We've all been there, you're all dressed and ready to go after trying on a hundred and one outfits and then you see it glaring at you, the dreaded stain. If you've never ruined your favorite item of clothing with a prominent stain then consider yourself lucky. Be it grease stains, mud stains, ink stains or food stains, they have the potential to make the garment totally unwearable. Fortunately, not every stained item of clothing needs to be banished to the back of your closet, never to be worn again. The handy steps that follow will help you to tackle clothing stains head on meaning that your favorite pieces of clothing will remain just that!
It's important to mention that unlike some of our other how-to articles, not all of these steps need to be covered in order to remove stains. Therefore, it is best to read the article and then decide your appropriate course of action!
1. Pre-treat clothing to prevent staining
Your clothing labels will offer you useful insight as to how to remove specific stains from the specific garment. What's more, the information on the tag will also ensure that you don’t ruin the garment by exposing it to unsuitable temperatures etc.
2. Keep fresh stains damp
Keep the stain damp using cold water. This way, the stain won't dry onto the garment which will make it tougher to remove. You should also try not to rub the stained area, rather blot it with water so as not to cause the stain to spread.
Other tips to keep the stain from drying include avoiding contact with head and avoid putting pressure on the garment.
3. Decide which stain remover to use
The appropriate stain remover depends on both the type of stain and the fabric that the garment is made from. You can find information about the fabric on the clothing label! For example, commercial detergents and light acids work best on cotton whereas standard laundry detergents should be used on synthetic fabrics such as acrylic, nylon and polyester.
Salt can be effective when placed on top of a stain with a strong color such as red wine or blood. Hydrogen peroxide is less effective on grease (detergent would work better here) but can work wonders to reduce pigment stains such as those from makeup, pollen or grass. Bleach is best kept ideally for removing stains from white, cotton fabrics. In addition, glycerin can be used on ink and dye and finally, mineral spirits are effective on grease stains from tar, asphalt, machine grease and more.
4. Apply the stain remover to the garment
First of all, an absorbent should be applied. Applying salt, baking soda or talcum powder and letting it sit for 15 minutes can help bring the stain to the surface. Then, your chosen solvent needs to be applied to the back of the stain before placing it on a flat paper towel for about an hour. This allows the solvent to push through the stain onto another absorbent fabric.
Tip: be sure that the stain doesn’t dry out as this could cause it to set in an even worse way than it did in the first place!
5. Rinse your piece of clothing
After you have gone through the steps, either hand or machine was your piece of clothing allowing both the stain and any unwanted chemicals to be rinsed off your clothing.
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