removing unknown stains



Tips for removing unknown stains

What's that spot on your child's new white T-shirt? 

The remains of a chocolate ice-cream cone perhaps? Or the muddy aftermath of a skateboard stunt gone awry? 

If you don't know the origins of a stain, all is not lost. 

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. 

These easy remedies for getting out even unknown stains can help. 



Start by Soaking or Rinsing Unknown Stains in Cold Water

If you don't know what the stain is, rinse or soak in cold water before treating.

Get into the habit of checking wet clothes for stains before tossing them in the dryer, as this can permanently set a stain.

Unfortunately, you're not always near a washing machine or stain stick when a clothing disaster strikes.

Not to worry: Some remedies will work even on set-in spots and stains. 

pretreating works best on small spots and fresh stains. But for old stains and protein stains, presoaking is key. Follow the soak with one (or more) of the following five recipes for homemade stain busters.

Household Ammonia Mix

Mix one part of ammonia to eight parts of water. Apply directly on the stain, and let sit for 8 hours. Then wash the treated garment separately from the rest of your laundry.

Enzyme Laundry Detergent Mix

Enzymes in laundry detergent help remove protein-based stains, such as blood and chocolate, and are often quite effective on unknown stains.

Add one teaspoon of a laundry detergent that contains enzymes to one cup of water. Work the solution into the stained area until fully saturated, and allow to sit for 10-15 minutes. Wash as usual in the warmest wash water temperature safe for the garment.

Hand Dishwashing Liquid Mix

To make this stain treatment, mix one teaspoon dishwashing liquid and one cup water. Apply to the unknown stain. Allow to sit for 30 minutes, machine wash.

Undiluted Hydrogen Peroxide

No mixing required here! Use 3 percent, undiluted hydrogen peroxide. Pour the hydrogen peroxide directly on the unknown stain. Use a toothbrush to gently work it into the fabric. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes, then machine wash.

Fels-Naptha Soap Paste

Shave off slices of Fels Naphtha laundry bar soap. Add one-part soap shavings to 10 parts of water. Work the mixture into a paste. Apply to the stained area, wait 10 minutes, then launder as usual.

Spray on Some WD-40

Yes, WD-40 - the stuff you use to get the squeaks out - can often get mystery stains out of clothes, too. Apply it full-strength to the stained area. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes before washing.

If, after all your efforts, that mystery spot is still visible, defer to the expertise of  your dry cleaner. Professional chemicals can often dissolve greases and oils that detergents available to consumers can't.











› 6 Tips for Removing Unknown Stains