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The Journal Gazette

  • File Whether seasonal stains from the outdoors or timeless stains from the office, laundry messes have individual fixes.

Monday, June 04, 2018 1:00 am

Scrubbing out stains

Find right products, techniques to get clothes clean again

StatePoint

Treatment guide

Here are some suggested ways of removing certain stains from your clothes:

Grass: Apply stain treatment or detergent directly on grass stain and then rub fabric together. Without washing off the detergent, wash the clothing item just like you normally would.

Red wine: Cover stain with salt, which should start to absorb the wine. Soak the clothing item in cold water with an enzyme detergent and let soak overnight.

Chocolate: Remove excess chocolate from clothing item. Pre-treat by pouring detergent directly on the stain. Use a toothbrush to get detergent into fibers or rub fabric together. Let sit for about 10 minutes and then wash on hottest temperature as indicated.

Coffee: Run cold water over the stain. Pre-treat by pouring detergent directly on the stain. Use a toothbrush to get detergent into fibers or rub fabric together. Let sit for about 10 minutes and then wash on hottest temperature as indicated.

Mud: Allow mud to dry and then brush off as much as you can. Using detergent and some water on the stain, rub fabric to create suds. Rinse. If there are any remaining stains, use one part white vinegar and one part water to remove and then wash.

Grease: If possible, rinse the stain immediately with cold water. Gently rub Dawn dish soap onto the stain and then rinse with water. Repeat if needed.

Ink: Place a paper towel under the stain and spray with hairspray until stain is saturated. Let it soak for several seconds and then blot with another clean cloth. Repeat until stain is gone and then wash with an enzyme detergent.

Blood: Soak stain in cold water and gently rub the stain with your fingers. Rinse, blot and then soak in cold water. Finally, wash.

Perspiration: Pre-treat with stain remover and allow to sit. Wash item in the hottest water recommended with an enzyme detergent.

Ketchup: If possible, rinse under cold water immediately. Soak clothing item in warm water and blot spot with dishwashing soap.

– Various sources

From grassy picnics to sweaty soccer games to saucy cookouts – clothes can be particularly vulnerable to all kinds of stains and odors during the warm weather months.

Check out these tips for doing your laundry in a way that keeps clothes fresh and looking new as long as possible.

Understand the basics. Different stains require different cleaning agents, and unfortunately, there is no one single ingredient that cleans all kinds of stains well. For example, milk and grass stains require enzyme cleaners, while ink or wine stains require peroxides. Of course, clothes also need brighteners and detergents to come out looking their best. Understanding these basic principles can help you treat clothes more effectively.

Pre-treat stains. Stained clothing should be pre-treated with a tough, multi-faceted solution. Rub in pre-treatment gently and wait three to five minutes. Just be careful not to allow the solution to dry on the fabric. Some garments will need a longer pre-treatment. If so, add the solution to water and soak the soiled clothing in a bucket before washing as usual.

Fight odor: Select products that keep laundry fresh longer. For example, Dryel has an Odor & Wrinkle Releaser, and other detergents and cleaning items also have odor fighters.

Extend the life of clothes. Pair a great detergent with a laundry booster, such as Biz, that can tackle multiple types of stains.

Read the tags. When in doubt, referencing tags for washing and drying directions can help you best maintain a garment's color, brightness and shape.