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Howto

How to remove BLOOD STAINS

Tip # 1 - Getting prepared

Before you begin cleaning it's important to follow basic rules that should save your clothes from damage.

  • The first step to do laundry is to sort your clothes by colors. The more colors the safer you'll be. You should have a pile for whites, lights and dark colors. Separate the colored clothes from the whites, unless you want all your clothes tie-dyed, of course. If you just bought new dark-colored items, such as dark navy socks or black pants, you may want to soak those before washing. This will ensure all the excess dye is removed before mixing them with your other clothes.
  • While sorting, do not forget to close zippers and clasp hooks. By buttoning, zipping or closing your garments, they will be less likely to snag another fabric or even snap themselves. You don't want to find clothes hooked to each other.
  • Your clothing will also last longer if you turn them inside out. This will prevent wear and tear on the outer finish; help prevent pilling on knitted garments and limit color fading.
  • Double check care labels that all items you put into the machine are washable.
  • Check for Stains. Stains may be set in the garments and once your laundry is in the machine it's too late to check. Always try removing stains BEFORE washing.
  • Check pockets and remove all items, especially pens, to prevent damages and avoid washing tissues, money, lipstick, etc.
  • Do not overload the washer or dryer. Clothes come out cleaner and less wrinkled when given more room.
Getting prepared

Tip # 2 - General Stain Removal Tips

Stains happen. That's just a fact of wearing clothes. Removing stains can sometimes seem like a complex algebra problem. Try these simple stain removal rules to get your laundry in shape again.

Act quickly. Fresh stains make stain removal an easy task. Give yourself the upper hand by treating stains as promptly after they happen as possible. This makes the likelihood of stain removal success greater.

Follow the directions. When treating a stain, you need to think about the fabric of your garment – whether it’s cotton, synthetic, wool, or silk. This will have an impact on how you remove a stain. Before doing anything, check the garment’s care label for any instructions. Then follow the directions on any stain removal products you use. Finally don't forget to follow washing directions on the stained clothes. Getting the stain out, won't make much difference if you ruin the clothing in the process.

Test in a hidden area. Don't forget to test any stain removal methods on a hidden seam or other inconspicuous spot. You want to check for colorfastness before applying a treatment to a large or noticeable area of the clothing. Do not use if the color changes.

Remove stains from the back. Place the stained garment with the stain upside down on top of a clean white cloth. Always treat stains from the back, rather than the front, to avoid rubbing the stain in more. The goal is to remove the stain from the clothing instead of making it travel all the way through to the other side. Make sure to move the stained clothing to a fresh spot as the stain begins to remove itself from the clothing and onto the cloth.

Don't mix stain removal products. Mixing different chemicals can cause toxic odors and mixed results on your clothing.

Wash stain treated items. Remember to thoroughly wash items that have treated with stain removal products to remove product residue and also the stain residue.

General Stain Removal Tips

Be patient. Stain removal can take time. Sometimes repeat treatments may be required. Be sure to thoroughly check the garment before drying to determine if a repeat treatment is necessary. Drying will cause a stain to set.

Some stains won't leave. For some stains, no stain removal idea or tip can get rid of them without damaging the clothing or its color. But take heart in the fact that the other general stain removal tips will give you a fighting chance against all the stains in your laundry basket. Just a few simple guidelines can take the guesswork out of stain removal.

Tip # 3 - Travel Stain Removal Tips

Borrowing some wisdom from grandma’s era we compiled a helpful list of effective stain removers for various types of stains that are easy accessible whilst you are travelling.

  • sparkling water
  • white vinegar
  • lemon juice
  • aspirin
  • baking soda
  • tissue for eyewear
  • salt
  • baby powder
  • natural soap
  • dish soap
  • shampoo

Sparkling water is the best first aider for your stains. It is composed of water and carbon dioxide which helps dissolving stains.

Most common acids like white vinegar and lemon juice or even aspirin can effectively remove stains as active bleaching agents. Their action can be accelerated by exposing the stain to sunlight.

Our recommended stain remover: Baking soda is a powerful bleaching tool and stain remover. Dissolve some baking soda in some sparkling water and use it as pre-soak. The paste should be wet enough that no dry powder is visible, but not so wet that it becomes runny. Rub this over the stain and let sit for some minutes. Repeat the process if necessary. Then wash the garment as you would normally.

Salt and baby powder help to soak the components of the stain. Create a paste with salt/baby powder and cold water. Rub this paste directly onto the stain, ideally within 10-15 minutes of the stain occurring.

For more detailed information please see our different stain removal tips.

Travel Stain Removal Tips

Tip # 4 - How to remove BLOOD STAINS

Accidents happen. Some result in blood stains that need to be flushed with cold water as soon as possible. NEVER hot water! Never use hot water because it cooks the protein into the fibers making the stain hard to remove.

To flush the blood stain, hold the fabric under a cold water faucet with the wrong side of the fabric directly under the water stream. The force of the water will flush the blood stain out of the fibers.

Create a paste with salt and cold water. Rub this paste directly onto the stain, ideally within 10-15 minutes of the stain occurring.

For the rest baking soda is a powerful bleaching tool and stain remover. Dissolve some baking soda in some sparkling water and use it as pre-soak. The paste should be wet enough that no dry powder is visible, but not so wet that it becomes runny. Rub this over the stain and let sit for some minutes. Repeat the process if necessary. Then wash the garment as you would normally.

If you are concerned about disease or the stains are exceptionally large, you should disinfect the washable items.

How to remove BLOOD STAINS

Tip # 5 - How to remove UNDERARM TRANSPIRATION STAINS

Underarm sweat or perspiration stains are certainly obvious on clothes and can be really embarrassing. To remove the build-up and freshen a washable shirt, fill a large bucket with cool water and add one cup white distilled vinegar.

Allow shirts to soak for at least 30 minutes. Drain vinegar water and wash as usual. If the build-up is really heavy, mix a 1:1 solution of white distilled vinegar and water and use that old toothbrush to scrub the area before soaking.

Tip # 5 - How to remove UNDERARM TRANSPIRATION STAINS

Tip # 6 - How to remove COFFEE STAINS

If you've ever dealt with a coffee stain, you know how infuriating that light brown stain can be to remove. To truly remove old coffee stains, you'll have to soak the clothing. And you should be prepared for a lot of soaking. However, for fresh stains, a little cold water just might do the trick. If you get to a fresh stain quickly, you may not even need any detergents, stain removers or cleaning products.

For fresh coffee stains, run cold water through the back of the stain. The water mixed with coffee residue needs to travel through the least amount of fabric possible. Continue to run cold water through the back of the stain for 10-15 minutes or until the water running out is completely clear. If the stain isn't fully removed, or your stain is old, move on to the second step. 

Rub liquid laundry detergent and a little cold water into the coffee stain.  If you don't have liquid laundry detergent you can use liquid dish soap or shampoo. Allow fresh stains to sit for 3-5 minutes. You can let it sit for longer, but don't let it dry. For old coffee stains, however, you'll need to soak the clothing in water after you've rubbed the liquid detergent in. Every 5 minutes, gently rub the stained fabric with your thumb and fingers to loosen the stain. After 30 minutes of soaking in cold water, check the stained area. If the stain remains, try soaking for another 5-15 minutes in warm water before rinsing thoroughly.

If the stain is still there, try mixing some powdered laundry detergent with equal parts white vinegar and water and turn it into a paste. Test it on the garment to make sure it doesn't discolor the fabric. Use a toothbrush to scrub the stain and then rinse.

Check that the coffee stain is completely removed before putting your clothing in the dryer. If any hint remains, repeat the steps before drying. Try air drying the clothing first. Hold the dried clothing up to a light to make sure that any hint of discoloration is completely removed. If it is, wash and dry normally. If it isn't, you'll need to start the stain removal steps over again. Continue this process until no stain remains or there isn't any improvement.

How to remove COFFEE STAINS

Tip # 7 - How to remove MILK STAINS

Milk doesn't look like a troublesome stain. After all, it's white and it seems like it rinses clean. The problem with milk stains comes after the stain has dried. Even waiting around in the laundry, milk stains that looked like no big deal at first can darken and yellow into a big mess. Milk contains protein and fat that can adhere to fabric and result in the stain.

Treat milk stains as soon as possible for the best results. Soak the stained fabric in cold water for 5 - 10 minutes. Be sure to use COLD WATER. Warm or hot water can darken the stained area. At this point, you don't need to use any detergent. The cold water soak may be all that is needed.

If the stain remains, rub liquid laundry detergent into the stained area and soak in room temperature water for half an hour. Every three to five minutes while the milk-stained clothing is soaking, you should gently rub the stained area between your fingers for a few seconds. You are trying to allow the detergent to work its way into the milk stain, loosening it up. Rinse thoroughly.

Whether you see any stain remaining after step one or you used step two, you will now want to use a stain remover to ensure that no protein or fat is left in the garment that will turn yellow later.

Dissolve some baking soda in some sparkling water. The paste should be wet enough that no dry powder is visible, but not so wet that it becomes runny. Rub this over the stain and let sit for some minutes.

Repeat the process if necessary. Then wash the garment as you would normally.
Before drying make sure the stain has been fully removed. Drying will set the stain permanently.

How to remove MILK STAINS

Tip # 8 - How to remove BEER STAINS

A beer stains is usually light in color and may not seem like it is a big deal.  But dealing with stained clothing quickly can mean the difference between a set stain and an outfit that looks good as new. The sugar in a beer stain will set with any type of heat, so resist the urge to use hot water.

Rinse the beer stain thoroughly from the back of the clothing with cold water. Remember that heat will set the stain. Use a liquid laundry detergent mixed with cold water and pour onto the beer stain. Allow the detergent to stand on the beer stain for at least 5 minutes. If you don't have laundry detergent, use a dish soap or shampoo instead. Rinse the stained area thoroughly. If the beer stain is really set in, you can try blotting the stained area with a 1 part vinegar/2 parts water mixture. First make sure your clothing is colorfast and test the vinegar on a hidden seam or area to make sure it isn't damaging. Vinegar will bleach some types of clothing, so you'll want to rinse this out immediately and thoroughly with warm water.

Wash according to the clothing directions.  Before drying, make sure the stain is fully removed. Drying will set the stain permanently.

Tip # 8 - How to remove BEER STAINS

Tip # 9 - How to remove KETCHUP AND TOMATO STAINS

Whether the stain is ketchup, tomato sauce or a juicy fresh tomato, tomato stains are easy to remove if you follow some simple steps.

Tomato stains are a tannin stain - a plant component that often shows as a color in the final product.

Fresh tomato stains can usually be removed simply by washing the stained fabric using a good quality enzyme-based laundry detergent in the hottest water recommended for the fabric.

To be sure the stain is removed work a bit of the liquid detergent or our recommended baking soda stain remover into the stain. Allow the detergent to sit on the stain for about 10 minutes before washing.

Never use natural bar soap or soap flakes to remove tomato stains because they make tannin stains more difficult to remove. You may alternatively soak the tomato stain for 30 minutes in neat white vinegar (1 to 2 tbsp).

Wash according to the clothing directions.  Before drying, make sure the stain is fully removed. Drying will set the stain permanently.

How to remove KETCHUP AND TOMATO STAINS

Tip # 10 - How to remove BERRY STAINS

Fresh berries - strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries - are delicious but can each leave stains that can be tough to remove. The staining is caused by tannin, a plant component that often shows as a strong color in the fruit of a plant. The fruits can even be used to create natural dyes for yarn or fabrics but are not always the best look down the front of your favorite shirt.

If the berry stain is very fresh, lift any solid matter away from the surface of the fabric with a dull knife or edge of credit card. Do not rub because that will press the stain deeper into the fibers.

As soon as possible, hold the stain under a running faucet of cold water. Flush from the wrong side of the fabric to force out the stain. Work our recommended baking soda stain remover into the stain with a soft-bristle brush and allow it to remain on the stain for at least 15 minutes before washing. If it’s a tough stain, rub lemon juice over the top, or lay a slice of lemon on the stain. Never use natural soap in a bar or soap flakes because they make tannin stains more difficult to remove.

Next, wash the stained item in the hottest water recommended on the item's care label

After washing, always check clothes to be sure that no stains remain before tossing in the dryer. The high heat of the dryer may permanently set the stains. If a stain remains, repeat the stain removal steps.

Tip # 10 - How to remove BERRY STAINS

Tip # 11 - How to remove JAM and JELLY STAINS

Fruits and vegetables contain tannin - a plant component that often shows in varying intensity of color in the final product. The tannin combined with sugar and spices compose the jam and jelly stains. Fresh tannin stains can usually be removed by washing the garment or table linens with laundry detergent in the hottest water recommended for the fabric on the care label.

When a jam or jelly stain happens, use a dull knife or edge of credit card to lift as much of the solids away from the surface of the fabric as possible. Do not rub because that only forces the stain deeper into the fabric fibers. Dip a clean white cloth or paper towel in plain water and blot the fabric until you can fully wash the garment.

Never use natural soap in a bar or soap flakes to treat the stain because soap can make tannin stains more difficult to remove.

If the stain is older and has set or if artificial color has been added to the product additional treatment may be needed beyond washing.  Our recommended baking soda stain remover  can be used to remove stains. Mix enough to completely submerge the stained garment. Allow it to soak at least four hours or overnight and then launder as usual.

Wash according to the clothing directions.  Before drying, make sure the stain is fully removed. Drying will set the stain permanently.

Tip # 11 - How to remove JAM and JELLY STAINS

Tip # 12 - How to remove MUSTARD STAINS

No matter how you like your mustard - yellow, brown, spicy or mild - the stains can be difficult to remove. Mustard stains are caused by the yellow pigment in the mustard seeds or the tumeric added to most commercial mustard recipes. The yellow pigment can actually dye fibers so it is important to remove the stain as quickly as possible.

First begin by removing any mustard solids remaining on the stained fabric using a spoon, blunt knife or even the edge of a credit card. Skip the swipe with a paper napkin because it will only rub the stain deeper into the fibers and make it harder to remove. After removing the solids, blot the area with a white cloth or paper towel dipped in plain water. This won't remove the stain but it will dilute the mustard until you can properly remove the stain.

As soon as possible, sponge the stain with a bit of plain rubbing alcohol. If it is still stained, work some of our recommended baking soda stain remover into the fabric with your fingers or a soft-bristled brush and allow it to work on the fabric at least fifteen minutes. Next, wash the garment as recommended for the fabric on the care label. Before drying, make sure the stain is fully removed. Drying will set the stain permanently.

How to remove MUSTARD STAINS