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The Ultimate Stain-Removal Guide for Whatever Lands on Your Clothes

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Even blood, wine & grass stains are no match for these master stain-removal tips

Removing stains from whites

The key to removing stains from white clothing is to attempt to remove the stain immediately. Scoop up or scrape food items off while blotting up liquid spills from the outside in. Apply a liquid dishwashing soap directly to the stain and rub gently with a light-colored cloth or your fingernail. Do not use a darker colored cloth or terry towel as this may darken the stain. Soak garment in cold water for 10 to 15 minutes prior to washing.

More: When to Ditch the Harsh Household Ceaners and Go Au Naturel Instead

New and older stains may also be removed with the use of cornstarch or baking soda, gently scrubbing the powder into the stain with a cold, wet cloth. White vinegar and hydrogen peroxide are also great pre-treatment solutions. With any white clothing, it is recommended that you wash separately and pre-soak in 1/2 cup of bleach and cold water.

Removing stains from darks

Like white clothing, it is important that you attempt to remove a fresh stain immediately. Scoop up any food residue while blotting away liquids. Avoid using bar soaps or terry cloth towels on stains. Soak in 1/2 cup of white vinegar and cold water prior to washing the clothing on a regular cycle. If it is a tough or set stain, soak garment directly in 1/4 cup of vinegar and 1/4 cup of water for 30 minutes prior to washing. Rinse item out prior to washing on a warm cycle to sterilize clothing.

To remove stains from jeans, apply hydrogen peroxide directly onto stain and allow to soak for 30 minutes prior to washing on a regular cycle. Grass stains can be removed by applying petroleum jelly directly to the stain and spreading with your finger. Wash on a regular cycle after five minutes.

Next Up: Removing stains from delicates

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