Laundry Stain Remover Solutions
Follow these laundry stain remover tips to help get rid of any spots you encounter. If a beautiful object has a tiny flaw, some people do not notice it and others notice nothing else. In dealing with stains, the most important skill you can acquire is the ability not to be bothered by small imperfections that you cannot fix. Many fabrics are ruined by overzealous and unrealistic attempts to make them perfect.
With laundry stain removal, one of the advantages you have (apart from the fact that you can machine-wash the item) is that you have access to both sides of the stain. Pretreatment often consists of pushing the stain out from the back of the fabric.
1. Remove as much of the stain-causing material as possible by blotting with paper towels or scraping with a dull knife.
2. Pretreat the stain by soaking or applying a laundry stain remover. It helps to lightly agitate the fabric being soaked or to gently rub together the stained fabric with your hands.
3. Launder in your washing machine according to the instructions on the fabric’s care label.
4. If necessary, repeat the preceding steps to remove laundry stains, possibly using a stronger cleaning solution.
Laundry Stain Removers & Extras
Along with detergents, the list of laundry products designed for more specific uses is growing: all-fabric bleaches, softeners and boosters, for instance. At least one century–old product – bluing – is making a comeback too. Here’s a look at some laundry stain removers and extras:
Bleaches come in two varieties:
- Chlorine bleach (sometimes labeled as sodium hypochlorite)
- All-fabric bleach (containing sodium perborate, hydrogen peroxide or some other chlorine substitute)
Chlorine bleach is the most effective whitener and sanitizer, but we all know how strong chlorine bleach is. It can fade or alter the color of fabrics and can weaken fibers. As a general rule, never pour full-strength liquid chlorine bleach directly into a washing machine load. Always dilute it or dispense it through a machine’s bleach dispenser, following the instructions found on the bleach container. Don’t soak cottons in a bleach solution for more than 15 minutes. (If the stain remains after 15 minutes, that means it’s not going to go away.) Don’t use chlorine bleach on silk, wool, spandex, polyurethane foam, rubber or anything with rubber or spandex elastic.
All-fabric bleaches are not as harsh and may be safe for colors. At the same time, they are not as powerful or fast-acting as a chlorine bleach.
Bluing is an old-fashioned product that is actually used to make whites whiter. It’s not a bleach (so it’s environmentally friendly). In effect, bluing is just that – blue dye. When white fabric is new, it contains blue coloring (invisible to the naked eye) that makes the white brighter. After repeated washings, the blue coloring is removed, leaving whites with a yellowish tint. By adding bluing to your wash, you replace the microscopic blue pigment, and your whites look new again.
Detergents - It's important to use the right detergent for the job. Use general-purpose detergents for most wash loads. Use light-duty detergents for washing lightly soiled and delicate fabrics. Liquid detergents work better in cold water and on oily stains. Powders are especially good for removing ground-in dirt and clay.
Detergent boosters, as the name suggests, help detergents do their job by increasing stain and dirt removal action, altering the pH of water, and brightening clothes.
Enzyme presoaks are good for loosening and removing stains, especially protein stains (milk, egg, urine and feces), before the wash cycle. When added to the wash cycle, this laundry stain remover acts like a booster to improve the washing.
Fabric softeners come in liquid that you add to the final rinse cycle of your wash load or in sheets that you add to the tumble dryer. These products make fabrics softer and fluffier, reduce static cling and wrinkling, and make ironing easier. Beware, though: if overused, fabric softeners can reduce the absorbency of towels and cloth nappies. Dryer sheets, if overused, can leave oily looking splotches on medium-colored items.
Prewash laundry stain removers are often spray products containing some combination of concentrated detergents, alcohol, mineral spirits or enzymes. These are especially good for removing oily or greasy stains from synthetic fibers. See Commercial Stain Remover A-Z for recommended products.
Starches, fabric finishes and sizings, either used in the final rinse or after drying, stiffen fabrics, making them look crisp and fresh. They tend to make ironing easier and fabric less susceptible to dirt and stains.
Water softeners and conditioners are quick fixes for hard water. Added directly to the wash or rinse cycle of your machine, both of these products soften the water, making the detergent work more effectively.
Now it’s time to put those items into the washing machine. Believe it or not, there’s a right way to do that. No matter which type of detergent you use as a laundry stain remover, check the package for the right amount to use. Using too little detergent may not get your clothes clean. Using too much doesn’t mean cleaner clothes; it just means you are wasting your money.
Set the washing machine to its smallest load level and fill with water. Then add the recommended amount of detergent and let the machine agitate long enough to dissolve the detergent and make some suds. If you are adding bleach as a laundry stain remover and want to do it most efficiently, add it next, directly into the water and let the machine agitate for about 30 seconds, or use the machine’s bleach dispenser. Now add the clothes, reset the machine for the desired size load, and let it do its work.
If clothes are heavily soiled, once the washer is filled to the desired water level, turn the machine off and let everything soak for about 30 minutes. When soaking time is over, turn the machine back on and finish washing.
What happens if you add the clothes first, then the detergent and bleach? Pouring detergent directly onto the clothes means it may not dissolve properly. This can inhibit its ability to clean your clothes. Another unhappy result can be residue or streaks of undissolved detergent on your “clean” clothes. Pouring bleach directly onto the clothes can cause the color to fade. In the case of using chlorine bleach as laundry stain remover, it can also weaken the fibers, creating holes or tears as the items are agitated in the wash cycle.
I hope these laundry stain remover tips bring spot removal success!
Carpet Stain Removers
Fabric Stain Removers
Clothes Stain Removers
Commercial Stain Remover A-Z
Natural Stain Removers
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