If tough splotches, spills and stains are taking a toll on your laundry, then maybe somewhere in this list you will find a solution.
I did not compile this list; it comes from the Good Housekeeping Institute. I am giving it to you as an information sheet. Hopefully it will help.
WHAT TO DO: Soak stain in cool water for 15 min. Apply a stain remover and launder as usual, adding the type of bleach (chlorine or color safe, or none at all) that is safe for the fabric.
INSIDE INFO: As with all stains, check to make sure all traces are gone before putting the item in the dryer. If the stain remains after soaking and washing, pour boiling water over the residual marks, then launder again as usual with appropriate bleach if necessary.
WHAT TO DO: Immediately soak the item in cold water. Rub the stain with bar soap, then rinse. Or, apply 3% hydrogen peroxide (from your medicine cabinet) and rinse. Then launder as usual.
INSIDE INFO: For dried blood, soak garment 15 min. in ¼ cup ammonia to 1 gal. cool soapy water. Hand wash in warm soapy water, then rinse.
STAIN: Butter & food grease
WHAT TO DO: Sponge the stains with dry-cleaning fluid (such as AFTA Dry Cleaning Fluid, available at hardware stores.) Then rinse. Rub liquid laundry detergent into the stain and wash as usual.
INSIDE INFO: This same remedy applies to other greasy stains such as lipstick or shoe polish.
STAIN: Candle wax
WHAT TO DO: Apply ice to freeze the wax (or place garment in the freezer). Gently scrape off as much frozen wax as possible with a dull knife. Place fabric between two paper towels and press with a warm, dry iron. Rotate the towels as they absorb the wax.
INSIDE INFO: After ironing, there still may be some waxy residue. Soak the stain in dry cleaning fluid for about 5 min. and launder in the hottest water that is safe for the item, with fabric appropriate bleach added.
STAIN: Flower pollen
WHAT TO DO: Shake or vacuum loose pollen from the fabric (try a hand held vacuum or one designed for computer keyboards). Spray on a powdered spot-lifting spray (such as K2r, available at hardware stores). Let fabric dry and then gently brush stain away.
INSIDE INFO: Do not rub!! To remove pollen, you have to “pull” it out of the fabric. If the advice given doesn’t take care of it, then launder as usual to get rid of the residue.
WHAT TO DO: Rub on liquid detergent that contains enzymes (ex: Tide). Enzymes break down protein stains from grass, perspiration and milk. Wash with fabric safe bleach added.
INSIDE INFO: Enzymes are neutralized by bleach. If you are going to add it, wait about 5 minutes for the enzymes to have time to work.
WHAT TO DO: Apply ice or place the garment in the freezer to harden the stain. Gently scrape off as much as possible with a dull knife. Apply dry cleaning fluid to any residue. Launder as usual.
INSIDE INFO: Did the gum go through the dryer? When the gum is melted, skip the freezer and soak the stains in dry cleaning fluid. Wearing rubber gloves, work the fluid into the fibers until gum dissolves. Launder in the hottest water safe for the fabric.
STAIN: Ink (ballpoint)
WHAT TO DO: Sponge the ink with rubbing alcohol until the color from the ink stops running. (You may need to soak the spot in the alcohol.) Launder as usual with fabric safe bleach added.
INSIDE INFO: The ink will spread when the alcohol is applied. For damage control, place an absorbent cloth underneath the stained area and rinse the fabric frequently.
STAIN: Markers (felt tip)
WHAT TO DO: Rinse stain under cold water to remove as much as possible. Soak the garment in a solution of 1 gal. warm water, ¼ cup liquid laundry detergent and ¼ cup ammonia. Wash as usual with appropriate bleach for fabric.
INSIDE INFO: Depending on the size of the stain, you may have to soak the garment for several days to remove the mark. If you do, occasionally give the stain a gentle rub and replace the detergent solution every day or so. Just add more detergent or ammonia as needed.
WHAT TO DO: Allow the stain to dry, then brush or vacuum away the loose particles. Apply a stain pretreater or rub in liquid laundry detergent. Launder as usual.
INSIDE INFO: This is one stain that you do not want to attack right away. If you try to treat mud while it is still wet, it will just make more of a mess. Dry mud is always easier to remove.
WHAT TO DO: Rub a few drops of liquid glycerin (available at pharmacies) into the stain. Launder as usual with color safe or chlorine bleach added.
INSIDE INFO: This remedy works for curry stains as well. It is the yellow turmeric spice in mustard and curry that make it so hard to remove.
STAIN: Nail polish
WHAT TO DO: Blot away as much of the stain as possible while it is still wet. Soak the stain in an oil free nail polish remover that contains acetone (or blot stain with remover). Launder as usual.
INSIDE INFO: Don’t use a nail polish remover that contains added ingredients like moisturizers. And never use nail polish remover on fabrics that contain acetate or triacetate (check the label) – it will dissolve them.
STAIN: Tomato juice
WHAT TO DO: Soak stain in cool water. Sponge with dry cleaning fluid, and then rub in a liquid laundry detergent. Launder as usual with bleach safe for fabric.
INSIDE INFO: Tomato sauce and catsup or Ketchup stains are greasy and red (from the tomato). Tackle the grease first with the dry cleaning fluid and detergent. The bleach removes the red color.
Environmentally friendly Stain Away: For arm pit stains on white t-shirts or dress shirts, pre-treat stain with white vinegar and stains will disappear. Leaves clothes smelling fresh, too.
Stains on plastic ware: Don’t spend money on plastic cleaners. Set your plastic ware (tupperware, rubbermaid, etc) outside so the sun beams down on it. The stains come out and you didn’t spend any money or pollute the environment!
If your carpet gets a grease stain or bleach spot, borrow a child’s box of crayons. Pick the one that best matches your carpet, and color the spot with the crayon. To set the color, lay a piece of wax paper over the area, and melt the crayon into the fibers with a warm, not hot, iron.