Spring Laundry Challenges

Spring can bring some interesting laundry problems.  Here is some help if you come in contact with some of these stains.

  • Removing pollen from clothing.

Pollen from plants can be very difficult to remove from your clothing.  If you notice that you have some pollen on your clothing don’t try to brush it off with your hand.  Instead use scotch or masking tape to lift it off the fibers. Brushing off the pollen by hand can set the stain.  If you have a stain rub liquid laundry detergent into the stain and launder in as warm water as is safe for the fabric.  If color remains use a bleach solution for white clothes or color safe bleach for colored clothes.

  • Perspiration stains

To remove perspiration stains apply liquid laundry detergent on the stains or soak in warm water with an enzyme presoak (Axion, Biz or Clorox 2) according to package directions.  If it is on a white t- shirt you could put salt on the stained area then squeeze fresh lemon juice on the salt.  Put it in the sun and allow to dry.

  • Mud and grass stains

Mud is a protein stain and needs cold water to remove.  Try rubbing the fabric against itself under cold running water to dislodge the mud.  If hot water is used first it cooks the protein, causing it to coagulate between the fibers in the yarns of the fabric, making it more difficult to remove.  If you also have a grass stain you treat the mud first then when the mud is removed use a pre-treater or liquid detergent to rub into the stain.  Allow 10-15 minutes for it to start breaking up the grass stain then rinse under hot water in your sink while rubbing the fabric together.  Pretreat again before washing as usual.   If the stain is not completely removed you can soak white items in a diluted bleach solution or colored ones in color safe bleach.

  • Tar stains

Tar stains are treated as a combination stain.  First you remove the oily/waxy portion of the stain by using a dry-cleaning solvent (Aerosol Shout, Spray’n Wash or K2R Spot Lifter) or stain stick and allow it to work to break up the stain for 10-15 minutes.  Then rub with a liquid laundry detergent and scrub in hot water.   If it is not completely removed rub liquid detergent into the stain again before washing.

With all stains check to be sure the stain was removed before putting in the dryer.  The heat from the dryer can set stains and make them almost impossible to remove.  Get out and enjoy the outdoors knowing that even if you get a few stains we can help you get them out!

Beth Marrs

I graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in Adult Home Economics Education. I love to cook and entertain and spend time with my family.

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