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How to Get Any Type of Stain Out of Your Clothes

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It’s easy to let a foundation stain ruin your morning, and any kind of wine night is just an outfit waiting to be ruined – and don’t get us started on period stains. Luckily, some of these seemingly permanent stains are actually easily fixable with the right laundry know-how. Read on for seven common stain struggles and how to save your favorite pieces from them.

1. Sweat stains

You can officially stop throwing out your favorite white tops and shirts just because the armpits have turned a gross yellow color from sweat stains. Before washing, simply pre-treat the underarms of the shirt by spraying them with lemon juice. If the stain is particularly obvious, it’s also not a bad idea to scrub the area with a toothbrush to ensure none of the yellow color is left behind. After letting the lemon juice soak on the area for around 30 minutes, wash the shirt according to the directions on the tag.

Side note: if you’re looking to go a more preventative route, consider swapping your antiperspirant for an aluminum-free formula – it’s actually the aluminum in some deodorants that causes sweat to stain and turn whites yellow.

2. Wine

Wine stains during Monday night Bachelor viewing sessions happen – but don’t panic. The key here is to make sure that the stain isn’t allowed to sit on your clothes for too long before being treated. To get rid of a wine stain, combine three parts hydrogen peroxide to one part dish soap and apply it to the problem area. Just make sure to blot and never rub a wine stain, or you’ll risk sinking the stain even further into the fibers of your clothing.

3. Coffee

It’s basically a tragedy that two of our drinks of choice stain so badly, but luckily, there’s a miracle solution for removing coffee accidents just like there is for wine. First, wet the stain with warm water, and pour a teaspoon of baking soda over the affected area. Allow the baking soda to sit and treat the stain for as long as possible before washing the stained piece of clothing like you normally would.

4. Makeup

We all have that one shirt that we can’t manage to put on or remove without getting foundation all over the collar Every. Single. Time. If you wear a liquid foundation, hydrogen peroxide is the ideal quick fix here – work a few drops onto the stain with your fingers to get the stain out. For powder foundations, your best bet is a bit of regular laundry detergent and water applied to the stain.

If lipstick is the problem product that you can’t seem to wear without getting it everywhere, it can easily be cleaned with anything designed to fight grease or oil since it’s an oil-based product. Start by rubbing off any excess lipstick and wetting the stain. Follow with a drop of dawn rubbed into the area and allow it to sit for 15 minutes. Repeat the process until the stain is completely gone and the garment is ready to be washed.

Related: 8 Hacks for Finding the Best Stuff in Thrift Stores

5. Blood

Our least favorite time of month is already stressful enough already, and we don’t need to be spending hours in the laundry room trying to clean period stains out of our fave pairs of undies. (Because it’s always your cutest pair that gets ruined first, let’s be real.)

If the stain is still wet, immediately soak it in cold water. Next, rub the stain with bar soap. If the stained clothing is light colored, you can also dab it with a bit of hydrogen peroxide to remove any particularly stubborn areas.

Don’t freak out if you have to wait until the blood is dry to treat it, either. Instead, spray the stain with a pre-treatment stain remover such as Shout. Next, apply a small amount of ammonia diluted with water, and immediately launder the stained clothing afterward.

6. Grease

Your greasy guilty pleasure food and salad dressings don’t stand a chance! For any oil- based stain, sprinkle with baking soda and apply a dishwashing liquid that’s designed to remove grease. When you wash the piece afterward, wash it in the hottest water the tag will allow.

7. Deodorant marks

White deodorant marks on any and all dark clothing are pretty much inevitable – but there’s an easy fix you can do and still make it out the door on time. Just grab a dryer sheet (it can even be used as long as it’s completely dry!) and rub it on any white streaks or stripes. They’ll disappear immediately!

Accidents happen, and a stain doesn't have to mean the death of your favorite piece in your closet - with a few easy tricks you can make any piece look just like new!


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