Summer Clothing Stains
Stain removal is a common problem in caring for clothing. Summer brings
a variety of new stains. The following stain procedures are for washable
clothing. Always read and follow the care instructions. When possible,
treat stains promptly. Examples of laundry products are at the end of
If the stain is fresh, soak in cold water for 30 minutes. Wash with warm
water and a detergent. If stain remains, soak in an enzyme presoak and
lukewarm water for 15-20 minutes or apply a few drops of hydrogen peroxide.
Apply ice or cold water to harden residue. Scrape off excess with dull
knife. Place stain area face down on an absorbent paper towel or cloth.
Sponge with a prewash treatment. Rub with heavy-duty liquid detergent.
Rinse with hot water. Repeat if needed. Launder.
Fresh stains should be soaked and agitated in cold water before washing.
If stain is dried, scrape or rbush off any crusted matter. Soak for up
to several hours in cold water with a detergent or an enzyme presoak.
Launder in warm water. If stain remains, soak an additional 30 minutes
and rewash. If color stain remains, launder with bleach safe for the fabric.
Fruit and Fruit Juices
Launder with detergent in the hottest water safe for the fabric. Do
not use soap (bar, flake, or detergents containing natural soap), since
soap could make stain permanent. Soak tough stains for 30 minutes in one
quart of warm water and one teaspoon of enzyme presoak product. To remove
old or set stains may require washing with bleach that is safe for the
fabric. If all the sugars are not removed a brown stain will appear when
the fabric is heated in the dryer or is ironed, as the sugar is caramelized.
Soak in a solution of cool water and a laundry product containing enzymes
for at least 30 minutes (several hours for aged stains.) Do not use hot
water as it will coagulate protein and make stain more difficult to remove.
If stains remain, soak an additional 30 minutes, then re-wash. Follow
product instructions. Some laundry detergents contain enzymes. After soaking,
launder in warm water as usual.
Let mud stains dry. Brush to remove the soil. Soak in a solution of
1-quart warm water, 1-teaspoon liquid dish detergent and 1 tablespoon
white vinegar for 15 minutes. Rinse with water. Let stand for several
minutes. If stain remains, sponge with rubbing alcohol, rinse with clear
water, and launder. Also may soak stain for 30 minutes in an enzyme presoak.
Add chlorine bleach to laundry if safe for fabric.
Hot water and detergent can set mustard stains, so pretreat before washing.
Scrape off excess. Pretreat with prewash products. Launder using bleach
safe for fabric.
Tomato based sauces*
Soak in cool water, 1/2-teaspoon liquid hand dishwashing detergent and
1-tablespoon vinegar for 30 minutes. Rinse. If stain remains, pretreat
area with a prewash stain remover, liquid laundry detergent, or a paste
of powdered detergent, and water. Then wash in warm water. Air dry. If
stain remains, soak in an enzyme product for at least an hour or over
night. Some detergents contain enzymes. Launder in warm water. *Do not
use hot water, hot air drying, or iron until the stain is gone. Heat will
The best way to deal with art supplies is to get advice right from the
horse's mouth. Call 1- 800-CRAYOLA or access the web site www.crayola.com
See removal tips at their web site.
No endorsement of companies or their products mentioned is intended,
nor is criticism implied of similar companies or their products not mentioned.
|Enzyme presoak products
||Biz Bleach, Axion
|Pre-wash stain remover/ petroleum-based
Aerosol Shout, Spray n' Wash, K2r Spot Lifter
|Heavy-duty liquid detergents
||All, Cheer, Era, Tide, Wisk
|Light-duty liquid detergents
||Ivory, Lux, Woolite
Amway, Cheer, Dash, Woolite, Tide, Bleaches
|Hydrogen peroxide is the mildest bleach.
|Powdered all-fabric bleach- sodium perborate
||Biz, Borateem, Clorox 2
|Liquid all-fabric bleach
||Clorox 2, Vivid
|Liquid chlorine bleach -sodium hypochlorite
Prepared by: Susan Taylor, Extension Educator,
Consumer and Family Economics,
University of Illinois Extension.
Manteno Extension Center.
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