1. Home
Send to a Friend via Email

Discuss in my forum

Holiday Laundry Stain Removal Guide

By

The holidays bring lots of food, fun and family and their stains. Follow this easy stain removal guide for washable garments and linens to avoid sharing all your dirty laundry on their next visit. If you find you have other stains not listed, just check here.

Gravy Stains

Start by treating the oily component of the stain with a pre-treater like Shout, Spray 'n' Wash or any stain remover. Then rub the stain with heavy-duty liquid detergent or a paste made of powdered detergent and water. Scrub lightly and rinse in hot water. Next, wash in the hottest water suitable for the fabric using detergent and an all-fabric bleach to remove any dye in the stain.

Cheese Sauce or Dip Stains

Fresh protein stains can be removed by soaking and agitating or rubbing the stain in cold water before washing. These stains contain other ingredients but protein needs treatment first. Never use hot water because it cooks the protein making the stain hard to remove.

If the stain is dried or old, scape or brush off any crusted matter, then soak in cold water using a liquid detergent with color-safe bleach. After pre-soaking for 30 minutes and launder in warm - not hot - water with detergent. If stain remains, soak an additional 30 minutes, then rewash.

Cranberry Stains

This is a tannin stain - a plant component that often shows as a color in the final product. Fresh tannin stains can usually be removed by laundering the garment using detergent in the hottest water recommended for the fabric.

Never use natural soap in a bar or soap flakes because they make tannin stains more difficult to remove.

Older tannin stains may need to be treated with bleach. Chlorine bleach can be used on white garments and linens. Use color-safe bleach for colored fabrics.

Butter, Oil or Salad Dressing Stains

This treatment can be used for any butter, cooking oil, mayonnaise or salad dressing stain.

Oil-based stains should be pretreated using a solvent-based stain removal product, like Shout or Spray 'n Wash. If you don't have a solvent-based pretreater, apply heavy-duty liquid detergent to the stain and work it in by gently rubbing.

After pretreatment, wash the garment as usual in the hottest water appropriate for the fabric using the recommended amount of detergent for a regular load. Inspect the garment before drying and repeat treatment if necessary.

Coffee, Tea and Soft Drink Stains

These are tannin stains - a plant component that often shows as a color in the final product. Fresh tannin stains can usually be removed by laundering the garment using detergent in the hottest water recommended for the fabric.

Never use natural soap in a bar or soap flakes because they make tannin stains more difficult to remove.

Older tannin stains may need to be treated with bleach. Chlorine bleach can be used on white garments and linens. Use color-safe bleach for colored fabrics.

Beer and Liquor Stains

These are tannin stains - a plant component that often shows as a color in the final product. Fresh tannin stains can usually be removed by laundering the garment using detergent in the hottest water recommended for the fabric.

Never use natural soap in a bar or soap flakes because they make tannin stains more difficult to remove.

Older tannin stains may need to be treated with bleach. Chlorine bleach can be used on white garments and linens. Use color-safe bleach for colored fabrics.

Red Wine

For washable garments, dilute the spot with club soda or cool water, sprinkle heavily with salt and flush again with water. If the stain is set, apply a paste of borax and water. Allow to sit for at least 15 minutes and then wash as usual. Repeat treatment if necessary BEFORE drying.

Pumpkin Pie

Fresh stains can be removed by soaking and agitating or rubbing the stain in cold water before washing. These stains contain other ingredients but protein needs treatment first. Never use hot water because it cooks the protein making the stain hard to remove.

If the stain is dried or old, scape or brush off any crusted matter, then soak in cold water using a liquid detergent with color-safe bleach. After pre-soaking for 30 minutes and launder in warm - not hot - water with detergent. If stain remains, soak an additional 30 minutes, then rewash.

Chocolate

Chocolate is a combination stain - a bit of an oil stain, a bit of a dye stain. Begin by rubbing heavy-duty liquid detergent or a paste of powdered detergent and water into the stain. Wash garment as usual with an all-fabric bleach and detergent. Check for stain before drying. If it is still present, repeat steps BEFORE drying.

Candle Wax

Place an ice cube over the wax to harden it and remove as much as possible with a dull knife or spoon edge.

Start by treating the oily/waxy component of the stain with a pre-treater like Shout, Spray 'n' Wash or any stain remover. Then rub with heavy-duty liquid detergent or a paste made of powdered detergent and water. Scrub stain lightly and rinse in hot water. Next, wash in the hottest water suitable for the fabric using detergent and an all-fabric bleach to remove the dye in the stain.

Related Video
Remove BBQ Sauce Stains
Remove Ink Stains

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.