Stains are a fact of life. Unless you keep your clothes neatly wrapped up in the drawer, stains will happen. When it comes to stain removal, it’s important to understand not all stains are created equal. Before treating stains, you need to first consider what type of stain you’re dealing with.
The 5 types of stains are:
Knowing what you’re dealing with is the first, important step in deciding how to remove stains from clothes.
Stain Removal Tips
Different stains can require different removal processes. The good news is that most stain removal procedures are similar, except when it comes to pretreating. Follow these tips on how to get stains out of your favorites, no matter the cause:
- Remove the excess stain. Use a paper towel, a fork or a brush to get rid of as much of the stain as possible on the garment. This particularly applies in cases of dried-in stains.
- Pretreat stains. Here it’s important to know the type of stain you are dealing with, because each requires a different pretreatment method:
If you pretreat with a cap, then make sure you cover the stain with liquid detergent, rub the cap’s bristles vertically, horizontally and in circular, gentle motions for better stain penetration.
Add detergent according to the product labels and the load size.
Wash your garments according to the instructions given by the fabric-care label.
- Treat enzymatic stains with liquid detergent and Tide’s unique Zap Cap, the detergent bottle cap with special stain-removing bristles.
- Presoak grease stains with liquid detergent in warm water.
- Rinse garments affected by body-soil stains under cold water.
- Presoak and wash bleachable stains with powder detergent.
- Presoak clay or dirt stains in cold water with liquid detergent.
To prevent stains from setting in, remember to soak the garment in cold water as soon as possible. When it comes to removing stains, it’s best to use cold water when you are not sure about the stain type. However, in the case of greasy stains, use warm water.
If you have a specific stain you’re looking to remove, then check out our various articles on how to remove stains from clothes.