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9 Summer Stain Cleaners

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9 Summer Stain Cleaners

By Steve Graham, Hometalk

Summer can get messy. The season is full of sloppy foods, fun and games. Thankfully, the Internet (and, probably, your grandma) is full of advice on cleaning up all those stains. We compiled nine of the most popular summer stain cleaners from reliable sources, including Good Housekeeping magazine and the cleaning expert Mrs. Meyer. Then we put them to the test, and found very mixed results.

1. Cleaning Grass Stains

Verdict: Success. I read that I could “Shout out” the grass stains on my jeans, with 15 minutes of treatment with Shout or other pre-wash cleaning treatment, as suggested by Real Simple magazine.† This was supposed to mow down the stain, and it may have worked on a fresher stain. However, we had to go three rounds with the long-stained left knee of some faded work jeans. The second step was to use a mix of two parts water and one part white vinegar, then rinse with cold water. Step three was a laundry wash in the hot cycle. After all that, there was just barely a trace of grass on my jeans.

As another option for grass stains, Good Housekeeping recommends putting enzyme-based laundry detergent into the stain and let it sit for five minutes. Then launder with bleach and hot water, as recommended on the clothing label.

2. Cleaning Mud Stains

Verdict: Significant improvement. Some of the biggest summer stains are among the easiest to remove. I scrubbed mud-stained pants in cold water, then washed on the hot cycle, as recommended by Good Housekeeping. The result was pants that looked far less muddy, though Iím not sure they are clean enough for dinner with the in-laws. If this method doesnít work, the stain may be caused by iron-heavy clay soils and should be treated like iron rust stains. Good Housekeeping recommends using a commercial rust remover for deep cleaning. These are harsh cleaners with toxic ingredients, so read and follow label directions carefully.

Next: ketchup & mustard stains

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Read more: Conscious Consumer, Home, Household Hints, Non-Toxic Cleaning,

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62 comments

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4:33PM PDT on Jul 26, 2011

Thanks for posting! As for the sweat stains, I just treated a white shirt for that very thing today! I used equal parts baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and water...put the potion on the stain and let it rest for 30 min. then rinsed and washed. I think there is a faint trace of the yellow pit stain but there was definitely significant improvement!!

6:27PM PDT on Jul 11, 2011

To get a lot of stains out, I follow my mom's and grandmother's ways. As far as I'm concerned, there's a reason a lot of our old-fashioned methods are still around, now with the added benefit of not hurting our precious environment.

Juice squeezed from a fresh lemon (not bottled) onto whites followed by an hour of sunshine is still a great way to get out stains. Candle wax or crayons usually come up using paper towels or old cotton towels and an iron as hot as the material can handle. A cotton ball wet with alcohol stops many stains before they begin; fresh ink, chocolate, permanent marker, food coloring (in some materials), and tomato-based foods will not set (for the most part) if the spot is rubbed with alcohol until it's saturated and gone (saved a white tee today from chocolate stain doing this). For pet odors, scrub area with white vinegar (check colorfastness). For grease, I use a baking soda paste in hot water with baking soda disolved in it. White toothpaste and soft bristle toothbrush has saved many white cottons for me.

I try new items when they come along, but it's easier (and cheaper!) to use old-fashioned methods when they work best, and I usually have everything on hand. The one item in my arsenal that I am no longer able to get in this area is Arm & Hammer washing soda. I miss it, and have substituted plain baking soda.

3:09AM PDT on Jul 9, 2011

great suggestions

9:59PM PDT on Jun 27, 2011

Great tips!

12:40PM PDT on Jun 27, 2011

I try and wash the stain out as soon as it happens and have really good luck getting them out with a little baking soda, castile soap and a toothbrush.

12:31AM PDT on Jun 27, 2011

Thanks for the tips

1:46PM PDT on Jun 26, 2011

Awesome, thanks for sharing :)

6:32AM PDT on Jun 26, 2011

Thanks for sharing!

5:05AM PDT on Jun 26, 2011

Noted with thanks.

11:47PM PDT on Jun 25, 2011

They are called staines for a reason...

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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