Treating stains can be tricky. In an ideal world, you'd treat the stain as soon as it happens and we've tried our best to give you a number of solutions for treating various statins. But let's be honest, life is busy enough as it is, especially if you have kids, so to stop everything you're doing and treat a stain isn't always possible. Unfortunately, by the time you get around to treating the stain, it's often too late. Or is it? We've found that even the most stubborn stains can be removed if you have the time, energy and elbow grease to put into it. With that in mind, today we'll discuss the top 2 ways to treat stubborn stains.
1. Treat Stubborn Stains with Bleach - Tried and True!
Bleach is the number one stain-fighting (and bacteria/virus fighting) solution for a reason. It gets the job done and is the reason so many parents continue buying white shirts for their messy children. It's by far the easiest to work with and is highly effective at getting rid of stains. It can also bring a dingy white comforter back to life in record time, but it can also wreak havoc on your colored clothing if you aren't paying attention.
As such, if you're in a stain-fighting mood, we prefer to use powdered oxygen bleach products that include sodium percarbonate and sodium carbonate in their formula. You're likely familiar with OxiClean, but there are a variety of other similar products available that are equally good.
Now that you have your bleach product handy, make sure you have a proper container to soak your stubborn stain for 5-6 hours. You need a container that is big enough for the soiled item as well as the bleach/water solution. If your home has a wash sink available (or even a two-sided sink), you're in luck. If not, a mop bucket will work.
Fill whatever container you have with HOT water. While we regularly suggest that cold water can clean just about anything, cold water doesn't seem to have the most effective results with oxygen bleach. Once you've filled it up, add the bleach according to the directions on the container.
Next, it's time to soak. The amount of time you should soak your stubborn stain depends on how stubborn that stain really is. Start with soaking your garment 5-6 hours, but be sure to check on it every so often to see how the treatment is going. You can stir occasionally to make sure the bleach doesn't just land on the bottom of the container, and if necessary, leave it in a little longer so the treatment has time to do it's thing.
Finally, once your garment has soaked for a period of time, run it through a normal wash cycle. Make sure that the stain is completely removed before drying. If the stain is still there, repeat the steps or move onto another approach.
2. Treat Stubborn Stains with White Vinegar
We've actually talked about treating stains with white vinegar before. In fact, if you missed those articles, start HERE. White vinegar has a number of household maintenance applications and is considered by many to be just as effective as oxygen bleach when it comes to treating stubborn stains.
To use white vinegar on stubborn stains, start by completely saturating the stain with white vinegar. Once it's saturated, add a little baking soda on top and create a paste. Rub that paste vigorously into the stain.
Now that you've done that, it's time for the garment to soak. Much like the bleach treatment, you'll need a container for soaking, but you'll need to fill that container with enough vinegar to completely cover the stain. So, you can either fill up the entire container with white vinegar and soak overnight OR you can fill the container with water and then add several tablespoons of white vinegar plus laundry detergent, then soak overnight. Either way, it should soak all night.
Once you've left it to treat for 6 more hours, give your item a good rinse and follow a normal wash cycle. Make sure the stain is removed before drying. If the stain is still there, retry the process before trying yet another approach to stain removal.
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