For normal daily functions, we choose to wear comfortable clothes as much as we can. But there will be times when we are forced to take out those special clothes that we have tucked safely away in the closet. Let's say it's a very special occasion and we absolutely need to look our best, we reach for our treasured apparel and go out into the night. You made your entrance garnering the expected attention your special dress got. The night goes well and as it draws near to the close of the evening, a wayward bit of food, condiment or red wine lands on your dress. Your normal laundry routine wasn't able to remove the stains and the dress goes back into the closet, forgotten and is never to be worn again, joining the multitude of stained and forgotten garments in the back row. It's not the best way for a special dress to go.
An old classic used to battle fabric stains is bleach. Your grandma’s, grandma’s, grandma uses it. But should you?
Top 2 DIY Laundry Stain Removers
Many people are wary of using bleach or even having it in their homes. And for good reason! Diluted bleach can cause mild skin irritation, while at full strength, it can cause burns! Plus mixed with other chemicals, bleach can prove very harmful. Using it on fabric also risks discolouration and colour fading. When doing the laundry requires you to put on thick rubber gloves and a mask, you know that’s not how it should be done. The good news is that it doesn't have to be that way! There's a way to save those favourite clothes without resorting to bleach. Here are two laundry stain removers that are safe to use and achieve excellent cleaning results. Best of all, you can make them on your own using inexpensive everyday items.
Fairy and Hydrogen Peroxide
- 1 part dishwashing liquid
- 2 parts Hydrogen Peroxide (3%)
- Dark coloured spray bottle
Hydrogen peroxide has long been recognized for its stain removing and disinfecting properties. Sounds promising! Mix 1 part dishwashing liquid with 2 parts hydrogen peroxide and put the mix in a dark spray bottle. It’s very important to use a dark tinted spray bottle as light will dissolve the hydrogen peroxide. Alternatively, you can use any coloured spray bottle but have it covered. Spray the solution on the stained area and rub it into the fabric using your fingers. After a good rub, apply another layer of spray. Make sure to soak the area properly and let it sit a few minutes or longer, depending on the stain, before placing it in the washing machine.
Hydrogen peroxide is very sensitive to light, which is why you need to be sure to store the solution in a cool, dry place to prevent the hydrogen peroxide from losing potency. Use only the recommended 3% hydrogen peroxide that can be bought from a drugstore.
- 1/4 cup liquid castile soap
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup liquid vegetable glycerin
- 10 drops lemon essential oil
Mix all the ingredients in a spray bottle and spray directly onto the stain. Following the previous process, rub the solution into the stained fabric and allowing it to sit before washing. Castile soap is a strong stain remover while the lemon essential oil breaks down oil and is an excellent anti-bacterial.
As with any DIY method, your mileage may vary. Results will largely depend on the type of stain, the age of the stain and even the fabric. You can experiment with other safe ingredients such as diluted white vinegar, lemon juice, and baking soda. Be careful to do some research before experimenting as some components tend to neutralize one another. It would be advisable to test the sprays on a small inconspicuous area of the fabric to test for colourfastness. These solutions generally don’t cause colour fading but it really depends on the dye used on the fabric. For tougher stains, you may need to let the solution sit for longer, and use a small brush or a clean toothbrush to scrub the stain. Maybe even leave it overnight, reapply another spray in the morning then scrub.
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