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9 Summer Stain Cleaners

7. Chocolate Ice Cream Stain

Verdict: Complete success. I also ended up with no trace of the chocolate ice cream I smeared on the same stain-trashed t-shirt. Reversing this one was really simple, thanks to University of Illinois Cooperative Extension. I just pre-soaked with an enzyme-based laundry detergent (Seventh Generation high-efficiency detergent) for 30 minutes, then washed in the hot cycle.

8. Bike Chain Grease

Verdict: Significant improvement. Most months, I put more miles on my bike than my car, so my hands, legs and clothes often go home with chain grease souvenirs. Mrs. Meyer offered an interesting solution: rub flour or corn meal on the spot to absorb grease. After letting it sit for a few minutes, I washed with liquid soap and rinsed with cold water, as suggested. It worked better than most methods I have tried, though my test rag ended up with a light chain grease stain.

9. Perspiration Stains

Verdict: Undetermined. I am somewhat proud to say I couldnít find any particularly ugly sweat stains on my shirts. I found a faint stain, but I canít say with certainty that I made a significant difference in attempting to clean it with Good Housekeeping’s three-step method: I scrubbed the stained area with vinegar, then rinsed in cold water. Next, I pre-treated the stain with Shout. Finally, I washed on the hot cycle. I might have an update by the end of the summer if I manage to more seriously stain my biking jerseys.

Related:
12 Ways to Use Temperature Instead of Chemicals to Clean
Clean Clothes, Happier Planet
How to Make a Non-Toxic Cleaning Kit
Image: dnabil/stock.xchng

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
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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