No one intends to start their day wearing their toothpaste or breakfast, but stains are an unavoidable part of life. Luckily, most stains come out easily using products you have around the house. With these tips in mind, you can expertly remove stains from almost anything.
Treat the Stain as Quickly as Possible
The longer a stain soaks, the harder it will be to get out. It may be tempting to play an accidental spill or mess like it’s no big deal, but time is of the essence. If the stain is on an article of clothing, take it off and bring it to a safe place to be treated, such as a sink or countertop.
Gather Your Arsenal of Home Chemicals and Substances
Many stains can be treated with regular household items, such as hydrogen peroxide, dish soap, vinegar, baking soda, soda water, and milk. These products can combat stains without the assistance of other products, making it possible to act quickly.
Blot, Don’t Rub
You might think a fast-moving, heavy hand can power a stain out of an article of clothing, but often, that will only make the stain bigger and deeper. Blot at the stain with a paper towel, damp cloth, or even — trust us — a piece of bread.
Know How to Treat Each Stain Properly
Not all stains are created equal, and some will require more creative means of removal. Grease and oil stains can be removed using dish soap. For red wine, try a bit of hairspray or plain soda — something aerated. Vinegar is a potent solution for both grass and coffee stains, and unscented bar soap and cold water are key if you need to blot a blood stain.
Never Use Hot Water
It’s tempting to think that hot water can help remove a stain, but it actually sets the stain even quicker. You should treat stains like dirty clothes in the washer — with cold water. Similarly, don’t run the article of clothing through the dryer until the stain is completely out, or whatever’s there will be ingrained in the fabric.
Regardless of the substance or fabric, removing stains is a game of patience and attention. You’ll want to alternate between gentle spotting, cold water rinsing, and waiting as the stain is uprooted from your beloved article. Keeping an attentive eye on a stain before it goes through a regular load of laundry may be a pain, but it’s much less annoying than replacing your clothing.
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