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How to Get Tough Stains Out of Clothes

Finding a stain on your clothing can be frustrating, but many are easy to remove, if you know how. Here are some ways to get rid of stains so you won’t have to replace your or your kids’ clothes.

Food and Beverage Stains
If an article of clothing is stained with fruit, berries or juice, clean it immediately with a sponge and cool water. Then stretch the item over a bowl and hold it in place with an elastic band. Pour boiling water from a height of two to three feet, like a waterfall, so it goes through the stained area. (Before using this approach, make sure that boiling water is safe for the fabric.) Then wash the piece as you normally would. Use a little bleach, if necessary, and if it’s safe for the fabric. 

You can use this technique for fresh coffee and tea stains, but you don’t have to sponge the area with cool water first. This approach also works for red wine stains, but you should sprinkle a little salt on the clothing before cleaning it with boiling water. 

If a piece of clothing is stained with chocolate, scrub it with ammonia as soon as possible. Then wash it as you typically would.

For clothing stained with other types of candy, vegetables or ketchup, clean it with a sponge and cold water. Then soak the garment for 30 minutes. 

Other Types of Stains
If you get oil or grease on clothes, clean the area with a mixture of laundry detergent and distilled water. Distilled water will cut grease better than water with a high mineral content.

To get rid of ink, lay the article of clothing on top of a piece of scrap fabric, hold a can of aerosol hair spray 4 – 6 inches away, spray the clothing and blot the surface. Repeat the process, if necessary, and then wash the item as you normally would. 

To get a fresh blood stain out of clothes, sponge the area with cold water, soak it in cold water for 30 minutes, rub it with liquid detergent and rinse. If that doesn’t get the stain out, mix one gallon of cold water and two tablespoons of ammonia. Soak the garment in the solution, wash it in cold water and dishwashing detergent, then clean it again with laundry detergent.

If an article of clothing has a tough grass stain, scrub it with liquid laundry detergent. Then rinse and wash it as you normally would. For a cotton item stained with grass, saturate it with rubbing alcohol, let it sit for 10 minutes, then wash the garment as you usually would. 

To get lipstick out of clothing, rub peanut butter on the stain, then wash it with dishwashing liquid and water before the peanut butter dries. Another option is to cover the stain with vegetable oil, shortening or petroleum jelly, allow it to sit for 5 – 10 minutes and then wash the garment with warm, soapy water.