Summer is definitely here now, and with it comes long, warm days, sports and other outdoor activities. If you have kids (even of the adult variety), summer also comes with stained clothing. Whether your children have come home happy from a day in the park with knees covered in green grass stains or your partner comes back from a weekend game of rugby with worse, someone needs to know how to make those clothes as good as new. Well, here’s how I do it.
The green colour in grass stains is essentially a natural dye, so it can be particularly stubborn to remove. In particular, never use ‘degreaser’ type cleaners or alkaline detergents, as these cause a chemical change whish sets the stain permanently.
• Use a laundry detergent that includes bleach or at least a ‘whitening agent’.
• Pour enough detergent directly onto the stain to cover it.
• Rub it into the material, either with your fingers or any stiff brush – an old toothbrush will work perfectly.
• Leave it to sit for around 15 minutes.
• Throw the clothing in the wash as normal – with similar colours of course.
That’s really it. Really bad stains might require another go-round, so don’t dry the item until you’ve checked it.
First, don’t let the blood dry if you can possibly avoid it. I try to soak the item in cold water if I’m not in a position to do the laundry right away. Once you are ready to get to work, though:
• Like with grass stains above, cover the stain in laundry detergent, and work it into the stain. It isn’t as important to use detergent with bleach, though. Any decent quality detergent will do fine.
• Rinse the detergent off, again with cold water. If the blood hasn’t been allowed to dry, the stain should already appear lighter.
• Now just wash the item as you normally would.
…And just like with grass stains (or any stains really), check that the stain is completely gone before drying or hanging the item out.
One last tip – I always try to line dry clothes after removing any stain. I don’t have any scientific proof, but my mum always told me the sunlight helps to break down stains. Probably the UV, I think. Besides, it uses less power.