There are several stains that will not just come out with a basic cycle in the washing machine. In these instances, you have to pre-treat your laundry so that you can remove those difficult stains quickly and easily. There are a number of tips you can use to ensure that you are properly and productively pre-treating your laundry.
Remove the Stain ASAP
The longer you allow a stain to set, the harder it is going to be to remove. As soon as a stain starts, remove the garment or take the linen into your laundry room. Make sure that you pre-treat right away and then wash the garment or linen. If the item is something that is marked dry clean only, you should pre-treat, try to gently remove the stain and then ensure that the area dries. Never leave a pre-treated item wet for hours because this can result in mildew developing and causing a funny smell.
Hot Water and Detergent
Make sure that you are using a detergent that has enzyme pre-treatment products in it. Most of the big name brands do. Use a little detergent and the hottest water possible to soak the garment for approximately 15 minutes. Be very careful that you do not burn yourself with the water. After the 15 minutes, gently scrub or blot the stain, depending on the fabric and cause of the stain. Then, simply wash the garment or linen in the hottest water your washer allows and detergent to finish the stain removal.
Create a Pre-Treatment Basket for Easy Stain Removal
You want to have everything you need to remove stains in one spot so that when a stain occurs, you can quickly grab what you need and get to work. Keep the following handy for easy stain removal:
- Chlorine bleach
- Enzyme pre-treatment spray
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Rubbing alcohol
- Spot remover or another type of solvent
- White vinegar
- Color bleach
- Eye dropper
- Liquid laundry detergent
- Soft brush
- Spray bottles for the liquid products
Common Stains and How to Remove Them
- Examples include blood, sweat, milk and eggs
- Presoak the items in tepid or cold water with liquid laundry detergent and enzyme products.
- Run through a washing machine cycle with the appropriate bleach
- Never use hot water
- Examples include oil and butter
- Pre-treat with dish soap or a pre-treatment spray
- Wash in the hottest water possible for the fabric
- Examples include coffee, wine, grass, tea and juice
- Immediately flush the stain and then use a pre-treatment enzyme directly on the stain
- Wash the garment or linen with the appropriate bleach
Ink and Markers
- Examples include drawing ink, ballpoint ink and felt tip ink
- Use acetone or another solvent on this type of stain. To ensure that the stain does not spread, apply the solvent carefully with an eyedropper. Repeat this until the stain is gone and then put the linen or garment through a washing machine cycle
- Examples include mineral deposits and rust
- Use lemon juice, white vinegar, rust remover or something acidic to treat the stain
- Never use chlorine bleach for this type of stain because it makes it worse
- Launder the garment
Use these pre-treatment tips to ensure that you can easily remove the stains from your laundry. These work for all kinds of stains, including those that can be difficult to remove, such as grass, red wine and blood. After using the pre-treatment method, wash the clothes as usual.