We’ve all been there: You’re simply relaxing with a magazine on the couch and, seemingly all at once, your husband spilled red wine on his favorite shirt, your eldest can’t get the coffee stain from his jeans, and your youngest has 15 kinds of sauces on his T-shirt after eating lunch. So much for your relaxation time!
Like a soldier springing into action, you want to help your family remove these tough stains, but what’s the best remedy for each one? Here, we’ll give a few handy tips regarding how exactly to get rid of stains such as blood, red wine, tomato ketchup, and more. Keep in mind that you should have something useful to hang up all these clothes – you don’t want to be draping everything over chairs and tables!
Important to know:
- Try to deal with the stain as fast as possible. The more time it has to soak in, the harder it will be to eliminate!
- It’s best to pre-treat with a stain remover, as this will help the laundry process later on.
- Always wash the garment according to the instructions on the label. If the stain persists, it’s okay to try it at least once more in the washing machine, but avoid putting the garment in the dryer, as this will only make the stain set in.
- If you’re especially short on time, it’s pretty handy to throw laundry pods into the machine instead of using detergent. They don’t require any liquid measuring.
Alright, let’s start with the stain removal tips!
Red wine – Sprinkle a small amount of salt over the stain, as this will help absorb the liquid. Let it sit for around 5 minutes. Next, boil some water and while it’s heating, place the area of the shirt with the stain over a bowl and make sure it’s taught. Once the water is heated, slowly and carefully pour the hot water from about 1 foot away, as this provides the right amount of pressure. Afterward, machine wash on a hot setting.
Blood – If the bloodstain is fresh, then definitely start by rinsing with cold water, as hot water will make the stain set faster. You could even leave it soaking in cold water for 30 mins if the stain is particularly bad. For dried blood, try to brush off as much as possible, then soak in cold water and add a few drops of laundry detergent. Place in the washing machine and wash on a cold-water setting.
Chewing gum – Instead of using your fingers to pull the gum out of clothing, try placing the item in the freezer for around 20 minutes, or instead rub the gum with an ice cube. Scraping the gum off with a dull knife is a lot easier when it’s hardened. If you successfully remove the gum but there’s still a stain, then it’s best to use stain remover and wash on a hot setting.
Tomato ketchup – First, remove any excess ketchup using a cloth or paper towel. Run cold water over the stain to help flush out the ketchup. Soak the item in cold water with a few drops of laundry detergent for around 30 minutes. If you have white vinegar, pour some onto a cloth or paper towel and dab at the stain. Again, rinse with cold water. Place in the washing machine and wash on a hot setting.
Toothpaste – This isn’t as difficult as you’d think. Scrape off as much toothpaste as possible using a paper towel but try not to rub it into the clothing. Definitely use a stain remover quickly and then place in the washing machine on a normal, mild temperature.
Cooking oil and grease – Pour some cold water over the stain, grab some dishwashing soap, and proceed to rub a tiny amount over the affected area. Run cold water over the stain and pretreat with a stain remover. Place into the washing machine and wash on a hot setting, as this will help remove the cooking oil and grease.
Dirt– Wait until the dirt is dry, then you can scrape off as much as possible. Place the item in cold water with a few drops of laundry detergent for around 20 minutes. Wash a warm setting as normal. If this doesn’t come out well after the first wash, it might be necessary to repeat the above steps and wash again.