Stubborn stains are your washing machine’s arch nemesis. The moment we spot a stain on our precious outfits, we try really hard to remember all the lessons our moms taught us about how to get rid of stains on clothes. But, between the panic of watching that stain make a home on our clothes and preparing ourselves to bid goodbye to the victim, we rarely think straight.
In an ideal world, stains would not exist. No one would spill anything and all our favourite clothes would be protected. Since that’s not going to happen anytime soon, we made a guide on how to get rid of stains. So, the next time you face a ghastly stain, here’s what you need to do.
1. If you’ve managed to get spots of haldi on your clothes
You need to act fast. Try to get it off as soon as possible. Scrape off the excess with a spoon or a blunt knife and put the affected area under running water. Don’t scrub it. That just makes a haldi stain worse. If the stain is still moist, don’t attempt to scrape it off just yet. Grab some baking soda powder or flour and sprinkle it on the stain. These substances can absorb the moisture and make it easier for the stain to be scraped off.
Next, put some liquid detergent on it and rub it very gently with an old toothbrush. Don’t give in to the urge of rubbing it vigorously in the hope of getting the stain out faster. You’ll ruin your clothes like that. Let it soak in the liquid detergent for about 15-20 mins. Then put it in the washing machine and wash it in hot water. Hopefully, the stain would be gone by now. If that ugly thing is still around, repeat this process from the liquid detergent part. If you want to save water, you can wait till you’re washing another load of clothes in the washing machine.
Some people also suggest using mild bleaching agents for haldi stains but you can’t use them on every kind of fabric. Use bleach only if you have a stain on a white cotton clothing. On any other fabric or colour, bleach will ruin the fabric. If you do get the dreaded big yellow stain on white cotton clothes, use a mild bleaching agent like lemon or white vinegar. While you can use a half cut lemon directly on the fabric, you will need to dilute the vinegar with water. Keep applying it on the affected area till the stain starts fading.
2. If you’ve dropped red wine on yourself at a party
Run to the kitchen and grab the salt. Cover the stain completely with salt and leave it for about an hour. This works wonders on red wine and absorbs the liquid before it can go deep into your clothes. But remember, time is of the essence. The faster you work on the stain, the more likely it is to vanish. The salt method also works on ink stains.
If you can’t get to the salt in time and the red wine begins to set, pour a few drops of vodka or gin on the stain. Dab the area gently with a soft towel and then put the alcohol on it. This tends to lighten the ominous red of the stain and makes it easier for the stain to come out in the washing machine.
While red wine stains look like they’re here to stay, it’s not that difficult to get rid of them. But there are others which are trickier, like chocolate.
3. If you see chocolate stains on your kids’ clothes
First, accept that kids will be kids and they will be messy with food. Second, instead of wasting your energy in shouting at your kids, tackle the stain. If the stain has dried, use a spoon or blunt knife to scrape it off. This won’t remove the stain completely but it will take off the excess chocolate stuck to the fabric. Next, put liquid detergent on the stain and leave it there for about 5-10 minutes. Wash the fabric in warm water in the washing machine or wash it by hand. If the fabric is white, turn up the heat of the water a bit.
If the stain decides to stick on even after this, try the diluted vinegar method explained above. Once you finish dabbing the vinegar on the stain, wash the fabric again. You can even make your kids watch so that they’re more careful with chocolate next time.
4. If you spot that good old period stain
Women are no strangers to pesky blood stains. Whether it’s your prettiest, most expensive underwear, your freshly washed sheets, or your favourite pants, they’ve all been damaged by stains during a heavy period. But do not despair, ladies. We’re here to help.
If you spot a blood stain, soak the garment in cold water as soon as possible. You’ll see the water turning pink as the stain loses strength. Change the water as it becomes darker. Let it soak till you see the stain get lighter. Once the colour of the stain reduces to a light pink, hand wash the garment and scrub the area with detergent. Be gentle with delicate material.
Ladies, bookmark this guide and keep it handy for the next stain emergency. You never know when you might need it.
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