We’ve all done it…spilled or splashed something onto our clothes that might stain them. Panic hits us fast, thinking we might lose some favorite article of clothing. We reach for our arsenal of chemicals for some special stain remover we have on hand. It may or may not work.
Did you know you already have the best stain remover on hand, without buying anything special? It’s lurking by your sink. Plain ole soap. Yep, soap. I’ve had more success removing literally anything from clothing using plain soap than any other special chemical I’ve purchased.
A bar of soap is my first choice because it’s concentrated and usually (not always) has little to no coloring added to it. Liquid hand soaps will also work to remove stains, but since they often have coloring added to them, it takes a little extra effort to get the soap stain (color) out of the clothing. Also, liquid soaps have water in them (after all, they’re liquid!), so they’re not quite as concentrated as the bar soaps. Nevertheless, you can freely use what you have already have on hand. Here’s how…
As soon as possible after the stain happens, rinse the stained area with COLD water. Yes, it must be COLD. Heat will set stains, so no heat for now. Take your bar of soap and wet it, then rub it onto the stained area (or just apply liquid soap directly to the stained area). Work up a bit of a lather by rubbing the soap into the cloth with your fingers. You could also take the cloth in both hands and rub the cloth on itself. When the stain appears to be gone, rinse the soap out with cold water (still using cold here!).
If some of the stain is still there, repeat the process. If the stain seems to be stubborn, leave a little of the soap on the stained area, then put the item in the washing machine with your usual detergent and again, COLD or COOL water. Inspect the item after the washer is finished. IF you’re sure the stain has been removed, the item may be placed in the dryer. IF you’re NOT SURE the stain has been removed (sometimes you can’t tell when the fabric is wet), allow the item to air dry.
If the stain is still there, repeat the process of rubbing more soap on the stain and repeat the wash in cold water and air drying. This step is not often necessary because stains are usually removed by this time. ONLY when you’re sure the stain has been removed should the item be placed in the dryer. Why? Because heat sets stains. If there’s any stain left on the item and it’s placed in the dryer, the stain will become permanent. Good luck getting it out from there!
Check out my video (link below) to see how simple this process is. Judi