Coffee-stained shirts, muddied trousers and uniforms splattered with blotches of inky blue — do you feel that the laundry shows everything your family has been up to the past few days? Just because they’ve had an eventful week doesn’t mean that you have to spend hours in front of the laundry centre undoing all the damage!
You can get rid of tough stains in a single wash. The trick is to pre-treat them as soon as possible. Before you put soiled garments in a regular cycle of your automatic washing machine, you have to give its stained portions a little individual attention. The process varies with the nature of the stain.
Here’s how you can pre-treat some common kinds of stains:
Sweat: Pour vinegar over the discoloured area and rub salt into it. Dry the garment out in the sun before washing it.
Ink: Place a towel beneath the stain and apply hair spray generously over it. After several seconds, blot the stain with a clean cloth. Repeat this process until the stain is gone and wash as usual.
Mud: Once the mud has dried, brush off as much as possible. Using water and a gentle detergent, rub the stained fabric together to create suds. If there are any remaining stains, use equal parts white vinegar and water to remove and finish with a wash as usual.
Grass: Soak the stain in undiluted vinegar for 30 minutes, then launder it. If you can still see signs of the stain after washing, try making a paste of vinegar and baking soda. Use an old toothbrush to coat the stain, then wash it again.
Coffee/tea: After running cold water over the stain, pour detergent onto the stain and rub the fabric together or use a toothbrush to work the detergent in. Let it stand for a few minutes before washing as usual.
Chocolate: After scraping off the excess with a plastic knife or similar, spray the stain with a mix of dishwashing soap (1 tablespoon soap dissolved in one cup of water). Then dab some detergent on the stain before washing.
Chewing gum: After testing the garment for colour-fastness, soak the garment in hot vinegar for one to three minutes. The gum should begin loosening. Repeat until the gum has been completely removed. Wash on the hottest wash temperature allowed by the laundry label.
Ketchup: Scrape off any excess with a spoon or similar and then run the stain under cold water. It’s also advisable to run the water from the back of the stain to the front. Dab on some detergent and gently rub it in. Wash as normal.
Crayon: Rub vinegar into the crayon stain with an old toothbrush before washing as usual.
Blood: Soak the stain in cold water and gently rub it to release the blood particles. Replace the water if it turns pink. Rinse thoroughly and blot the stain with a clean cloth. Mix a few drops of stain-removing product in cold water and soak the garment for some time before washing.
Old stains: Stains that are not pre-treated or are not successfully removed in the first wash tend to set in if they go through a washing machine with an automatic dryer. To get rid of them, saturate set-in stains with vinegar, then rub the spot with a paste made from equal parts vinegar and baking soda. If the stain persists, you can add equal parts vinegar and detergent (a couple of tablespoons each should be enough) to a bucket of water and soak the garment overnight. Then, rinse and wash as usual.
Once the pre-treatment is done, it’s time to let your washing machine get to work. Here are some tricks to get the most of your washers and dryers:
- – Wash the clothes on a higher temperature than you usually would, but only if the item’s laundry label allows it.
- – Even if you have a washing machine with dryer, air dry your garments first to make sure the stain is removed. Otherwise, the heat could set the stain.
- – Limit your laundry load per cycle. There should be a hand’s-width gap between the load and the top of the drum. Even large capacity washing machines don’t wash clothes properly when overloaded.
- – Since water is hard in KSA, we have to use more detergent than usual even when using the best washing machine. In hard water, most of the detergent’s ingredients become attached to the excess minerals in the water rather than cleaning the clothes. Experts recommend that up to 30 percent more detergent be used and at a higher water temperature than usual to get satisfactory cleaning results.
- – Check your washing machine catalogue to see if your machine has dispensers to remove detergent and other cleaning products. Dispensers need to be removed and rinsed often to maintain washing effectiveness.
- – Many American washing machines have different settings and options to suit your laundry needs. Explore the other kinds of cycles for more effective washing of delicate, bulky or stained garments.
Please note that the tips provided are purely for information and educational purposes. The success of these processes will vary across conditions of usage. Mabe takes no responsibility or liability for any damage (incidental or accidental) resulting thereof.