How to Remove Set In Stains from Clothes

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, stubborn stains just won’t budge. Instead of giving up on your favorite clothes, give these home remedies a shot to tackle set-in stains on baby clothes, pants, and shirts.

Whether it’s ink or blood, discover effective ways to eliminate old stains from your garments.

Dealing with Stains on Washed and Dried Clothes

We’ve all been there—missing a stain, only to find it firmly set in your son’s beloved football jersey. Before you contemplate tossing it in the trash, take solace in the fact that most stains, even tricky ones like hair dye, can still be tackled even after setting in.

It won’t be a walk in the park, but the good news is these methods are gentle enough to use on baby clothes stains.

Materials You’ll Need for the Stain Battle

Removing old stains might require different approaches for various materials. To wage war against these stubborn spots, gather the following materials:

Best Ways to Remove Set-in Stains

Vinegar and Baking Soda Stain Remover

When it comes to all-purpose cleaners, vinegar takes the lead with its incredible versatility. The mild acidity in vinegar makes it a stain-treating powerhouse, capable of tackling even the toughest stains.

This method works particularly well on most non-greasy stains, achieving success about 75-90% of the time. It’s most effective on stains that haven’t deeply dyed the material, such as ink or mustard. Here’s how:

  1. Put vinegar into an empty bottle.
  2. Thoroughly saturate the stained area with vinegar.
  3. Sprinkle baking soda over the saturated area.
  4. Gently rub the mixture into the fabric, reapplying vinegar as needed.
  5. Leave it to sit for about 30 minutes.
  6. Rinse with cool water for a few minutes.
  7. Reapply vinegar to the area.
  8. Fill a bucket or sink with about a gallon of water.
  9. Add ½ cup of vinegar and a couple of tablespoons of laundry detergent to the water.
  10. Allow the fabric to soak overnight.

Peroxide and Dish Soap Stain Rescue

Certain stains, like tomato sauce and mustard, can be a real challenge once they’ve set in. For these tougher stains, you need a more potent stain-fighting approach.

Keep in mind that this method might be slightly less effective for stains caused by substances that can dye the fabric, like tomato and coffee. However, it still boasts a success rate of over 70%. Here’s how to use peroxide and dish soap to rescue your stained garments:

  1. In a spray bottle, mix 1 part dish soap with 2 parts peroxide. Any dish soap will do, and Dawn is a popular choice.
  2. Saturate the entire stained area with the solution.
  3. Using gloved fingers or a rag, rub the stained area.
  4. Let it sit overnight.
  5. Rinse and repeat if necessary.

Baking Soda Magic for Grease Stains

Dealing with grease stains can be a real challenge, especially once they’ve had a chance to set in. This method is specifically crafted to tackle grease stains, boasting a solid success rate. Additionally, it’s handy for removing butter stains from clothes. To say goodbye to that stubborn grease, follow these steps:

  1. In a spray bottle, mix 1 tablespoon each of glycerin and dish soap with 1.5 cups of warm water.
  2. Shake the mixture well.
  3. Spray the stain, ensuring the entire area is thoroughly soaked.
  4. Let it sit on the stain for approximately 15-20 minutes.
  5. Wash the garment in cold water, adding a tablespoon of baking soda to the load to absorb any remaining grease.
  6. Hang the clothing to dry.

Acetone’s Power Against Gum or Goo

Dealing with gum on your clothes is never enjoyable, and dried gum is even worse. This method effectively removes set-in gum or goo from fabrics, but be cautious, as it may bleach the color of the area. Here’s how to proceed:

  1. Apply acetone (fingernail polish remover) to a cloth, preferably white.
  2. Rub the acetone over the gum until it’s gone.
  3. Once all the residue is removed, launder the garment as usual.

Pro tip: This method is also effective for dried glue stick.

Knowing When to Call It Quits

While it’s worth trying stain-removing methods on your favorite or recently purchased items, some stains, like mustard, ink, or red wine, can be extremely stubborn. These substances can dye the fibers of the material, making removal challenging. If the stain persists after a few attempts, it might be time to consider other options. Additionally, for old or worn-out clothing, it might not be worth the effort unless it holds significant sentimental value to you.

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