Organization & Cleaning

How to treat stains

By: Brett Walther and Robin Stevenson

Photography by Kevin Wong Author: Canadian Living Credits: Photography by Kevin Wong

Organization & Cleaning

How to treat stains

By: Brett Walther and Robin Stevenson

Our ultimate guide to dealing with laundry stains.

1. Blood  
Soak fresh stains in cold water (warm water will set the protein), then launder. For set-in stains, pretreat or presoak in an enzyme-based stain-removal product, then launder.

2. Red wine

Pour cold water through the back of the stain and blot with clean cloth. Next, sprinkle the stain with table salt, let sit for three minutes, then rinse again with cold water. Finally, pretreat with stain remover, then launder.

3. Grass
Work liquid laundry detergent into the stain, then launder. If the stain remains, apply an enzyme-based stain remover, then launder.

4. Ink
Place the stain facedown on a paper towel and dab the back of the stain with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol, replacing the paper towel frequently. Rinse thoroughly with cold water, then launder again.
5. Cooking oil/salad dressing
Shake cornstarch onto the stain to sop up the oil. Scrape off the excess and rinse with cold water. Pretreat with a stain remover, then launder.

Help! I've already laundered with a shirt with a stain!
Don't panic. "If you find a stain after it has gone through the dryer, all it means is that it will be tougher to remove," says stain-removal expert Michael Vercelletto of OxiClean. "You'll want to pretreat it with a stain remover and give it a long presoak."

If a stain just won't come out, don't fight it. Instead, hide it:
1. Tie-dye cotton T-shirts.
2. Apply a colourful iron-on patch.
3. Upcycle pants with stained knees by cutting the fabric just above the
stain. Voilà: shorts!

Choose a detergent or stain remover :

stain removers

Tide HE Turbo

Available this month! This low-sudsing detergent is designed to rinse cleanly in a single cycle. Tide HE Turbo,

The Laundress Stain Solution
Recommended for all types of stains, from chocolate to coffee. Apply directly, then launder as normal. $22, and

OxiClean MaxForce White Revive

Soaking with this chlorine bleach–free stain remover revives dingy whites. $11,

J.R. Watkins Castile Soap
Rub this scented soap along shirt collars to remove tough stains. $6 each,

Solve your washer and dryer problems with these problem-solving appliances.

This story was originally part of "Your Ultimate Laundry Guide" in the April 2015 issue.
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Organization & Cleaning

How to treat stains