Nothing wears clothes out faster than dirt and stains. But every stain requires a different removal approach. Never rub a stain, which will break down the fibres of the fabric and can set it permanently. Always blot. Take a stained “dry-clean only” item to a dry cleaner.
Stain, what to use & method
Combine one part vinegar with two parts water. Soak garment, blot stain then launder.
Hydrogen peroxide, salt, ammonia, milk
Small stain, dab peroxide on garment. Large stain, use 250 millilitres (1 cup) water, add 2 millilitres (1/2 teaspoon) of salt. Let soak. Or splash some ammonia in a sink filled with cold water and soak garment. For milk, let garment soak in it before laundering.
Apply to stain and gently scrub.
- Coffee with milk and sugar
Soap and vinegar
Flush garment with cold water. Mix 1 litre (1 quart) warm water, 2 millilitres (1/2 teaspoon) dishwashing soap, and 15 millilitres (1 tablespoon) vinegar. Blot the stain and let it sit in the solution for 15 minutes. Rinse again with cold water, blot area with rubbing alcohol. Meat tenderizerMake a paste of the tenderizer with a bit of water and work it into the stain.
Water and vinegar
Flush with water immediately, then blot with solution of one part water, one part white vinegar. Rinse again and air dry.
- Fruit juice
Blot white vinegar immediately on stain. Let it sit for 15 minutes. Before laundering, rub some detergent on stain.
Pour or rub on stain. Let sit for an hour before washing.
Baking soda, cornmeal, cornstarch
Pour on stain, wait for it to cake up then brush off to remove grease.
Spray should contain alcohol. Spray, about 10 centimetres (4 inches) away, on ink stain, placing a piece of fabric behind stain to prevent bleeding. Then wash.
Spray on stain, pause, wipe off spray. Lipstick should come up with spray.
Scrub stain with diluted window cleaner applied to an old toothbrush.
Dampen fabric, sprinkle on tenderizer, wash.
Lemon juice and water
Place equal parts on stain and leave it for a few minutes before washing. Stubborn rust stains can take straight lemon juice; then hold garment over a steaming teakettle.
Soak in cold water, blot with rubbing alcohol.
Rub on stain, let sit for a few minutes. Wash as usual.
Work into wax stain, wipe off excess, wash as usual.
Pour immediately on stain and blot.
Salt and baking soda
Brighten whites by boiling in 8 litres (2 gallons) of water with 250 grams (1 cup) each of salt and baking soda for an hour.