The 5 Worst Stains Every Parent Has Tried to Remove From Laundry

Kids of all ages present stain removing challenges for parents. Before tackling the toughest of stains, try to determine what type of stain you’re working with to use the most effective stain removal process. Using these tips, and knowing how to treat different types of stains makes all the difference in how successful you may be at removing stains.

General Stain Removing Tips

• The faster stains are treated, the easier they will be to remove.

• When using any stain removal process or product, put the clothing on a surface that is non-porous to prevent stain transfer to other surfaces.

• Use a light colored cloth to blot moist stains rather than a rubbing motion. Rubbing stains spreads the stain further into fibers making it more difficult to remove.

• Before using any type of stain removal process, check inside the clothing for care label information.

• Test stain removal solutions in an area of the fabric that won’t show, to make sure it doesn’t damage or stain the clothing.

• If you’re unsure of what the stain is, soak or rinse it in cold water. Hot water on some fabrics often set the stain.

• Take care when using products for stain removal that may be flammable or poisonous.

Baby Food-Protein Stains

Some examples of protein stains include blood, feces, baby formula, urine, baby food, ice cream and eggs.

To treat protein stains, remove any solids left on the clothing, and let it soak in cold tap water with liquid laundry detergent and an enzyme product. Enzyme products are excellent for treating hard to remove protein stains.

Launder the clothing with bleach. Avoid hot water when removing protein stains, which sets in stains.

Fruit Juice-Tannin Stains

Tannin stains come from plant parts and fruits, which are found in many of the foods we eat and drink every day. Fruit juices, strawberries, raspberries, cranberries, soft drinks, chocolate, gravy and some types of washable inks and watercolors contain tannin, which can quickly stain garments worn by children and adults.

To treat garments stained with any one of these foods or inks, blot the area with a cloth. Mix equal amounts of white vinegar and dish soap together. Apply the solution and leave it on for about 15 minutes. Rinse with warm water and launder as normal.

If it doesn’t come out after washing, you may need to use diluted bleach to remove the stain.

Grass Stains-Dye Stains

Some Dyes can be difficult to remove. Common items containing dye include Kool-Aid, blueberries, grass, Tempera Paint and mustard.

Pretreat the spot with liquid detergent and rinse. If it’s still stained, soak the garment in diluted all-fabric bleach.

Gum Stains

Remove the gum with a dull knife. Heat a small amount of vinegar, and apply it to the clothing. Rub the area with a toothbrush and launder as normal.

Crayon Stains

Spray the crayon stain using WD-40 on the inside and outside. Work liquid dish detergent into the area. Wash the clothing on the hot setting with bleach and laundry detergent and use a warm rinse cycle.

Depending upon the type of fabric and how long the stain has set, it may not always be possible to remove all types of stains.