Stain removal is one of the most crucial parts of handling your family's laundry. These 10 rules are basic for any type of stain removal.
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1. TimingTake care of stains as soon as possible. Fresh stains are much easier to remove than those over 24 hours old.
2. First things firstFor fresh stains, blot up any excess stain liquid with a clean white cloth or paper towel. Avoid rubbing the stained area with a linty terry towl or a dark-colored cloth. You may make matters worse. Remove excess solids by gently scraping with a dull knife or metal spatula. With some solids, such as mud, removal may be easier after the stain has dried. Brush off the excess before the garment is submerged for washing.
3. No soapNever rub a fresh stain with bar soap. Soap can set many stains.
4. Check before washingIf you do the laundry for the whole family, they may not have told you about a stain. Teach your family to tell you about stains or mark them with a clothespin. Always check before washing, many stains need pretreatment.
5. Check againStains slip by us all. But it helps to inspect wet laundry before drying. If a stain is still evident, do not place the garment in the dryer. The heat of the dryer makes the stain more permanent. Same principle applies to ironing - no heat should be added to stained areas.
6. This is only a test - but be patient
Before starting on the stain, test the stain removal agents on a seam or hidden area of the garment to be sure they do not affect the color or finish of the fabric.
After you have tested the product, give it time to work. A quick treatment and straight into the washer probably isn't enough. Treat the stain and wait at least 5 minutes before washing. This gives the pretreater time to work.