How to clean stains on clothing or fabric and the tools you need to do it
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- Clothing stains are a fact of life, but with proper treatment, few stains have to be a permanent part of your wardrobe.
- The faster you treat a stain, the more easily you can remove it, but even older stains can be lifted with the right tools and techniques.
- If you only remember one thing from this article, let it be this: Never run a garment through the dryer until the stain has been removed.
- We recommend you have the following items on hand to fight stains: Shout Wipes, Tide to Go, white vinegar, white toothpaste, Colorx 2 Laundry Stain Remover, and Dawn dish soap.
Despite being a relatively well-coordinated adult human being who is generally good about proper napkin use and is as handy as anyone with common dining utensils, I have a preternatural ability to end up with a food stains on my thighs. I also, inexplicably, almost always get a spot or two of oil right in the center of my shirt when I'm cooking on the stovetop, something I do many times each week.
The three keys to proper stain mitigation
If you want to breathe new, clean life into a stained garment, there are three pieces of protocol by which you have to abide.
- Move fast: The longer a stain sits, the more it sets. Old stains can be removed, but it sure makes the process harder. The second after a stain occurs, you should be working to mitigate it.
- Don't scrub: Rubbing at a stain just works it deeper into the fabric, making its removal more difficult and potentially impossible. Moisten and dab, and then get onto using the supplies techniques covered below.
- Beware the dryer: Don't ever ... ever put a stained garment through the dryer. The heat all but ensures permanence. If you have already spot cleaned and/or laundered the sock, turtleneck, sweater vest, or other piece of clothing yet you still see the stain, it's time for another round of cleaning! Line dry or lay flat to dry until you're sure the stain cleaning worked.
Read on in the slides below to learn how to clean stains on clothes and fabric and which tools you need to do it:
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