Doing the household chores can be a… well, chore. So, when you do it the first time, you want that to be worth your effort. There’s nothing worse than getting a job done, only to realise things didn’t work out as you planned.
How to get, and keep, stains out of your clothes, for good
For example, doing a load of laundry and then noticing your clothing has stains on it. Life happens, and there’s not a lot we can do about completely avoiding getting stains on our clothing. But, there are ways to stop clothing stains from becoming permanent, and a lot of it starts with the prep. Here are our top tips for keeping stains at bay.
Catch stains early
If you are a witness to a stain occurring in real time, act fast. The quicker you start the removal process, the higher the chance you’ll eliminate it. There are a lot of DIY formulations that promise fail-safe, immediate removal of stains, however, you need to be careful about what you put on different fabric types, and it’s better to not risk making the stain more embedded, or ruining the fabric due to a reaction to a new ingredient (from vinegar to bleach – there are a lot of suggestions out there!). The best course of action is to get a clean dry cloth and blot (not rub or wipe) the affected area to soak up excess and avoid the stain spreading. Then wet another clean cloth with cool water, wring out a little, and alternate dabbing the stained area with the wet and dry cloth (using non-messy parts of the cloth each time).
Once as much of the stain has been lifted as possible, it’s time for the spray and soak.
Spray the stain
For particularly difficult stains like coffee, red wine, cordial, juice or pasta sauce, a pre-wash spray, such as Tri Nature’s Enhance Pre-Wash Spray, is perfect for giving it that extra help in lifting and leaving the fabric. For oily and greasy stains, Enhance’s gentle surfactant-based formula boosted with orange oil helps to surround the oil particles and lift them away from the fabric. Simply, spray it onto the stain and let it sit for two minutes, then move straight onto the soak…
Soak it up
Fill a bowl or bucket with clean, cool water (use hot water to remove grease and oil-based stains) and place the whole garment or just the affected area into the water with some pre-wash soaker (we recommend our Alpha Plus Pre-Wash Soaker Soft Pack). Add 1x 25g scoop into the water and leave to soak for at least one hour. Pre-soaking assists in loosening the stain so that it can be removed more easily in the washing process.
Put it through a cycle
It’s entirely up to you if you choose to wash the garment on its own, or put it in with a load of like colours; there’s no real difference or benefit if you’re sure that none of the other items are going to transfer onto it, causing a bigger issue. Using a high-quality, eco-friendly laundry liquid or powder will give the removal of the stain its best bet; you want a formulation that is created only with the ingredients that are designed to care for your clothes and focussed on grime removal, rather than with fillers which decrease the cleaning ability. Our Alpha Plus Laundry Powder and Alpha Plus Laundry Liquid (link)are gentle on the environment but tough on stubborn stains.
Check before drying…
Although we know from personal experience that this process has an extremely high success rate on stains, it’s still worth checking that the stain was removed before putting it through the dryer. The heat could lock the stain in. While it’s still wet, you have a chance to spray, soak and wash again.
Avoiding stains in the future
As we said, life happens. We aren’t going to suggest wearing a plastic vest every time you eat, drink or play a sport… However, there are a few other ways to avoid other stains on your clothes that can be a hassle at best, and completely ruin your clothes at worst.
- Separate your laundry into like colours when you wash them. Highly pigmented clothing, particularly new clothing, can stain other clothing, irreparably.
- Ensure your washing machine is clean. Regularly cleaning your washing machine with our Maxim Machine Descaler will help to avoid the hard water scale and other residues that can build up in washing machines over time and potentially cause staining of clothes in the washing machine.
 Refer to clothing manufacturers’ washing instructions before using the Pre Wash Soaker. Only use on washable and colourfast items. Check for colourfastness by soaking a hidden part of the clothing for at least 2 hours. Soak colours and whites separately. Do not soak metal buttons or zippers. Not recommended for use on wool, silk, satin, leather, or clothing with non-colourfast dyes.