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9 laundry stain removal tips

When it comes to laundry stains, it's Murphy's Law: If something can spill, drip, ooze, or run, it will do so all over your lucky shirt or favorite jeans.

Fortunately, once you know how to get rid of stains, you can save your family's beloved clothes from ending up in the rag pile.

Here are 9 laundry stain removal tips for the most common stains you're likely to encounter on wash day.

1. laundry stain removal for chewing gum.

Rub the gummy spot with ice to harden it. Scrape away as much of the gum as possible with a dull knife. Saturate what remains with a pre-wash stain remover or your favorite laundry detergent (undiluted). Rinse, and wash as usual. 

2. blood stain removal tips.

Rinse or pre-soak the garment in cold water, then wash in cold water with your usual detergent. Warm or hot water will set the stain. Don't use chlorine bleach - it can make the stain even worse, cold water or not.

3. how to remove chocolate stains.

Pre-treat or pre-wash chocolate-stained clothes in warm water with a cleaning product that contains enzymes. Wash as usual. (If it's on upholstery - here's how to remove it.)

4. how to remove coffee stains.

Sponge a coffee stain with, or soak in, cold water. Apply a pre-treating product on the stain. Wash as usual and air dry; repeat if stain remains.

5. how to remove cosmetics stains.

Pre-treat cosmetics stains with a pre-wash stain remover or a liquid detergent. Wash the garment in the water temperature recommended for the fabric.

6. how to remove crayon stains.

Scrape off surface crayon wax with a dull knife. Soak the fabric in a product containing enzymes or oxygen bleach in the hottest water safe for the fabric. Launder using the hottest water the shirt or pants fabric can withstand.

7. grass stain removal tips.

Pre-soak or pre-wash the grass-stained clothes in warm water in a bucket or your washing machine, with a detergent containing enzymes. Launder as usual with chlorine bleach if it's safe for the fabric. If not, use oxygen bleach instead.

8. laundry stain removal tips for mildew.

Douse a mildewed clothing item with chlorine bleach diluted with water. Let soak for 5 to 10 minutes, then launder as recommended. For mildewed leather, brush on an antiseptic mouthwash.

9. how to remove sweat stains.

Use a pre-wash stain remover; if the stains are old, apply white vinegar undiluted. Rinse, then launder using oxygen bleach in the hottest water that's safe for the fabric.

Visit the Clean Organized Home Store for the stain removal products and laundry supplies you need to keep your clothes looking their best.

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About the Author

Tara Aronson

Tara Aronson is a native Californian. Having grown up in San Diego, she studied journalism and Spanish to pursue a career in newspaper writing. Tara, whose three children - Chris, Lyndsay, and Payne - are the light of her life, now lives and writes in Los Angeles. She also regularly appears on television news programs throughout the U.S.