Picture this, you're about to leave for work but not without grabbing a bite first. But because you're in such a hurry, you've taken a mouthful and the crumbs have fallen onto your clothes. A real bummer, isn't it? Luckily, you don't have to worry too much. While some stains can be pretty tough to remove, there's always a way and today I am going to show you how to remove stains in clothing.
How to Remove Stains in Clothing
Old Stains Vs Fresh Stains
The best way to remove a stain is to deal with it as soon as possible. The older a stain gets, the harder it is to remove. Left untreated, stains can react with several elements including the atmosphere, fabric, finish, or dye. When this happens, removing the stains can go from doable to impossible.
Usually, you'll have a two months window to try and get rid of the stain. But as you would imagine, a day-old stain is much easier to remove compared to a stain that's 3 weeks old. Stains like the ones created by soda beverages can become even more prominent with time.
For example, if you spill some coke on your shirt, it won't look bad at first. if you don't try to clean it properly, it's going to create a pretty visible brown spot on your shirt. This happens because the sugar syrup in the soda oxidizes with time or when exposed to heat. Therefore, it's imperative to not store your stained clothes. Wash them right away.
Natural Stain Removers
To get rid of tough stains, you need an effective stain remover. Although not all stain removers will work for a particular type of stain, you'll find that the options on this list will come in handy more often than not.
These natural stain removers are affordable and readily available. Using them means you don't always have to expose yourself to the harsh chemicals found in normal detergents. Let's take a look at them:
- Lime Juice/Lemon: Be it bottled or fresh, 100 per cent lemon or lime juice contains acetic acid which is a natural bleaching and staining agent. When spilled on coloured clothes, it can cause permanent discolouration if not treated. Despite being bad news for coloured clothes, lime juice and lemon is great for treating stains on white clothes. Remember those yellow underarm stains that ruin your white clothes? You can remove them with either type of juice. They are also great for removing rust stains.
- Baking Soda: You probably have a box of baking soda somewhere in your kitchen cabinet. Baking soda is great for all fabric types, it can boost the performance of detergents, and soften fabrics. It can also be great for reducing odour on your laundry to keep it smelling fresh. Next time you buy some baking soda for baking, you may want to buy a little more for your laundry as well.
- Hydrogen Peroxide: When used on the skin, hydrogen peroxide is a mild antiseptic that prevents infections from cuts and burns. But that's just one of its many uses. It is also a good oxidizing agent and can whiten clothes. It can remove stains like underarm yellowing, red wine stain, and curry.
- Distilled White Vinegar: Why go for fabric softeners and choline bleach when you can get the cheaper, safer distilled white vinegar? It is great for underarm yellow stains, mildew stains, brightening, whitening, and removing odours. Distilled white vinegar leaves your clothes clean and smelling fresh. You can also use it to clean your washer and remove musty odours.
- Borax: Borax is a mineral that occurs naturally and is famed for being a detergent enhancer. If you're the kind of person who cares enough to check what detergents are made of, you would have seen borax listed as one of the ingredients used to create many popular detergents. Borax is composed of water, oxygen, sodium, and boron. Used as a cleaning agent, it can soften hard water, remove stains on diapers, and control odour.
- Table Salt: Yes, table salt is a great natural stain remover. It is especially efficient on red wine and rust stains. To get rid of red wine stains, simply sprinkle some table salt on the affected area and brush it off once the fabric absorbs the liquid. Wash afterwards and your clothes should be clean once again.
6 Problematic Stains and How to Remove then
Stains are stains, but they can come in different forms. Getting rid of them will heavily depend on the type of stains they are. Below are the commonest types of stains and how to remove them:
1. Collar Stains
No matter who you are or what you do, collar stains will happen to you. The good news, however, is that they are quite easy to remove. To clean collar stains on your shirts, get you a shampoo that's formulated for oily hair.
Yes, any typical shampoo should do. But experts recommend oily hair brands because they are created to deal with body oils that stain your collar. To remove collar stains, apply the shampoo on the collar and be sure to spread across the entire area. Leave it to soak for about 20 to 30 minutes and rinse. Wash the shirt afterward and the stains should be gone!
2. Blood Stains
The problem with blood stains is that it's not always your immediate concern when it gets on your clothes. If you've somehow cut yourself, you're most likely more eager to treat the wound than the stain. Unfortunately, blood stains are stubborn and they worsen with time. It is, therefore, important to deal with blood stains as soon as you can.
Get 3% hydrogen peroxide and apply it to the affected area. Allow it to soak then get a butter knife and try to scrape the stain away. As usual, launder the cloth right away to remove the again completely.
3. Lipstick Stains
Ah! The classic lipstick stain! It's one of the leading causes of breakups and divorces in movies, but it's every bit a pain in the butt in real life too. Lipsticks contain different colors and compositions which makes them difficult to remove.
The difficulty of removing lipstick stains is also affected by the type of fabric. If you get lipstick on clothes made with silk or cashmere, you're better off sending it to professional cleaners. To clean lipstick stains, you'll need a bread knife, paper towels, a brush, and a detergent that can remove greasy stains.
Try to scrape off some of the stain using a bread knife then set the paper towel down. Set the area with the stain on the paper towel and apply the detergent on the other side of the garment. Flip the garment so that the side with the stain is now facing upwards and scrub off the lipstick stain using a brush. Wash the garment afterward to get rid of the stain completely. If it doesn't go away immediately, repeat the entire process until you get the desired result.
4. Coffee & Tea Stains
Almost everyone has spilled coffee or tea on themselves at some point. It's the kind of stain that should be treated right away, but that's not possible if you're having a coffee at work, is it? If it is, then a sponge and cold water will be enough to scrub off the stain. If the garment is machine washable, soak it in cool water for a few minutes. When it's been soaked, pretreat it with a detergent and water paste, a liquid detergent, or a prewash stain remover.
After the pretreatment, Launder it using chlorine bleach. If the garment is not machine washable, treat the stain with drops of dilute white vinegar and rinse with cool water.
5. Oil Stains
We all have natural body oils and they usually end up staining our pillowcases. They may or may not come off with normal laundering. If they don't, then it's time to try something else.
Usually, oil stains on pillowcases aren't difficult to treat. If you pretreat your pillowcase with a liquid detergent before laundering, the stains should go away easily. However, you can also treat it with plain shampoo. Apply the shampoo to the affected area and allow the fabric to absorb it. Rinse the pillowcase and launder.
Another cool trick you can try is rubbing the stained spot with white chalk. Be sure to rub the chalk across the entire area and allow it to set it. After a while, brush the chalk off and launder to remove the oil stains.
6. Ink Stains
It's everyone's worst nightmare. You kept a ballpoint pen in your pocket and boom! You've got ink all over your garment. Most people simply dump their ink-stained clothes after trying every detergent under the sun. Is there a way? Of course, there is.
You'll need rubbing alcohol and a paper towel. Place the stained garment on the paper towel and apply the rubbing alcohol to the stained area. Allow it to soak for up to 15 minutes and use a clean piece of cloth to scrub the ink. Continue scrubbing until the ink is no longer getting on the piece of cloth. Rinse and pretreat with a liquid detergent before laundering. It should do the trick!
How To Remove Stains In Curtains - in Conclusion
Removing stains can be such a tasking job especially when it's been left to react with the fabric. Irrespective of the technique you apply, the best way to remove any stain is to treat it right away. It is also better to use the right stain removal for more efficient cleaning. Lastly, there's so much you can do. If you don't think you can treat the stain effectively, it's always best to leave the job to a professional.