No matter what type of stain it is- coffee, tea, deodorant, mustard or chocolate- stains always seem more frustrating when they occur on white clothing. It isn’t necessarily because they are worse; in fact, the stain removal process is often the same for whites as it is for colours. However, stains are often more visible on white clothing, which makes them hard to ignore. Luckily, no matter what type of clothing you’re working with, there are some tried and true methods to remove stains from white clothes.
Getting Stains out of White Shirts
Shirts are prone to almost any kind of stain you can think of. These clothing items are often the first in line to catch dripping food like chocolate, mustard, ketchup and sauces, coffee and tea, juices and drinks. However, deodorant, sweat and armpit stains are perhaps the most common and most difficult types of stains to get out of shirts. These stains turn the armpits of white shirts yellow, creating an unsightly appearance while also leaving behind a distinct odour.
Getting Stains out of White Pants and Shorts
If you have children, you know that sticky and messy fingers, fun outdoors, and even snack time can wreak havoc on white pants and shorts. Stains from creams, sunscreens and lotions, grass, mud and dirt, as well as dripping juices from fruits and vegetables can quickly create spots on their clothes. Kids aren’t the only ones that are susceptible to these stains. We’ve all absentmindedly (and accidentally) wiped our hands on our clothes when they were covered in grease, oil or food.
Ink and pen stains are common on white pants and shorts and often difficult to get out. These stains require immediate action and a bit of elbow grease to remove completely.
Getting Stains out of White Dresses
Whether you’re wearing a white dress as the band plays “Here comes the bride,” or any other type of white dress, keeping it as pristine as possible isn’t always easy. It can sometimes seem as if stains seek out this type of clothing, especially when it comes to makeup and blood.
What makes removing these stains so difficult is that many dresses are dry-clean only or made from delicate fabrics. This means you have to seek the help of a professional for some stains or take the time to carefully hand wash them while removing the stain. When in doubt, always seek professional help.
Getting Stains out of White Trainers
Scrub away the dirt
White trainers are often magnets for mud, dirt as well as grass and leaf stains. Removing stains on trainers is a bit different than removing stains on other types of clothes. For white trainers, wait until any mud has dried, then scrub away the dirt with a soft brush.
Rinse the shoes under warm water
Rinse the shoes under warm water, being careful not to soak them too much. Apply your detergent and stain remover and use a clean towel or brush to scrub the trainers. Rinse off. If the stain is still present, repeat these steps.
Stuff the inside with paper towel
When the stain is gone, stuff the inside of the shoes with paper towel. Unlike other white clothing items, shoes should not be left out to dry in the sun, as this can dry out the materials and shorter their lifespan. Instead, place them in front of a fan to dry quickly.
Removing Stains From White Clothes: Step by Step
So how do you remove stains from white jeans, shirts, pants or shorts?
- Choose a detergent and stain remover safe for use on white fabrics
- Pre-treat the stained area
- Wash and rinse, adding bleach if necessary
- Check if the stain is gone and repeat the steps as necessary
- Dry in the sun to help naturally bleach the stain
Choosing a Detergent and Stain Remover
While many recommend using natural stain removers, these can be damaging to fabrics and cause further staining.
Pre-Treat the Area
How you pre-treat the stain depends on what type of stain it is. Juice and drink stains, for instance, require flushing with cool water from the backside of the stain before you apply a proper Sard Wonder stain remover. For blood and red wine, always blot the stain to remove as much liquid as possible. If the stain was due to solid or semi-solid ingredients like curry, ketchup or mechanical oil, scrape off as much as possible before pre-treating with any Sard Wonder product or Cold Power detergent.
Stubborn stains may also require soaking with cool or warm water and your chosen detergent. Never use hot water on a stain; it can set it quickly.
Wash and Rinse
Check the Stain
If the stain is still present after washing, pre-treat it again and repeat the wash cycle. Do not dry the clothing in the dryer until the stain is completely gone. It may also help to dry the white clothing in the sun, which will naturally bleach the white fabric and help get rid of the stain.
Your white trainers look like new again
White clothes seem to attract stains, but an accidental spill or tumble in the mud isn’t the end of the world. Use these tips to get those stains out quickly.