When it comes to laundry, sometimes even your top-of-the-line washing machine can’t get the job done. For tough stain removal, your washing machine will be the final step in a painstaking process that requires more than a little patience.
How you treat a stain depends on the nature of that stain (tomato vs. blood, for example), but there are a few tips to keep in mind regardless of what type of stain you have to battle:
- Treat ASAP: Address the stain as soon as possible after it occurs. If the garment is “Dry Clean Only” take it directly to the dry cleaner.
- Be patient: It can take a few rounds of stain removal to remove a stain successfully.
- Avoid heat: Avoid hot water, the dryer, and the iron until you’ve successfully removed the stain.
- Be prepared: Stain treatments for home (spray) and on-the-go (stain remover sticks) are a must-have.
- Seek help: When in doubt, ask a professional! Go straight to your neighborhood dry cleaner.
How-To: Common Stains & Solutions
Among the most common household stains and their solutions are:
- Chocolate: Scrape off excess, soak in cool water, treat with stain remover, wash in the warmest water safe for fabric; repeat if stain remains.
- Lipstick/cosmetics: Treat with stain remover, detergent, or bar soap; wash.
- Blood: Soak in cold water, wash; repeat as necessary.
- Grass: Treat with stain remover with enzymes; launder.
- Grease: Treat with stain remover or liquid detergent, wash in hottest water safe for fabric; repeat if necessary.
We love to refer to the Cleaning Institute’s stain removal chart for guidance on how to remove these, and dozens of other types of stains and fabric damage.