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Tips For Getting Stains Out Of Fabric

Okay, maybe not change your life. Rock your world? Knock your socks off? Blow your mind?
Alright I’ll be honest:  this post is about removing stains from clothes. Oh admit it. You love these kind of tips. I do too!

How many times have you ruined a perfectly cute top with grease splatters from the stovetop? I think back to clothes I tossed years ago because I couldn’t get a stain out and I want to go back in time, snatch them out of the trash and give them new life. Between loving to cook and being a mom I think I have earned a black belt in stain removal over the past few years.

Here are a few of my fave tricks:

Removing Oil Stains
Do you know how easy it is to get oil out of many articles of clothing? Dishsoap, my friends. That’s it.

Excuse the unflattering picture of my chest….but Murphy’s Law dictates that I had to get grease RIGHT there. Seriously? That’s just awesome. At least it’s not on my butt.

 A couple drops of dishsoap to pre-treat the spots —

then throw in the wash and it’s good as new!

Removing Gum Stains
You’ve probably heard that to remove gum from an article of clothing, put an ice cube on the gum until it hardens, then scrape off with a butter knife. However, a stain may remain – case in point, my son’s white baseball pants (seriously world, WHITE BASEBALL PANTS? I know they look great but they are a beast to clean.)  My son sat on pink bubble gum at one of his games. After getting the gum off, a pink blotch remained. Another baseball mom advised me to try Oops, which worked like a charm (it’s totally toxic, so I only use it when absolutely necessary. The white baseball pants require the big guns). After dabbing the stain with Oops and then washing as usual, the stain is totally gone.

Removing Crayon From Clothes
When my daughter Hannah was little, she was constantly coloring and for some reason, she really loved to stash crayons in her pockets. Was it because she has two brothers and she feared that they might steal her nice new crayons with the pointy tips? I don’t know. But I do know that despite my efforts to empty pockets before throwing in loads of wash, more than once an entire load was ruined by a rogue crayon or two that melted all over everything.

If this happens to you, try this trick.

Take the crayon-assaulted clothes outside. Spray spots with WD-40 (another toxic substance that I try to use only when truly necessary), placing paper towels under the treated spots so the color doesn’t bleed through to other parts of the fabric. Follow the WD-40 by treating each spot with liquid dish detergent. Let sit for 15 minutes or so then launder. Check to see if color remains before drying, as drying will set the stain. If stain still remains, give the WD-40/dish detergent method another go, scrubbing at the stain with a tooth brush, and then rinse.

If all else fails, tie dye all the stained clothes with your kids – they will think you’re the coolest mom ever!!

There are tricks for getting stains out of most everything. And because I’m always looking out for you, here is another great guide to print out and hang in your laundry area. You, too, can earn your blackbelt in stain removal! Ahhh, motherhood is so glamourous, isn’t it???

Have a great weekend lovelies!

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Mo 'Betta

Monday 18th of June 2012

I've got to remember this! I get grease stains on my shirts all the time & always think "well, that shirt is ruined!"

Urban Orchard Interiors

Monday 18th of June 2012

These are great! I wish I had known about the dish soap years ago. I may try it on set in stains just to see what happens...

Thanks so much,


Carrie @ Hazardous Design

Sunday 17th of June 2012

This post is perfect timing. I dripped some bacon grease on my dress just this morning. Dish soap to the rescue!

Kelly @ View Along the Way

Saturday 16th of June 2012

Wow, never would've thought to try wd40 on clothes! Great tips!

classic • casual • home

Saturday 16th of June 2012

Great husband uses your first tip practically even time he cooks. A apron would be another tip for him :)