I’m sure we can all agree it is SUPER frustrating to get a stain on a clothing item we love! It’s the reason we shy away from white clothes or delicate fabrics. A quick Google search will reveal a lot of advice about what to do, from old wives’ tales to the most current stain removal products. I’m not discounting what Google has to offer and I would recommend searching there if you’re really worried about a stain, but it can be difficult to determine exactly what it is you should do! Here are some basics regarding stains on different fabrics.
Cotton: Almost across the board, the suggestion with cotton is to rinse the material with cold water and pretreat with a laundry detergent, letting it sit on the stain for at least a couple of hours. Oil stains, such as from cooking, will be easily removed this way. You can remove and break up any excess substance with a soft brush before treating. Then wash the clothing according to the care label. Do you have a particularly tricky stain? Here are some specific remedies!
Permanent marker: Using a sponge or paper towel, dab around the area with rubbing alcohol, and then dab the area directly. Wash your clothing as normal once the stain is removed.
Oil paint: As quickly as possible, rinse the stain in cold water while the stain is wet. Pretreat with laundry detergent or dish soap. Wash as normal.
Rayon/Silk: Never use a commercial stain remover on silk or rayon. Remove stains with a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water. Wash/clean/launder as per the care instructions. Air dry.
Polyester: Use a solution of 1 tablespoon dishwashing liquid, 1 cup white vinegar, and 1 cup of water. Using a white cloth, apply to the stain and allow to sit for about 20 minutes, then rinse in cold water. Wash/clean/launder as per the care instructions. Air dry.
Bottom line, when it comes to removing stains from delicate materials, you want to use delicate methods. Think of all-natural ingredients! Cotton is a stronger fabric and can hold up to more stringent soaps and scrubbing. The secret to removing stains from ANY fabric? PRETREAT! Rinse, blot, spray, scrub, soap, soak, etc., as soon as possible.
With all the knowledge and technology available to us today, there’s no reason to shy away from light colors and delicate fabrics. Bring on the light pinks and whites and all the silky things, because spring is in the air!
A Special thanks to Jennifer Bryner!