One of the more frustrating things about doing laundry can be set in stains. Follow these tips for best results.
Tips to Remember for Stain Removal:
• Take care of stains promptly. Fresh stains are much easier to remove than those over 24 hours old.
• Blot up any excess liquid with a clean white cloth or paper towel. Remove excess solids by gentle scraping or chipping with a dull knife or metal spatula. With some solids, such as heavy amounts of surface mud, removal may be easier after the stain has dried. Brush off the excess before the clothing is submerged for washing.
• Avoid rubbing the stained area with a linty terry towel or a dark-colored cloth. You may complicate the problem.
• Never rub a fresh stain with bar soap. Soap sets many stains.
• Check laundry for stains before washing. Many stains need pretreatment.
• Inspect wet laundry before drying to be sure a stain has been removed. If a stain is still evident, do not dryer dry. The heat of drying makes the stain more permanent.
• Before starting on the stain, test on a seam or hidden area of the garment to be sure stain removal products do not affect the color or finish of the fabric.
• Avoid excessive rubbing unless the fabric is tough and durable. Rubbing can spread the stain and damage the fiber, finish, or color of the fabric. However, gentle to vigorous rubbing and agitation under running water helps remove dried food, protein, or oil stains from shirts or jean-weight fabrics made of cotton or cotton/polyester blends.
• Do not iron or press stained fabrics until the stain is completely removed. Heat sets most stains.
• Wash heavily stained items separately. Soil and stains can be re-deposited on cleaner clothing during laundering if a) too little detergent is used; b) water temperature is too low; c) washing time is too long; or d) the washer is loaded with too many clothes.
• Avoid using hot water on stains of unknown origin. Hot water can set protein stains like milk, egg, or blood.
• Use the water temperature recommended by product manufacturer. Hot water should be between 120 and 140 degrees F, warm water between 85 and 105 degrees F, and cold water between 65 and 75 degrees F. Water below 60 degrees F is too cold for detergents to be helpful.