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.
First, be patient. Zapping a drip, drop or splat without zapping the fabric itself requires a gentle touch and the patience to repeat a treatment until the blight is lifted.
For most fabrics, this means blotting up the excess or rinsing the stain with cold water. Don't rub - that just spreads the stain and grinds it deeper into the fabric.
Unfortunately, we're not always near a washing machine when disaster strikes. Not to worry: Some remedies can work on even set-in spots and stains.
Try these 9 laundry stain removal tips and then wash the garment as usual.
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.
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.
Treat the spot with an enzyme laundry detergent mix (add one teaspoon of laundry detergent that contains enzymes to one cup of water.) Allow to sit for 30 minutes,
If a ring or slight stain remains feather the edges or spotty areas with hydrogen peroxide. Rinse thoroughly with clean, cool water.
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
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.
Soak or pre-wash the grass-stained garment in your washer, or in a sink or bucket, along with a detergent containing enzymes. Launder as usual with chlorine bleach if it's safe for the fabric. If not, use oxygen bleach instead. Apply an ammonia solution (Mix one part of ammonia to eight parts water) to remove any lingering greenery.
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.
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.