How to remove tough spots

Here are some more laundry tips we learned at our recent Housekeeper Training Seminar, “The Keys to Laundry Success.” At the seminar, we learned how important it is to always take care to wash away any spots and stains on your washables.

So, our tip today … how to manage and remove some tough, common stains.

  • Identify the spot. The more you know about what made the spot or stain, the more likely you are to treat it properly. Proper treatment gives you a better chance to remove the stain, and reduces the chances that you will set it further. When in doubt, rinse or soak in cold water before treating or laundering.
  • Treat the spot immediately! The sooner you attack the spot, the easier it is to remove. Get into the habit of checking freshly washed wet clothes for stains that don’t wash away. Instead of drying them, pretreat the stains and wash them again. Drying can permanently set the stains.
  • Pretreat! Pretreating a stain before it is dried or set increases your chances for removing it. Use a prewash stain remover, liquid laundry detergent, or a paste made from a powdered laundry detergent and a little water. First, test for colorfastness by pretreating a seam or other inconspicuous area. Then, launder the entire garment with a detergent plus a bleach that is safe for the fabric.
  • Blot it out! Sponge a stain, don’t rub it. Rubbing only spreads it and may even damage the fabric.
  • Beverage stains. Beverages containing sugar, like wine or ginger ale, may seem to disappear. But don’t be fooled – they may still be there! Once the stain has been exposed to air, the sugar oxidizes and leaves an invisible stain, which will eventually turn yellow or brown. The stain never left, it was there all along. The remedy? Treat even light stains that you can’t see immediately, and remember to treat them before they dry.
  • Using a bleach? Prevent uneven color changes by bleaching the entire garment, not just the stain. Remember to use a bleach that’s safe for that kind of fabric.
  • Old stains rarely fade away – but it is possible! Try pretreating or soaking in a product containing enzymes, then launder.
  • Wash it away! After treating a stain, launder the complete garment to remove any residue left from the stain or stain remover.

Here are some helpful Martha Stewart tips as well!