Contain the stain: stain removal made easy

Hacks for getting out common stains

Allison Vanderzanden | Lifestyle Editor

Stains are always a hassle to deal with, especially stubborn substances like coffee and grease. But all stains can be conquered; here are some easy tips for removing common stains.

For coffee and tea spills, start by flushing the stain out from the inside of the garment with cold water. If there is still residue after several minutes, take some liquid laundry detergent or dish soap and dilute it with water. Gently rub this mixture into the stain, let it sit for five minutes, then rinse from the back of the stain. Launder as usual.

When grease gets on fabric, grab a cloth and some dish soap. First, blot as much oil out as possible. Then, pour dish soap directly onto the stain and work it in with the cloth. Dish soap will cut through grease just as it does on dishes. Let the soap sit for a few minutes, rinse with warm water, then wash at the hottest setting the fabric can handle.

For tomato-based sauces, start by scraping off as much excess as possible. Next, soak the stain in cold water for about five minutes before using laundry detergent on a toothbrush to scrub it. Wash normally in hot water.

Sweat stains can be treated with distilled white vinegar, a common stain remover. Let the stained garment soak in a container of equal parts cold water and distilled white vinegar for about 30 minutes. If the stain doesn’t come out completely, mix some lemon juice with equal parts water. Rub this into the stain, then wash the garment as usual.

A great way to get blood out of fabric is by using hydrogen peroxide. After rinsing the stain with cold water, pour hydrogen peroxide directly on the stain. Repeat as necessary until the stain is mostly gone, then launder in cold water.

With any stained fabric, be sure to check that the stain is completely gone before tossing it into the dryer, as heat will make the stain set.

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