Saturday, April 20

Washing Away Tough Stains: The One Hack You Need

You are counting the days until the weekend, and you are looking forward to ending another long work week. And then you remember: the laundry is also waiting for you. Okay, doing laundry can be a relaxing time because of the “no-brainer” and mechanical ‘work’. Automatic washers/dryers have made the world a better place to live in by taking the work out of the load, am I right, Moms? Oh, but wait, you realize you have kids and what do kids and laundry have in common? Stains. Suddenly, doing laundry is not so “no-brainer” anymore.

You might not know it, but the best, most effective stain removers sometimes can already be in your pantry. There is only one hack you need to learn in removing the common stains on laundry. Here’s how to treat some of the most common laundry stains with just white vinegar and a dash of elbow grease:

Common Causes of Tough Laundry Stains

  • Tomato 
  • Coffee or tea
  • Mustard and ketchup
  • Mold and mildew
  • Sweat
  • Ink
  • Blood
  • Rust
  • Burn marks from the iron

It may happen, though, that what causes the stains on your clothes is the quality of water that runs through your plumbing. Water contains minerals that may get on the clothes you wash. If the water has high calcium and magnesium content, you’re getting what’s known as “hard water”. It’s been found that aside from causing mineral stains, clothes may wear out more rapidly because of hard water.

Removing Tough Laundry Stains with Vinegar

Tomato Stains. Soak the spot with vinegar and allow a few minutes to set it. Wash as usual. Check that the stain has been erased before putting the clothing in the dryer.

Coffee/Tea Stains. To remove coffee or tea stains, soak the stained clothing in 1/3 cup vinegar diluted in 2/3 cup water. Hang the garment to dry under the sun, and then wash as usual.

Mustard Stains. Condiment stains like ketchup and mustard require a little more persistence. Apply undiluted vinegar to the spot and allow it to set in. Sometimes, that does the trick. But if not, try treating the stain with laundry detergent. Rub the detergent onto the stain and then wash as usual. Make sure the stain has been removed before tossing the garment into the dryer. Repeat the steps, as necessary.

Mold and Mildew Stains. Unfortunately, we sometimes forget to remove washed clothes from inside the washer. This causes an unpleasant smell or even visible mildew stains. Mix vinegar and water in equal parts, some salt, and then soak the garment in the solution. If this does not lift the mildew stains right off, mix undiluted vinegar with salt and soak the garment again.

Sweat Stains. To remove stains caused by sweat, pour vinegar over the stained area and then rub rock salt onto the spot. Place the garment out under the sun to dry and then wash as usual.

Ink Stains. Use over-the-counter hairspray to remove the stain and then wipe the sprayed spot with vinegar to remove it. The ink should lift right off with the hairspray.  

Blood Stains. For bloodstains, time is of the essence. You’ll want to treat the stain while the blood has not set in. Pour vinegar over the spot and allow it to sit for 15 minutes before rinsing with cold water. Repeat as necessary, and then wash as usual, but immediately.

Rust Stains. Soak a cotton ball in vinegar and use this to rub onto the stain. Apply a thin layer of salt over the stain, then rub it so that it mixes with the vinegar already on the fabric. Put the garment out under direct sunlight until the stain fades. Wash as usual.

Iron Burn Marks. It happens that we leave a hot iron on clothing for too long by accident. You can try to reverse the burn stain by soaking a cotton ball or clean rag in vinegar and then dabbing this onto the scorched area. Rub the area with a clean, dry rag and the stain should lift right out. Just expect to repeat the application a few times before the scorch mark fully comes off.

If in case, you do find out that you get hard water running through your tap, causing the mineral stains on your laundry, you can remedy this by having a high-quality water softener installed.  These systems work to reduce the mineral level in the water.

Stains can ruin, not just your clothes, but your entire weekend, too. It’s a good thing that one hack is all we need at home. The wonder that is vinegar is not just for cooking but has many household cleaning applications.

Meta title: How to Remove Common Laundry Stains
meta desc: Laundry stains have different causes and different levels of difficulty to remove. Learn about the one hack that you need in fighting all sorts of laundry stains.