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How to Remove 8 Common Stains

If only clothing could stay stain-free all the time (or even some of the time). Until then, knowing how to fight back against spills and stains can help you keep your favorite clothes looking their best. 

Before you treat, learn the ABC’s of stain removal: 

  • Act ASAP: Pre-treating washable garments with a stain remover as soon as possible can help keep a fresh stain from becoming a forever one. (If it’s dry-clean only, leave it to the professionals.)
  • Beware Before You Treat: Test your stain remover in a discreet place to be sure it doesn’t do more damage than your stain — like strip away color. Then toss it in the wash with a high-performing laundry detergent, like ARM & HAMMER™ plus OxiClean™ 3-in-1 Power Paks.
  • Check Before You Dry: Before you transfer it into the dryer, check to see if the stain is really gone. If not, pre-treat and wash it again, because dryer heat can set the stain permanently.

Now that you’re ready, here’s how to break down the 8 most common laundry stains:

1. Blood Stains: Soak the stain in cold water (hot water will set it!), then rub with soap; rinse, then add a dab of hydrogen peroxide and a few drops of ammonia.

2. Coffee Stains: Blot the stain with a paper towel, then run cold water over it for 5 minutes; rub stain with liquid laundry detergent, then rinse. If stain persists, mix equal parts vinegar and water with powder detergent to create a paste; reapply, then rinse.

3. Grass Stains: Mix 1-part white vinegar to 2 parts water, then rub it into the grass stain; use a toothbrush to lightly scrub the solution into the stain, then rinse.

4. Grease Stains: Cover the stain with colorless liquid dish soap (if your dish soap has a color, dilute it in water first); add cold water, then use a toothbrush to rub into stain; rinse area with white vinegar.

5. Ink Stains: Blot the fresh ink stain with a paper towel; dip a cotton ball into rubbing alcohol, then dab onto stain with a paper towel behind the fabric to prevent it from bleeding through; dip fresh cotton ball into cold water and apply. 

6. Ketchup/Sauce Stains: Using a knife or fork, remove any excess ketchup or sauce to avoid rubbing it into fabric, then run cold water through the back of the stain to push it out; rub liquid laundry detergent into area with a toothbrush, then dab peroxide onto stain using a sponge. 

7. Sweat Stains: For collars, combine 4 tablespoons of ARM & HAMMER™ Baking Soda with ¼ cup water; dab onto stain. For underarms, mix baking soda with enough water to make a paste, brush into stain with a toothbrush, then let dry. Ammonia and hydrogen peroxide also remove sweat stains.

8. Wine Stains: Blot wine stain with a towel; combine equal parts hydrogen peroxide and dish soap, then dab onto stain; let sit for 2 minutes, then blot again. Or, cover stain with a layer of salt, then pour club soda on top. Let sit for an hour, brush salt off and blot.

Bonus tip For Sensitive Skin: Dermatologist tested and specially formulated for sensitive skin, ARM & HAMMERTM Sensitive Skin Free & Clear detergent is free of dyes and perfumes and tough on dirt and odor, yet gentle on skin.

No matter how careful you are, it’s just not possible to avoid staining your clothes. What is possible, however, is fighting back with these tried-and-true tips.

About the Author

New York Trend is a weekly news publication that focuses on issues and lifestyles of the African & Caribbean American communities throughout the New York metropolitan area and Nassau and Suffolk Counties of Long Island. It is a respected and well recognized news publication that has been in existence since 1989. Owner, Publisher and Executive Director, Dr. Teresa Taylor Williams has been at the helm of this award-winning publication since its inception. New York Trend continues to be the only black woman-owned, metropolitan newspaper in New York and Long island. New York Trend is the largest black-owned newspaper throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties.

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