The Gerber Life Parenting Blog

Household Hacks: How to Remove Stains Using Items You Already Own

March 20, 2015

Mother & Daughter Look at Brothers Covered in DirtBuying new clothes might actually be an enjoyable process, if you didn’t already know what was on the horizon. As soon as your child wears those clothes, they may come back stained with grass or mustard or grease. The rate at which your child (and significant other) is able to stain clothing would be pretty impressive, if you could just figure out how to remove common stains from them.

Of course, you want to get rid of stains so that those clothes can be worn again. However, stain-removal products can be expensive, and they don’t always work. If the added cost and extra work wasn’t bad enough, your child will be pretty disappointed if he or she can no longer wear a favorite shirt.

Before getting to the actual removal process, you need to make sure the stain does not set. Immediately, treat the stain with water or another type of solvent, keep away from any source of heat, and gently work the solvent into the stain.

Once you have prevented the stain from setting, there are a few inexpensive tricks you can then use. For ideas on how to remove common stains, try these tips:

Grass – Rubbing alcohol works well to remove the green pigment from the stain. Before using pure rubbing alcohol, create a solution of half water and half alcohol. Wet the stained area with the solution, then let air dry. Once dry, rinse with cold water, work in some detergent and rinse with cold water again. After it dries for a second time, place it in the washing machine. If the stain persists, repeat the process with a solution of entirely rubbing alcohol.

Tips for Common Stain RemovalCoffee – If you have it on hand, club soda is extremely effective for removing coffee stains. Pour it on the stain (don’t be worried about pouring too much) and continue to blot until the stain is entirely gone. Should club soda not be readily available, white vinegar can also work for clothing made from cotton. Gently dab the stain with a cloth containing the vinegar and then wash as normal.

Grease – Cover the affected area entirely with standard dish detergent and then work into the stain. Once you’ve worked it in, rinse the area with white vinegar and wash as normal. For particularly difficult stains, you may have to repeat this process more than once.

Sweat – If you thought aspirin was only good for aches, you were wrong. For those ugly sweat stains, place two finely ground aspirins in about half a cup of warm water. Then, before washing, soak the stained part for no less than three hours. A mixture of half lemon juice and half water can also work well, if needed.

Mustard – Once again, turn to your friend vinegar for mustard stains. Before washing, soak the stain in a half-and-half solution of vinegar and water and then gently treat with detergent.

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