Remove Stains From White Clothing Efficiently
White clothing is a tempting proposition, especially during those glorious summer months when it can act as a natural deflector of sunlight. White clothing makes your tan look great and goes well with so many other varieties of colors. The risk, though, is that it shows up stains to the max, unlike with darker colors. Whether it’s ketchup, makeup, or any other kind of food grease, just one wrong move and it’s time to trash the clothing! Or is it? Here are some useful dos and don’ts to help you hang on to your lovely white clothing if at all possible, which it usually is.
1. Don’t reach for bleach
Believe it or not, white is actually a color like any other, so bleach is not a useful stain remover in helping to rid other colored stains from the whiteness of your clothing, due to the chlorine content therein. There are brands on the market that won’t damage that white coloring, brands that contain hydrogen peroxide, for example. If you reach for a regular, chlorine composed bleach you’ll end up replacing one nasty stain with another!
2. Do act asap
If you’re at a barbecue or party, don’t just leave that ketchup or burger grease stain until you get home; get on it as soon as humanly possible. First, take a dampened paper towel and push it onto the affected area for a good few minutes, ensuring that you’ve encompassed the radius of the whole stain to stop the spread. Second, thoroughly scrub the clothing, using the fabric of the clothing itself. Always use cold water because hot water can embed the stain into the fibers of the clothing, making it almost impossible to remove when you throw it in the washing machine later on. If you’re close friends with the host or hostess, consider asking them if you can borrow an item of their clothing so as to leave your clothing in a dampened condition in a plastic bag, ready to be washed properly once you get home. Washing machines can do what no human hands can, in this respect.
3. Don’t blot it
Blotting or dabbing seems like the sensible, civilized thing to do, especially if you’re out and about, in a place with no washer and dryer lurking around. However, this could actually be implanting the stain more deeply into the fabric, ultimately being counterproductive. As mentioned in tip 2, you need to be scrubbing rather than blotting. Blotting might help to contain the stain in the first instance, but only scrubbing with cold water will satisfactorily remove the stain, until you can get it into a washing machine.
4. Do keep cool
The white clothing, that is, not you. You should be furiously scrubbing with cold water and then seeking out a cool place in which to store the white clothing. While you might be tempted to use hot soapy water and then a blow-dryer, avoid this at all costs; it will only end up fusing the stain into your fabric rather than getting it out.
5. Don’t delay the wash
Get to a washing machine as soon as possible, ensuring that you only ever wash white clothing with white clothing. You might want to mix up a water and baking soda 50:50 mixture and daub the stain into the affected area, before adding that garment into your wash. This should be fine in your washing machine; baking soda is just about the most natural and versatile stain remover in existence. If it’s safe enough to eat, it’s certainly safe enough to smear over your white clothing.
6. Take it to the cleaner
The dry cleaner, that is, unless you’re wealthy enough to have private 24-7 cleaner in your palatial abode! Sometimes you’ll have to admit defeat and know when professional assistance is required. Dry cleaning will tend to be the best way of dealing with older stains, stains which weren’t sufficiently dealt with at the time; dry cleaners can do a pre-spotting procedure in order to satisfactorily and professionally remove such stains. If you’ve stained a piece of very delicate clothing, eg. cashmere, wool, silk, then it’s best to let the pros take over; you’re likely to make matters worse with simple home remedies. If your white clothing has been stained with especially oily food, like salad dressing or cheese, then dry cleaning is preferable. Other stains from drinks or ketchup can usually be dealt with by you yourself.
Overall, if you are unfortunate enough to get a stain on your lovely white clothing, don’t despair. There are various remedies, and dry cleaning will help if all of them fail. If your clothing is particularly expensive then you won’t want to be rushing out and buying a similarly priced replacement. Cold water, baking soda, and prompt action are your best friends in the first instance. Don’t leave it until later, and certainly never use hot water, blow-drying, or repeated blotting.