By Zaf Udin 06/25/2012 Google+
One of the biggest fashion mistakes anyone can make is to go out wearing stained clothes. It is one big faux pas if you go out to work looking like your uniform has just been tied dyed. It diminishes your professional look and people will perceive you as a lazy or incompetent when you cannot even take care of your own clothes.
One of the banes of white garments is stains and this is probably the reason why some people find doing the laundry a daunting task. The trick to removing stains from your clothes, especially the whites, is to take care of it immediately. Rule of the thumb is treating the stains as quickly as possible before doing the laundry. And one should never put laundry into the dryer unless the stains have been totally removed as this will set the stain and will be harder to remove.
There are now so many ways to remove the most common stains from any type of garment, from products you can find in your cupboard to commercial stain removal solutions. But one has to take note that stains behave differently depending on the fabric, fiber content, finish, dye and construction of the fiber, which one has to consider before making the stain removal attempts. Otherwise, you might make it worse and set the stain for good and will have to banish your favorite garment from your wardrobe.
So, what are the common stains and how can one effectively remove it?
For women, lipstick and makeup stains are one of the most common clothing stains and such a burden while you are at the office or in a meeting and you cant do anything about it yet. But there is nothing to worry about because one can easily do first aid by finding out if the lipstick or makeup is the oily type or a non-oily powder. If it is the oily-type then try using the makeup remover that is formulated for your makeup. To make sure it doesnt worsen the situation, try it on a hidden are of your garment to test so it will not cause discoloration. Most likely it is not strong enough to make any damages on your clothes because you are even safely using it in your face, which is more sensitive than any fabric. Another item commonly found in your purse could also help baby wipes. Gently blot the lipstick stain with your baby wipes until you have remove all traces of lipstick. Baby wipe method is the first aid for powdered makeup stain. If it is not available, then simply apply mild detergent such as shampoo or dish soap and blot gently with a sponge or clean cloth until the stain is removed. Then blot again with a slightly damp clean cloth to remove the soap. Never rub the cloth together since it will most likely to spread the stain rather than remove it.
Wash the clothes the usual way and check if the stain has been thoroughly removed before putting it in the dryer. Do not iron unless stain is completely removed as heat will lock in the stain making your garment worthless.
Treating the blood stain while still fresh is the best possible way to take care of it. Simply sponge with cold water and dry with absorbent towel. Or immediately wash it with dish or laundry soap and soak in cold water. Never ever use hot or warm water to soak blood stain as this will further set the stain. Spray hydrogen peroxide and rub it on the blood stain and it can easily remove the stain. Pre-test the hydrogen peroxide on unseen portion of the garment especially on colored clothes before using to test how the fabric will react.
Although we are trying to get away from using chlorine bleach, still there are times when other treatments do not work. If the blood stain is a little severe then one can use liquid bleach if the garment is white or color-safe bleach for colored ones, though it is hardly noticeable in colored garments. Before using the liquid bleach on your whites, make sure that the clothing instructions or the fabric allow for this type of treatment. Wash the usual way with your desired detergent. After washing inspect the garment to make sure that the stain has been completely removed. If you can no longer see any trace then it is okay to put in the dryer. If there are still traces of stain then repeat process until the garment is stain-free.
Coffee drinkers know that the worst thing one can do is spill coffee on their favorite dress shirt or blouse but accidents can happen. And if not taken care of immediately, the stain can set and would be difficult to remove. So take immediate action with available paper towels and blotting the stain with a firm lifting motion until no stain comes off the paper towels. Do not rub as this will further spread the stain. Then wash with cold water on the back side of the stain. In a small amount of water mix powdered laundry detergent and white vinegar and make a paste which you can apply on the front and back of the stain. Make sure to test on a hidden area of the clothes to check color-fastness. Then with an old toothbrush, rub the paste on the stained area. Rinse with cold water and check if there are still traces of the coffee stain. Launder as usual with your favorite laundry detergent and air-dry while determining if stain has been completely removed. For white clothes, directly apply white vinegar to remove the stain. Check for stain before putting your clothes in the dryer.
White chalk has been known to absorb some of the oils in the collar. It may not remove the stain completely like a bleach does but it will make the shirts look better. Use of vinegar and baking soda in your laundry could help remove the ring around the collar. Use of bleach is also recommended for easy removal of ring around the collar.
For those with active teens who play sports or kids who love splashing in mud puddles; this is probably one of the more major laundry issues. Let the mud dry completely, wiping it while wet would spread or smear it further. Brush it off or use vacuum cleaner or butter knife to remove dry, loose mud. Wet the mud stain with warm water and apply chlorine bleach onto the garment. Add detergent onto the bleached clothing and work the bleach and detergent into the white garment with a toothbrush or your fingers and allow it to soak for 15 to 20 minutes. Repeat if necessary if stain remains after brushing. Wash and dry the usual way you do your laundry just make sure to add chlorine bleach in the machine as well. You could also add ½ cup baking soda to the wash to remove the heavy bleach smell as well as make the whites whiter.
For ballpoint pen stains on your dress shirt pockets, rinsing with glycerin instead of water should help. Then apply detergent mixed with water and add two to three drops of ammonia and leave it on the stain but blotting occasionally. Rinse thoroughly. Apply bleach only if there is still some stain remaining.
For inks, there are actually several suggestions including applying a bit of hair spray and working it out with a toothbrush or better yet blot stain with rag. In case that does not work, use cotton ball (or small rag) dipped in rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover to rub the stain out. Take the necessary precaution since this action can cause the ink to be transferred on the towel placed under the garment and seep back through. Transfer the garment to another section which does not have the ink.
A heavy duty detergent should be applied on the pencil lead stain, work it out, rinse then ammonia can be applied, work in and rinse. Repeat process if necessary until the pencil stain is lifted. Again, do not throw in the dryer unless stain has been completely removed.
The white or yellow stain you see under the armpit of your favorite shirt is actually underarm deodorant stain. The main ingredient in the deodorant that makes it effective in diminishing the production of sweat is actually the culprit that causes the deodorant stains. The combination of the salts in your sweat and the chemicals in the deodorant binds to the fabric and causes the yellowish or white stain on your shirt or blouse.
Just to be clear though, dont use chlorine bleach on deodorant stains because this will be a waste of time since it would never work. What really helps to remove deodorant stains are acids, bases, enzymes and minerals. Before you use commercial or harsh materials to remove the stain, start out with what natural stain remover you have in your kitchen. Here are some household products that can help treat and remove deodorant stains on your clothes.
Lemon, vinegar, baking soda, aspirin, meat tenderizer, ammonia, and even hydrogen peroxide, can be used to treat deodorant stains.
Lemon Squeeze lemon juice onto the stain, and leave it out in the sun. You may want to put salt with lemon juice for faster stain removal.
Vinegar You have the option of using plain white vinegar or salt and vinegar solution. For the plain vinegar, simply mix vinegar with warm water and dip the stained portion and rub together. If the stain is harder to remove, then soak stained garment in the vinegar solution for a couple of hours before washing it the usual way. For the salt and vinegar solution, mix a cup of salt with 2 cups of vinegar and 2 cups of hot water and dishwashing liquid then soak your stained garments for a minimum of 2 hours then launder the usual way. Adding ½ cup vinegar to your regular laundry load wash cycle can also brighten colored clothes while adding 1½ cups to the rinse cycle can whiten clothes. Dont worry about the smell because it will linger on the clothes especially when your clothes have been sundried.
Baking Soda Mix baking soda with enough water to make a runny paste and apply directly to the stain. Let it work on the stain for around an hour then rinse in cold water. You can also use an old soft toothbrush to loosen any residue. Then, wash as usual in warm or cold water. Baking soda is also very good in removing odors as well as whitens white clothes.
Aspirin - If the others you have tried do not do the trick then you can crush two aspirins in little water, about half cup, and pour mixture on stain and let it sit for two hours. Then rub it to remove stain. You can add detergent to facilitate. Then launder the usual way.
Meat Tenderizer Wet the deodorant stain with warm water and sprinkle liberally with meat tenderizer and work it on the stain. Let it stand for half to an hour and launder as usual. Repeat if necessary.
Ammonia Dilute 1/2 cup of ammonia with 1/2 cups of water and daubing the solution on the stain repeatedly until it is lightened or removed entirely.
Hydrogen Peroxide Pour two or 3 tablespoons of or spray hydrogen peroxide on the stain and rub it in. Or if you want you can also let it sit but do not put t under the sun as this will convert the hydrogen peroxide to water.
Blot the stain as soon as it happens. Do not rub as this may further spread the stain.
Treat the stain as soon as they happen, it is easier to treat and remove while stain is still fresh.
Test on a hidden area for color-fastness before trying out any of these stain removers, household products or otherwise.
Check the clothes labels and washing instructions to be aware of any precautions.
Always use cold water or warm water when treating stains since hot water will set or cook the stain especially that of blood, egg and milk.
Do not use bleach on silk, spandex, or wool.
Rayon, velvets, silks and some laces should only be brought to a reputable dry cleaning service.
Air dry garment if uncertain that the stain has been completely removed.
Do not dry garments in the dryer until stain has been totally removed, as this can set the stain and make it harder to remove.
Do not iron the clothing unless stain is removed otherwise it will set the stain.
Wash clothes after treatment to remove traces of the stain remover.
Lastly, use these stain removal suggestions one by one and not all at the same time. And always test on a hidden or unseen area of the garment before you start any treatment. Remember that, stains behave differently depending on the fabric, fiber content, finish, dye and construction of the fiber, so what may have effectively work for one may not work for the kind of stain you have on your garment. It does not take much to care for your clothes. With just a little patience and you can have it all looking clean and white, which can definitely help you out look ever-professional.