Unfortunately, clothes, hats, and other fabrics often get stains from everyday use. Sometimes stains happen by accident, but it is often the result of a planned activity such as painting or cooking. This article will cover a few tricks to remove everyday stains without ruining your clothes or hats.
What caused the stain?
First, we should consider what has caused the stain to determine if it can be removed. Many times, however, there isn’t any way to save a garment once it is stained, and you should replace it instead.
Things that you can and cannot remove
Things that you cannot remove: oil-based paint (not water-based), ink, permanent marker, blood, rust, makeup
Things that you can usually remove: most food stains, dirt, sweat. Some of the best ideas I’ve found were from other people who shared their secrets on the internet. Here are some of those ideas:
First, if possible, blot up as much as you can with a towel or cloth – do not rub it in! Rubbing might push stains deeper into fabric and ruin clothes and straw fedora hats.
If you haven’t already hung your clothing outside to dry, now is the time before applying any stain remover. Blotting up as much excess blood as you can reduce the risks of stains setting in further while removing them. Hang your clothing out in direct sunlight because UV light helps break down the enzymes in the blood that cause it to set.
If you have a few clothes or hats with stains and do not wish to risk hanging them outside (they might get dirty again), this is where many stain removers come into play depending on what they’re made of:
Soak your clothing/hats in 1 cup of 30% hydrogen peroxide, 1 teaspoon of liquid dish soap, and 4 cups water for 20 minutes before washing. This mixture will remove tough stains like chocolate, rust, grass, ink, fruit punch, and blood.
If you do not want to use hydrogen peroxide because it might fade your clothing/hats’ color too much, use baking soda instead. Mix it in the same quantities, but leave out the dish soap since that will cause clothing to fade.
Another great option is 2 tablespoons of salt into 300 ml cool water, then soak your items (without the dish soap) for 20 minutes before washing. Salt works well on fresh blood stains and also rust, fruit punch, or juice stains.
A mild bleach solution works for all types of blood stains, including old ones, whether they are dry or fresh. Mix one part 3% hydrogen peroxide (or 6%) with two parts water and gently rub into the stained area using an old toothbrush or scrubbing motion using a clean cloth until removed – do not overdo it!
Make sure to rinse thoroughly before washing your clothing/hats
For dried blood stains, soak in 1 part vinegar and 3 parts water for at least an hour, then use your regular stain removal process. If it is fruit punch, rust, or wine stains you’re dealing with, place the stained area over a bowl of equal parts white distilled vinegar and tepid water to draw out color so you can remove the remaining dye later on. Let it sit for 15 minutes before blotting the stains away with clean cloths.
For tough grass, ink, or paint stains, go buy some “Chroma-Sol” laundry pre-soak treatment which works well. It comes in powder form that dissolves quickly into warm water.