Many laundry detergents claim to remove even the toughest stains like sweat and wine marks, but when we actually put them to the test, we discover that stubborn stains are actually impossible to remove fully with detergent alone. A visible speck of the dirt will cling, which will be a horrible sight, especially on white shirts.
Thankfully, excellent laundry companies are there to save our clothes. They use stronger but safe products that can completely eliminate any kind of stain without difficulty. Their services are cost-efficient and highly convenient, too; just give them a call, and they will pick up your laundry on your agreed time, and then give them back to you fast, all clean and fresh.
But if you just realized that the clothes you’ll wear later or tomorrow are horribly stained, then only home remedies can save you. So, here are the quick fixes to the hardest stains to remove, and how to prevent them next time:
1. Ink Stains
Petroleum jelly and isopropyl alcohol can get rid of ink stains from ballpens. Just spread petroleum jelly around the stain to keep it from spreading, then apply isopropyl alcohol using a clean toothbrush or an eye-dropper. Dab a mineral spirit on the stain next, then rinse with a dish-soap solution.
As for a permanent marker stain, a hairspray with high alcohol content is the fix, but since they aren’t widely sold anymore, substitute it with rubbing alcohol, instead. Follow the same procedure as removing a ballpen stain, but instead of rinsing with a dish-soap solution, toss it in your washing machine as a final cleaning step.
Remember to use pens carefully next time to avoid staining your clothes with them! Don’t shake a pen when the ink’s already leaking.
2. Food Stains (Grease, Sauce, Dairy, Drinks)
A cornmeal or talcum powder removes stains from greasy food like pizza. Don a table napkin next time before digging in to prevent staining your clothes!
A solvent combined with diluted vinegar removes ketchup and tomato sauce stains. Finish by tossing your clothes into the washing machine, setting it to regular wash cycle with cool water.
For stains from breastmilk, egg, and other organic proteins, gently scrape off the crusted residue first, then soak the clothing in cold water with enzyme presoak for 5 to 30 minutes. Repeat with fresh water if needed. Lactating moms may have trouble avoiding breastmilk stains, so chances are you’re going to perform this stain removal procedure daily.
Coffee and tea stains are also removed with diluted vinegar. Spray it to the stain and blot with a damp cloth, then spritz diluted ammonia next.
Red wine stains are a bit more special. Dab it with a damp cloth, then blot it with white wine next. If the stain still clings, apply baking soda or salt and leave it to sit for 20 minutes.
Always be watchful of your hands when eating and drinking, as the hassle of removing them isn’t really worth it.
3. Sweat Marks
Unfortunately, there isn’t really an emergency remedy for sweat marks. You need to prewash the affected clothes with a prewash stain remover, then toss them into the washing machine under the hottest water setting that’s safe for the fabric. Use an enzyme detergent and an oxygen bleach to finish off the marks.
To prevent sweat marks, wear an undershirt or armpit pads. Get rid of the hairs as well, because they actually make you produce more sweat. And avoid antiperspirant deodorants, because they’re the culprit of nasty yellow stains.
These fixes may be quick, but prevention is always better than the hassle of removing these three types of stubborn stains. Be more careful in your daily activities to keep your clothes clean, and invest in professional laundry services so you’d never worry about nasty stains again.