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Laundry Stain Removal Tips

Worst case: Red shirt in the white wash and now everything’s pink


Rit Color Remover. This product is specifically meant to remove dye color that’s been transferred to washable white fabrics. Where to find: Fabric stores and drug-store chains.

Worst case: Crayons went through the wash and melted over the clothes and the dryer


  1. Place the clothing item on a stack of paper towels and spray the stained area with WD-40. Leave it for five minutes, then repeat on other side.
  2. Rub in liquid dishwashing detergent, placing fresh towels underneath as color is absorbed.
  3. Wash with chlorine or oxygen bleach, whichever is appropriate, and rinse with warm water.
For the dryer drum:
  1. Scrape off as much wax as possible with a credit card or other nonscratchy tool.
  2. Use a blow-dryer held about 6-8 inches from the drum to create enough heat to melt the wax, and wipe away what you can.
  3. Spray WD-40 or Goo Gone on paper towels, and wipe it again.
  4. Use a little liquid dish detergent and warm water to wash out the dryer.
To be very sure the wax is cleaned out, before you use the dryer on a normal load, first dry a load of rags for 30 minutes.

Worst case: Wool sweater shrunk


Not guaranteed, but this is worth a try. Soak the sweater for a few minutes in a bucket of water to which you’ve added a couple of capfuls of hair conditioner. The hair conditioner will loosen up the fibers enough so that you can lay the sweater on a dry towel and gently pull and stretch it back to shape. Allow to dry thoroughly.

Worst case: Stained underwear or lingerie


Apply a solution of three percent hydrogen peroxide to the stain, let it bubble up, rinse. Repeat until the stain is gone.

Worst case: Clothes left too long in dryer are wrinkled


Return everything to the dryer, put a damp towel into the load and re-dry. Or press garments with a pressing cloth dampened with diluted white vinegar. washer and dryer, try “Mary Ellen’s for Those Days.” It works on whites and colorfast items like magic.

Worst case: White sweater hand-washed with dark clothes is dingy


First soak the item for half an hour in a quart of warm water with a tablespoon each of ammonia and liquid dishwashing detergent. Rinse, and then soak it in a quart of warm water mixed with a tablespoon of vinegar. Finally, rinse well and dry.

Worst case: White tablecloth has yellow stain


Yellow stains are very tricky and can be caused by a variety of reasons. Sometimes the whiteners and brighteners used in the manufacture of a white item simply turn color. Or, as in the case of underarm stains, the fabric itself has been damaged. Both situations are irreversible. Sometimes white linen items can be salvaged. If you’ve tried bleach without success, check out “Mary Ellen’s Formula One for Set-in Stains” — it’s good for white and colorfast items. Over the years, women have written to tell me it even removed stains on old christening gowns. Where to find it: Also, you’ll avoid yellow stains on white fabrics if you never store them with plastic coverings (such as dry cleaning bags). Taken from House Beautiful Magazine 10/04

Chocolate Stain Removal Treatments

Treat the stain as soon as possible. If you can’t begin the total treatment at least soak the garment in cold water. Never dry a piece of stained clothing in a dryer unless the stain is fully removed or you are convinced that what remains will never come out. Once you dry a stained garmetn in the clothes dryer the stain will most likely be there forever! Remove excess Chocolate: Use a dull knife or a spoon to remove any excess bits of chocolate from the fabric. Work carefully to make sure you don’t spread the chocolate to clean parts of the clothing. Rince with cold water: Using cold water, rinse the BACK of the stained area. This allows the stain to travel back through the least amount of fabric as possible. Rub in some liquid laundry detergent: Gently rub liquid laundry detergent into the chocolate stain. Allow the clothing to sit for 5 minutes. Then soak the clothing for 15 minutes in cold water. Every 3-5 minutes rub the stained area between your fingers and thumb to loosen the stain. Rinse thoroughly. Continue until no more stain can be removed. Follow these steps to remove chocolate stains from washable fabrics such as Acrylic, Cotton, Kinen, Nylon, Modacrylic, Olefin, Polyester, and Spandex: * Wipe up as much of stain as possible without driving the stain further into the fibers! * Flush the stain with Club Soda * Sponge the area with a spot lifter or cleaning fluid * Apply a dry spotter to the stain and cover with an absorbant pad dampened with the dry spotter. * Keep the stain moist with dry spotter. * Let it stand as long as any stain is being lifted from fabric. * Change the pad as it picks up the stain (don’t keep reusing an old pad). * Flush with a dry-cleaning solvent. If any stains remain: Apply a few drops of dishwashing detergent and a few drops of amonia to the stain, than tamp (the method of bringing a brush down with light strokes on stained durable fabrics and materials) or scrape.   Keep the stain moist with detergent and amonia and blot occassionally with an absorbant pad.    Flush well with water to remove all traces of amonia.   Allow to dry or launder as usual. Chocolate is a combination stain –  a bit of an oil stain and a bit of a dye stain. Begin by rubbing heavy-duty liquid detergent or a paste of powdered and water into the stain. Wash garment as usual with an all-fabric bleach and detergent. Check for stain BEFORE drying. If stain is still present, repeat steps until stain is removed.

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