5 Common Stains and How to Remove Them
One thing you can undoubtedly be sure of when it comes to laundry – it’s that stains will happen.
Spills and drips and the stains they can create are just a part of laundry life—at least they are in my household.
Below are five common stains and how you can remove them from washable fabrics. So before you toss the item or give it to your husband for a garage rag, let’s see what we can do.
Remember to Check Stain and Air Dry before Drying
We may not mention it with every stain and cleaning method, but it’s best to let the item air dry after it comes out of the washing machine.
If there is any stain remaining at this point, you may be able to remove it. However, if you put the item in the dryer before the stain is gone, you risk setting it in permanently.
1. Removing Oil and Grease Stains
Grease is one of the most common stains you will see. It’s right up there with grass, wine, and blood stains. The key to removing a grease stain is to treat it as soon as possible for the best results.
- First, soak up as much of the excess oil or grease as possible using paper towels. In order to keep the stain from spreading to a clean section of fabric, place paper towels on both sides of the stain and squeeze your hands together.
- Second, drawing out what remains of the liquid. Liberally apply cornstarch, talcum powder, baby powder, or salt to the area to absorb even more of the grease. Let this sit and work for a few minutes. Then brush off.
Now let’s move on to treating the stain. There are a variety of treatment options you can try:
Treat the Stain with Dawn Dishwashing Liquid
- Keep the paper towel behind the stained area and apply Dawn dishwashing liquid. Rub it in to the stain using your fingernail or an old toothbrush, working from the outside in to the middle of the stain. Let sit for a while.
- Rinse from the back side of the stain (if possible) with the hottest water the fabric can take.
- Repeat if necessary.
- Pre-treat and wash as usual.
Removing Stains with Goop
- Again, make sure something is behind the stain to keep it from spreading, then apply Goop to the stained area.
- Rub the Goop into the stain and let this sit for at least a half an hour.
- Rinse, repeat if necessary, pre-treat the stain if needed, wash as usual and let air dry.
If Light Staining Remains after Washing, Try Hydrogen Peroxide
If a small amount of staining remains after being washed, try using regular 3% hydrogen peroxide. Important note: This method is for light-colored or colorfast fabrics only. If you’re not sure about the fabric type, test in an inconspicuous spot first.
- Place a hand towel behind the stain.
- Pour on some hydrogen peroxide.
- Cover with plastic wrap and place a towel on top of that.
- Let sit at least an hour to overnight.
2. Grass Stain Removal Treatments
If you have young children, grass stains are a common enemy to clothing, especially to the knee area of their pants!
The key to getting rid of a grass stain is a little elbow grease and a lot of persistence.
Before starting, put something absorbent behind the grass-stained area before treating.
Using Rubbing Alcohol to Remove Grass Stains
- Under cold water, rinse the area to remove dirt and debris.
- From the back side of the stain, wet it with isopropyl rubbing alcohol. So if you are removing a grass stain from the knee area of a pair of pants, just turn them inside out.
- Dab at the area, pushing the rubbing alcohol and grass stain into the absorbent material you placed under it. Remove as much of the stain in this way as possible.
- From the front side of the stain, pour liquid laundry detergent on the stain, or rub in some Mom’s Goop and let it sit for an hour.
- Rinse, pre-treat, and wash as usual.
Removing Grass Stains with Fels Naphtha Soap
- Brush off any debris then dampen the grass-stained area.
- Rub the grass stain with the Fels Naphtha bar.
- Rinse and repeat if necessary.
- Wash as usual.
If any green pigment from the grass stain remains after washing, follow the instructions above for removing light stains with hydrogen peroxide. Test in an out-of-the-way spot first.
3. Removing Ring around the Collar Stains
Another common stain we see is ring around the collar. Our appearance for work, meetings, and gatherings is important. The last thing we want others to see is a dirty stain around the collar of our shirt.
To clean here, all you need is a spare toothbrush, dishwashing detergent (like Dawn) or shampoo. No need to run out and buy anything extra at the store when you have the stain removal products in the house already.
- Apply Dawn dish soap or shampoo to the stain around the collar.
- Gently scrub the stain with a toothbrush.
- Let sit for 30 minutes.
- Rinse. Repeat if necessary.
- Wash as usual.
4. Removing Baby Formula Stains from Clothing
Those of you who use baby formula know how it can stain clothing. There are many different tips to help you remove the formula stains from your clothes and baby’s.
Unseasoned Meat Tenderizer to Remove Formula from Clothes
- Make a paste of meat tenderizer and water. The paste should be the consistency of Soft Scrub cleaning product.
- Apply it to the stain, and use your fingers or a toothbrush to rub it into the stain.
- Let sit for an hour then rinse and repeat if needed.
- Wash as usual.
OxiClean Soak for Stain Removal
For tough, dried-on stains, do a soak prior to washing.
- Dissolve two scoops of OxiClean into one gallon of water.
- Add the stained item to the water and let sit 30 minutes to an hour. (follow instructions on package)
- Use a clean rag or toothbrush and gently scrub to remove the stain.
- Repeat if needed. Wash as usual.
On light clothing, if you still see a slight discoloration, follow the instructions above for removing light stains with hydrogen peroxide.
You can also add a scoop of OxiClean to the wash along with your regular detergent to brighten and boost the effectiveness of the laundry detergent.
5. Removing Crayon Stains
How many of you have crayon marks on your furniture or walls? If you have children, then you will most likely experience this rite of passage.
Getting the Stains Out with WD40
Maybe you think this a strange choice for a stain remover… but WD40 will remove crayon marks from your walls, furniture, and clothing.
Removing Crayon from Walls Using WD40
If your budding little artist has used your wall for his canvas, gently rub WD40 on the wall until the crayon mark is removed. Rinse with water.
Removing Crayon from Clothing Using WD40
- Place paper towels between the stain and clean section of clothing to prevent the stain from transferring. Lightly spray WD40 on the crayon stain and let it sit for a few minutes.
- Turn the fabric over and spray the back side of the crayon stain.
- Let this sit for 10 minutes more, then work dishwashing liquid into the stain to remove the oil and crayon mark.
- Wash in the hottest water your fabric can take with regular detergent.
Iron Out Crayon Marks from Furniture
Take a paper grocery bag (without the ink) and lay it over the crayon marks. Iron lightly with a warm to medium iron. The paper bag will absorb the crayon. You may have to iron the spot several times, so be sure to change out the paper bag.
The key to successful stain removal is to treat it as soon as possible. I hope these stain removal techniques have helped you out of a stainful situation.