fabric. Using an enzyme detergent or a detergent with bleach alternative, check care labels to be sure this is okay. Also try putting liquid laundry detergent right on the area, leave it for 5-10 minutes, then wash.
Prevention - Let deodorant dry before dressing, and don't let stains sit! Apply prewash spray or liquid detergent ASAP, then launder. Every 3rd or 4th washing, use the hottest water safe for the shirts. Back to top
Cover with salt until all excess liquid is absorbed. Rinse in cold water. If residual stain remains, apply white vinegar or hydrogen peroxide. Launder according to the instructions on the item's fabric-care label. Back to top
Generously sprinkle salt on the site of the stain to keep additional liquid from saturating the surface. Immerse item in cold water or solution of borax for 30 minutes. Wash as label instructions recommend. Back to top
Add 1 cup of bottled lemon juice in the wash to remove discoloration from cotton laundry. Back to top
Take a small paintbrush and brush hair shampoo into soiled shirt collars before laundering. Shampoo is made to dissolve body oils. Back to top
These can be tough but not impossible and the following will work most of the time. Wet the fabric and then sprinkle with powdered dish detergent. Scrub gently with a toothbrush. Rinse the item and launder normally. Back to top