As the weather warms up, it’s natural to spend more time outdoors: walking, jogging, hiking, gardening, picnicking, and enjoying the fresh air. Of course, spending more time outdoors leads to more ways of staining clothes. Read on to learn how to take care of some of the most common stains you’ll encounter this spring.
Let Mud Dry Before Washing
Contrary to what you might expect, you should let the mud dry before doing anything else. Trying to dampen it or rub it off will work it deeper into the cloth. Once the mud is completely dry, scrape away excess. Rub liquid laundry detergent into the stained area and let it sit for 45 minutes. (Note that dish soap should be used instead of laundry detergent if you are cleaning red mud rather than dark mud.) Dampen a toothbrush, clean cloth, or soft-bristled brush with a few drops of water and use it to rub the detergent into the stain. Scrub both sides of the cloth.
After that, you can machine wash the stained garment as you normally would, but it is best to wash it by itself rather than with other clothing. Repeat the process as needed until the stain is completely gone. Remember to air dry the garment until you are sure the stain has been removed, as machine drying a stained garment will cause the stain to become permanent.
Treat Grass Stains as Soon as Possible
The first key to removing grass stains is to deal with them as soon as possible. The longer you wait to remove a stain, the harder it is to get out. If you are trying to clean an older stain, you will need to soak the garment overnight in a solution of water and oxygen bleach before proceeding with the following steps.
Treat grass stains with a dab of heavy-duty laundry detergent. Some popular brands, such as Tide, contain compounds to break up stubborn stains. You can also use stain remover. Use a damp soft-bristled brush or wet cloth to scrub the affected area, then let it sit 15 minutes. Now that the stain has been treated, you can wash it as usual. Repeat as needed until the stain is gone completely.
Avoid Heat When Treating Blood Stains
Accidents happen. Spending more time outdoors means there are more opportunities for scraped knees, unexpected encounters with thorns, and other accidents. Once you’ve taken care of yourself, you’ll probably want to take care of your clothes as well.
As soon as possible, you’ll want to rinse the affected area in cold water. Never use hot water, as the heat will affect proteins in the blood and embed the stain even further in the fabric. Next, treat the stained area with heavy-duty laundry detergent or a dab of stain remover. Use your fingers or a toothbrush to work the cleaning agent into the area. Let it sit for 15 minutes to work its magic, then wash as usual in cold water.
If the stain remains, soak the garment in a mixture of water and oxygen bleach for four hours, then wash it again. Repeat until the stain is completely gone.
Ask a Professional
Stains are often challenging and time-consuming to remove, but professionals can help you get the best results. From years of experience, cleaning professionals at your local Laundromat know the best treatments and methods to get rid of stains without damaging your clothes in the process. Some also offer pick-up and drop-off services to save you time. Be sure to tell your cleaners what caused the stain so they can use the appropriate cleaning agents.