Bleeding of Colors:
Your red shirt got mixed in with other clothes
and ruined them? First off, DON'T DRY THEM! Wash again with regular detergent
and color-safe bleach. If that didn't work, Rit®, the makers of clothes dye,
makes a color remover that works wonders and doesn't cost much. To prevent
bleeding in the first place, wash in cold water; I also use a cup of salt OR a
scoop of Oxi Clean® with every load.
Blood on Clothes:
Pour hydrogen peroxide on blood and rinse with
cold water. If some blood remains, repeat. (Submitted by Michele Dutcher)
Burn / Scorch Marks:
If the fabric is washable, brush it gently with a
soft brush or dry sponge to remove loose carbon particles. Then, wash the fabric
with regular detergent and color-safe bleach. This will permanently weaken the
fabric even more than the scorch has, but the scorch may no longer be
Burnt Stuff on Iron:
Rub iron with aluminum foil to remove burnt on
Deodorant Stains on the Underarms of Washable Shirts:
Sponge on white vinegar (or soak stain in it);
wait 30 minutes. Launder shirts in the hottest water safe for the fabric. Using
an enzyme detergent or a detergent with bleach alternative check care labels to
be sure this is okay). I sometimes put liquid laundry detergent right on the
area, leave it for five to ten minutes, then wash. To prevent: Let deodorant dry
before dressing. And don't let stains sit! Apply prewash spray or liquid
detergent ASAP, then launder. Every third or fourth washing, use the hottest
water safe for the shirts.
Down Comforters / Jackets:
These can, indeed, be washed rather than dry
cleaned. Any stains, such as the grime on the cuffs of a jacket, should be
spot-cleaned with a pre-treater, then rinsed with water. Wash the item in the
gentle cycle with mild detergent. The key is to ensure the down is rinsed
extremely well. Then, place in the dryer rather than line drying. This allows
the feathers to plump up again. Place large knotted towels or tennis balls in
the dryer with it to help fluff the down. The only caution is, if the item has
weak seams or fragile fabric it could "explode" and leave you with only down. If
there are stains remaining, place it (on a blanket) outdoors in full sunshine
for a day or two. This often helps. If not, at least your comforter will have
that outdoor fresh smell. (Submitted by Koilaf and michelle6802)
I have been using an old dish towel as a fabric
softener sheet. I pour a couple of capfuls of Downey on it and throw it in the
dryer. It has taken over a year to go thru a bottle of (small) Downey fabric
softener. I add more Downey about every 15 loads or just when I notice a little
static. It helps to use a towel that is distinct from the other laundry. I use a
pink towel, which is a one of a kind in our house. (Submitted by a site
Turn dark clothes inside out and wash in the
coolest water possible; dry on lowest heat. For all-black clothes and linens,
throw in a box of black Rit® dye every 8-10 washes or so to keep black clothes
Gasoline On Clothing:
Gasoline is an oil based product, therefore, use
another oil based product to pull out the odor (which is left because all the
gas oil has not been removed yet). You can use any kind of oil that normally
washes out of clothing, like baby oil. Put some of the oil into the washer along
with the clothes, let it swish around for a while, then put in the detergent and
all should come out okay.
General Stain Removal for Clothing:
Read the label! If it says dry-clean only,
dry-clean it. If it's washable, try cleaning fluid, spot remover, or
petroleum-based pre-wash spray. Place garment stain side down on paper towels
and dab cleaner on stain using a terry-cloth towel or scrub brush. Check paper
towels underneath and move frequently so there's always a clean area under the
stain to absorb soil. Let area dry and check it. If stain remains, treat with
prewash spray and launder. Before drying, check again. Still visible? Repeat
Glitter on Clothing: That new sparkly shirt shedding glitter all over the place?
Spray with aerosol hair spray to make it stay put. Wash separately from other
clothes, or at least wash it inside out if you must wash with other articles of
Sprinkle a generous amount of cornstarch or baby
powder over the grease stain, allow it to sit for a couple of minutes, then
brush the powder off. The powder absorbs the grease and it brushes off with the
Gum On Clothing: Use egg whites to remove gum on clothing. Brush egg white onto
gum with a toothbrush. Let sit for 15 minutes and then launder on the items
The best way I have found to get out ink stains
is to put rubbing alcohol on the stain - it disappears! This must be done before
washing. (Submitted by Darvin Mossing)
Laundry Basket Freshener:
Place a fabric softener sheet in the bottom of
your laundry basket (remember to change it weekly.) You can also simply sprinkle
some baking soda in the bottom of your basket and that will help absorb the
odors as well.
In the linen closet, place cotton balls that have
been sprayed with your favorite scent. Once they are dry, place them in corners
and on the shelves.
Keep lint off dark clothes by not washing them
with towels, washcloths, dishrags, etc. This is where a majority of the lint
comes from and it's just easier to eliminate them. (Submitted by
michelle6802) Another way to get lint to stay off clothes in the washer is
to add 1 cup distilled white vinegar to the load with the detergent.
Use petroleum jelly for removing lipstick stains.
Another possibility is to rub in a little vegetable shortening and then launder
Shake or brush the item to remove loose growth.
Presoak in cold water. Wash in hot water with heavy duty detergent. For whites,
add 1/2 cup bleach. If colored, use color-safe bleach. If staining remains on
white items, repeat washing before drying. Dry thoroughly; heat and sun tend to
A better idea than using mothballs is to take
your leftover soap slivers and put them in a vented plastic bag. You place the
bag with seasonal clothes before packing them away. Not only will the scent
prevent them from moth harm but also they'll smell great when you pull them out.
I especially like this for sweaters, which can be difficult to remove the odor
of mothballs from. Using soap you simply have a clean smell rather than the
smell of an attic.
This odor is a hard one to get rid of. Your first
step is ventilation - air out larger items outside for a day or two; for
clothes, fluff in the dryer with fabric softener sheets for a couple of hours.
Odor removers such as Febreeze® may help. If an entire room or closet is
affected, place trays of activated charcoal (available in pet supply stores) in
the corners of the rooms to absorb the smell.
Panty Hose / Nylons:
To stop a run in panty hose, dab nail polish over
the run; clear polish is best, for obvious reasons, but any color will do. To
strengthen nylons, spray with aerosol hair spray when you first put them on.
Soak the stained shirt in equal parts ammonia and
water and add a few Tbls. of liquid dish soap overnight. Then, wash the shirts
Rust and Mineral Stains:
Add 1 cup of bottled lemon juice in the wash to
remove discoloration from cotton laundry.
Soiled Shirt Collars:
Take a small paintbrush and brush hair shampoo
into soiled shirt collars before laundering. Shampoo is made to dissolve body
Wet the fabric and then sprinkle with powdered
dish detergent. Scrub gently with a toothbrush. Rinse the item and launder
Sour Smelling Towels:
Whenever possible, always use bleach when washing
towels. If this is not possible (for colored towels), pour a cup of white
vinegar or 1/4 cup Febreeze® into the washer with the towels and detergent.
Never overload the washer with too many towels (or clothes, for that matter), as
they will not have room to agitate and clean thoroughly. Never let a washed, wet
load of laundry of any kind sit in the washer for long; dry as soon as possible.
For a towel you are currently using, hang it in a fashion that will allow it to
dry completely between uses; if thrown on the floor in a ball or folded over a
towel bar, it can quickly mildew and the smell is hard to get rid of.
Whenever you travel carry along a stain
pretreatment stick. Taking the time to use it on stains before they set ensures
that they will wash out when you get home.
White-Out / Liquid Paper and Permanent Marker Stains:
Dab some sunscreen over the stain and rub off
with a paper towel. Repeat until stain is gone.
Yellowed / Grayed Whites:
Rit®, the makers of clothes dye, makes a
white-wash that works well for bleachable and non-bleachable clothing that has
yellowed or grayed. You can also hang yellowed clothes out to dry whenever
possible to reduce the yellow.
To make a zipper slide up and down more smoothly,
rub a bar of soap over the teeth.