Stain Removal Basics, Tools, and Treatments

Get the Spot Out Right

Removing stains is one of the most challenging parts of doing laundry. But once you learn the basic steps for tackling a stain, the correct products to use and that many types of stains are treated with similar steps, the job becomes much easier.

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    Removing stains follows the same rule as a physician, first do no harm. Before you bring out the big guns, begin with some basic, less harmful steps. It's easier than you think!

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    If you can learn how to spot clean a stain on clothes, you will be a laundry superhero. Did you splash coffee or melted chocolate ice cream onto your white blouse? Here's what to save your shirt and dry cleaning expenses.

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    It's one thing when you know what caused a stain. It's another when you find it days later, or even when you put on the shirt after it's been laundered. Here's how to diagnose what the mystery stain might be and how to remove it.

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    Once you've diagnosed a mystery stain, look here for specifics on removing dozens of different stains from washable fabrics, dry clean only fabrics, carpet, and upholstery. While many stains are treated the same way, others require special steps or they can become permanent.

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    When clothes are heavily soiled or stained, a laundry enzyme presoak can break down protein stains so they can be washed away in the next wash cycle. Here's how to use them for stains such as grass, blood and baby formula.

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    Bleach is a stain removal tool that aids the action of detergent. Here is how to understand the two types of bleach commonly used in home laundry: chlorine bleach and oxygen bleach. Learn what they do and which is best in different circumstances.

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    If you've decided to limit exposure to harsh chemicals, there are some natural products you can use instead. Here are seven natural products that will effectively help remove stains and odor from clothes.

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    When a big spill happens, you may not have any stain remover on hand. Fortunately, not every stain requires a specialty product. These hacks use items you probably have on hand. You may just be able to solve your problem with some shaving cream, a slice of bread or a bit of vodka!

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  • 09 of 12

    Are your blue jeans turning everything you wash with them blue? Here's what works and what doesn't to keep colors from running and set the color to prevent fading.

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    What do you do with all of the pink underwear that was white until you washed them with a pair of red socks? ​​The offending dye can almost always be removed if you follow these steps.

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    Ring around the collar, yellow shirt armpits, and residual odor are problems you will often see (and smell). Underarm sweat or perspiration stains are certainly obvious on clothes and can be really embarrassing. Here are ways to remove them.

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    Leaking pens or pens you sent through the laundry can leave you seeing spots. This can be a disaster for your favorite clothes. Here's how to remove ink stains from your clothes, as well as from your dryer.