Tips on removing 8 common tough stains - New York News

Tips on removing 8 common tough stains

Updated:

By: Amanda Hollman, KSL

With any stain, there are general guidelines that will help in the process of stain removal.

Stains are tougher to remove the longer they sit, so take care of the problem as soon as possible. Be sure to clean the area before laundry to prevent the stain setting in.

Lipstick

If lipstick often gets on clothing, the dye will often stain. Gently rub a non-gel, non-whitening, white toothpaste on the spot then rinse it with cold water.

Gum

If gum gets on clothing, there are a few ways to remove it from fabrics. But sometimes you need to combine some of the methods to completely get rid of the gum.

Fold the clothing so that the gum facing out, and put the item in a sealable plastic bag without the gum touching the bag. Freeze it for a few hours then scrape it off with a butter knife. If it doesn't come off, freeze it again.

The oil in peanut butter can help loosen the grip of gum to your clothes. Coat all sides of the gum in peanut butter and let it sit for a minute. This will give time for the peanut butter to work but not stain the fabric. Use a butter knife or a paint scraper to pull the gum away. Immediately wash out the oil before it sets in.

Grass

Athletic uniforms or kids enjoying the outdoors, grass and mud gets rubbed into clothes and can be tough to get out.

Work a little liquid dishwashing soap or liquid laundry detergent into the stain with an old toothbrush then wash as normal. If it does not come out, try using a little rubbing alcohol or diluted hydrogen peroxide. Keep in mind that hydrogen peroxide can bleach fabric, so use it sparingly.

Deodorant and sweat stains

White shirts often get yellow underarm stains that are a combination of deodorant and sweat build up.

Pour white vinegar directly on the stain and rub it in, then rinse out with warm water. Launder the clothing as normal, using the hottest water the fabric will allow. For tough stains, get the area damp then put a little meat tenderizer on it and wash as usual.

Grease

Whether it be from cooking or working on a car, grease stains can get be tough to get out.

Turn the fabric inside out so that you are working on the backside of the stain. Use grease-fighting dish soap and gently rub it into the stain then rinse it with hot water using the strongest water pressure as possible.

Once the stain has been rinsed, turn the clothing right side out and blot the spot with a paper towel. Be careful not to rub or you could end up pushing any leftover grease back into the fabric.

If there is any remaining stain, use more soap and scrub it with a brush and rinse in the same method.

Chocolate

This delicious treat can become quite a problem when it gets on clothes.

First, gently scrape off any dry clumps with a spoon or a dull knife. Be careful not to spread or rub the chocolate any further into the fabric that doesn't come off easily. Turn the clothing inside out and rise out the remaining chocolate with cold water.

Turn the clothing right side out and rub the spot with laundry detergent then let it sit for up to five minutes. Put the item in cold water and let it soak in for up to 15 minutes. Gently rub the stain with your fingers, rinse with cold water and repeat until the stain is gone.

Red liquids

Fruit punch, cranberry juice, popsicle, Kool-Aid and any other red juice become a nightmare if it spills on clothing.

Gently blot at the spot with a cloth. If you rub the stain it may spread and be more difficult to get out. If you work from the outside of the spot to the middle, it will help prevent spreading.

Mix equal parts of hydrogen peroxide, vinegar and water, then dab the solution on the stain with a cloth. Again, it is important to blot not rub the spot. Repeat as needed using a clean piece of cloth until the stain no longer gets absorbed in the cloth then wash in cold water.

Permanent Marker

It's in the name that permanent marker is permanent, but with some work it can often be removed.

If the fabric is white, dab diluted bleach on the mark. If it does not come out immediately, then let it soak but keep an eye on it to make sure that the bleach does not dissolve the fabric. Once the spot is gone, wash as normal.

For colored fabrics, there are a few methods that could work. Wet the spot with cold water then spray non-oil-based hairspray on a paper towel and blot the mark. The color should start to transfer from the fabric to the paper towel. Repeat until the stain is gone.

Rubbing alcohol can also be helpful. Put the stain facedown on a paper towel then dab at the mark with a cloth or cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol. Change the paper towel often so that the marker can be absorbed into the paper towel.

Citrus fruits have enough acidity that they have the potential to take out permanent marker. Squeeze the juice of an orange, lemon or lime on a cloth then blot the spot with a cloth. When the spot is gone, wash the item immediately.


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Copyright 2013 Deseret Digital Media, Inc.

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