Try to pinpoint the source of the stain before attempting to remove it. Start with the gentlest cleaner possible to protect the fabric, and give the cleaners time to do their jobs.
The 11 Best Laundry Stain Removers of 2023, Tested and Reviewed
With so many cleaning products available, it’s simple to overlook the most straightforward option: cold water. Hold the washable material, the wrong side up, directly beneath a cold water faucet that is turning on full force. This will facilitate the stain’s removal from the fibres.
You should use hot water and a different cleaning agent if you can determine that the stain is oil-based (butter, mayonnaise, salad dressing, etc.). Avoid using hot water for blood or protein-based stains like egg and dairy.
Liquid Laundry Detergent
Even if single-dose laundry pods are more convenient for you, keep a bottle of a strong laundry detergent on hand to treat stains. Most of the enzymes in a commercial laundry stain remover are also in heavy-duty detergent.
The detergent should be dabbed onto the stain and worked into the fabric with your fingers or a soft-bristled brush. As the stain molecules break down, give the detergent 10 to 15 minutes to work. The item should then be washed using your regular detergent and the rest of your laundry.
Transfer a few ounces of the detergent to a squeeze bottle for convenience so you won’t have to lift a big bottle every time you come across a stain. Label the bottle accurately!
The same dishwashing liquid you use to clean your dishes eliminates oily stains on clothes. Work a small amount into the fabrics after applying them to the stained area. Before washing, as usual, let it sit for at least 10 minutes.
Add one tablespoon of dishwashing liquid to one gallon of water to pre-soak stained laundry. Mix thoroughly, add the dirty laundry, and let it sit for at least an hour.
Baking soda is an excellent deodorizer for smelly laundry. Add one cup of baking soda to a gallon of water as a presoak for stinky workout clothes, cloth diapers, or clothing with cooking odours. After soaking for a couple of hours or overnight, drain the presoak and wash the items as usual.
Distilled White Vinegar
Distilled white vinegar can be used for various cleaning tasks in the laundry room, but it is essential to eliminate some fabrics’ strong odours and yellow underarm sweat stains.
Use a soft-bristled brush or an old toothbrush to scrub the armpits to remove sweat stains after mixing a one-to-one solution of white distilled vinegar and water. Before washing as usual, pre-soak the clothes in a solution of one cup of vinegar to one gallon of water for at least 30 minutes.
Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is a good substitute for the much harsher chlorine bleach when you need to whiten clothes. Do not pour the mild oxidizing bleach directly onto dark fabrics because it will stain them. Additionally, it works well to remove dye-based stains from white washable fabrics, including nail polish, curry, and red wine.
In an emergency, toothpaste can be applied to clothing to remove stains. Use only white paste formulations, unlike most gel-based brands containing dyes. Avoid formulas that use hydrogen peroxide as a whitener unless you’re trying to remove a stain from white fabric.
Place a pea-sized dab of toothpaste on the stain after wetting the stained area. Use your fingers or an old toothbrush to rub it in. After letting it sit for five minutes, rinse the area. Wash the item as normal.
Isopropyl (Rubbing) Alcohol
To get ink stains off of clothing, use isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol as a solvent. Put a little alcohol in a bowl, then dampen a cotton swab. To stop the ink stain from spreading, begin at the edge and move toward the centre. Work slowly, switching to a new cotton swab as the ink is removed from the fabric. Wash the item as usual once the ink has been removed.
The shampoo is made to dissolve stains on clothing and cut through oil and soil in our hair. Apply a dab of shampoo to the stain after wetting the fabric, then work it into the fabric with your fingers. After waiting about five minutes, the garment should be washed as directed on the care tag.
Check the label to ensure that the shampoo bottle does not contain conditioners that might leave residue in the fibres. Keep to simple shampoo whenever possible.
Cornstarch or Chalk
Cornstarch from your kitchen or a stick of plain white chalk work wonders to help absorb oily stains. Sprinkle the oily stain with cornstarch or rub the area with white chalk. Allow it to sit on the stain for at least ten minutes to absorb the oil, then brush it away. Repeat until all of the oil is absorbed. Then wash the garment following care label directions.
Table salt is a mild abrasive for removing rust and red wine stains and helps absorb liquid stains before they are set. Sprinkle a red wine spill liberally with table salt as soon as it happens. Let the salt absorb the liquid, then brush it away before washing it.
Remember, salt can leave white stains on your fabric if you don’t wash it out.