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How to get rid of stains on white clothes

Stains are commonly found on white clothes. This article will explain what methods and products you should use to get rid of stains like these.

Updated

clean white jeans on a pink carpet

Think you’ve ruined your favourite white shirt with a stain? Don’t fear, use our how to get rid of stains on white clothes guide to make stubborn stains like blood and perspiration marks vanish.

Don’t let yellow stains or a little blood from a cut make you throw away your white clothes. Follow our steps on how to remove stains from white clothes and be sure to read the what to avoid section as you don’t want to cause the stain to set. You may need to repeat sections or try more than one method in order to successfully remove the stain. Remember it is important to act fast before the stain can set in and always check the wash care label of the garment before you try to clean it.

You will need:

  • Washing machine
  • Clean cloth
  • Laundry detergent
  • White vinegar
  • Salt
  • Cold water
  • Ammonia

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Laundry detergent

  1. Add laundry detergent directly to the stain

    Commercial laundry detergents such as Persil can be used to get rid of stains like ketchup, jam, and grass. Place a small amount of liquid laundry detergent on the stained area and leave it for five minutes.

  2. Rinse the garment through cold running water

    Remove the laundry detergent by placing the stain under cold running water.

  3. Wash in washing machine on a normal cycle

    Put the garment into a washing machine and wash on a normal cycle with your regular laundry detergent.

White vinegar

White vinegar is a liquid most households will have in the cupboard. You can use it to get those yellow stains out of white shirts along with blood stains too.

  1. Pour white vinegar directly onto the stain

    For a sweat stain or deodorant marks pour a bit of white vinegar directly onto the stain.

  2. Gently rub the white vinegar into the stain

    Rub the white vinegar into the stain to make sure it is entirely covered.

  3. Wash on a normal wash cycle

    With the white vinegar covering the stain, wash the garment on a normal wash cycle in the washing machine.

Salt

Salt might not be an automatic choice when looking at how to get a stain out of a white shirt, but it can be surprisingly effective.

  1. Soak the garment in cold salt water

    Let the garment soak for 3-4 hours in cold salt water.

  2. Rub the stain with laundry detergent

    Apply liquid laundry detergent directly to the stain and rub with fingers to soak the stain.

  3. Wash in a normal wash cycle

    With the laundry detergent directly on the stain, put in the washing machine your normal wash cycle.

Has your lifestyle during the Covid-19 lockdown affected the type of stains you get on your clothes?

Ammonia

Still can’t get those yellow stains out of white shirts? Try treating the stain with ammonia. Rub out sweat stains, blood or even urine stains on white clothes by dabbing the area with a half-strength solution of ammonia and water before washing.

How to get rid of stains on white clothes – what to avoid

  • Don’t bleach yellow stains. Avoid chlorinated bleach as this may actually darken the stain.

  • Don’t use a dark coloured cloth or towel to rub the stain.

  • If you’re unsure what kind of stain you’re dealing with don’t use hot water. Heat can cause protein-based stains such as blood, egg, or milk to set.

  • Don’t iron, press, or machine-dry a stained garment, since heat causes stains to set. Instead, allow items to dry in natural sunlight.

Once you've got the stains removed, why not read our article on getting your clothes looking white again!

Originally published