Life is messy and stains are inevitable. Whether it’s red wine on your sofa or chocolate milk on your new white jeans, we’ve got a practical guide to deal with it. The main thing with stains and spills is that you have to deal with them quickly. The sooner the better. So, the next time you splash pesto on a silk shirt, take a deep breath, head to the laundry room, and pull out our guide. You’ve got this!
What kind of stain is it?
This is super-important. Every kind of stain has a slightly different treatment to best remove it. You should treat a lipstick stain differently from blood or dirt. We laid out the treatment for every stain, but sometimes a mystery stain just appears, especially with kids. Don’t stress! Just pick the category that seems to be the most likely and proceed. It’s better to act quickly than agonize over which treatment to start with. That just leaves more time for the stain to set.
Did your new dark denim bleed onto other clothes in the wash? Before drying, scrub the color transfer with Laundry Soap and a brush. Soak overnight and repeat with commercial color remover if necessary.
Mix equal parts Laundry Soap and vinegar and brush stain until it fades. Rinse with cold water before laundering as usual.
Brush Dish Soap and Hydrogen Peroxide into the stain and rinse with cold water.
Freeze or harden with ice. Scrape surface wax off with a butter knife. Place between paper towels and press with a warm iron. Pre-treat with Garment Groom before washing.
Spray with Garment Groom, and then work a dab of Laundry Soap into the stain with a brush. Soak in hot water for at least 30 minutes before laundering.
Brush Laundry Soap and diluted 2 parts water to 1 part rubbing alcohol into the stain and rinse with hot water. Repeat if necessary.
Dab a bit of Baking Soda or Cornstarch on the stain and let it soak in before washing in hot water.
Freeze and scrape with a dull knife to remove surface stickiness. Spray with Garment Groom and soak overnight in Laundry soap and warm water.
Spray with Garment Groom, then rinse with cold water and Laundry Soap. If stain persists, try dabbing rubbing alcohol, and soaking overnight in soapy water. Repeat and use commercial color remover if necessary.
Pre-treat before washing with Laundry Soap and Garment Groom.
Brush with laundry Soap and launder in hot water with hydrogen peroxide. Dry in sunlight. Repeat if necessary.
Spray with Garment Groom and then brush with a small dab of Laundry Soap. Rinse with cold water and repeat if necessary. Launder with color-safe bleach.
Brush with a paste of Dish Soap and Baking Soda. Soak overnight in Laundry Soap and warm water. Launder with color-safe bleach.
Immediately spray with Garment Groom and flush with warm water. Rub a little Laundry Soap into the stain and launder as soon as possible in the hottest water for fabric.
The 2 cardinal rules of stain removal are this:
- Deal with it as quickly as you can (this is why I carry a small bottle of Garment Groom in my bag at all times)
- Heat sets a stain.
And…never pull a still stained item out of the washing machine, toss it into the tumble dryer, and hope for the best! This will rarely improve the situation in my experience. Just go through the stain removal steps and repeat until you’ve shown that stain who’s boss! It will shift eventually.