Saturday, April 21, 2012

S is for Stain Removal

I often tell my friends and family I am the laundry stain removal queen.  I may be exaggerating a bit, but I'm pretty good at getting stains out of clothes. I have only found one or two stains stubborn enough I had to toss the garment.

I thought today, I might share some tips for getting tough spots out.

First things first; go buy some Borax and some Fels-Naptha. Borax costs four of five dollars and one bar of Fels-Naptha is less than a dollar at Wal-Mart.

Borax is an all natural laundry booster that has been around for 4,000 years. No, really. It's a mineral made up of sodium, boron, oxygen and water. It works like Oxy-Clean only better.

Fels-Naptha is a 100 year old stain remover and pre-treater. I swear by the stuff.

I add a little Borax to every load, unless I am bleaching our socks and undergarments. I treat every stain with Fels-Naptha.

To treat a stain with Fels-Naptha, get the garment wet and then rub the stain with the bar. Let the item sit for one to three minutes and then launder as usual. Do not use laundry bar soap on soda stains. I don't know why, but I'm not willing to find out.

There are a few stains that can be a bit tricky. I have special tricks for those.

Dry erase marker is a real pain. If you spray it with a main-line pre-treater, the stain will set and be there forever. I've been trying for a year to get dry erase ink out of a pair of pants my son doesn't even fit into anymore. However, Fels-Naptha will take it out in one or two washes. Just don't dry it between washes if it doesn't come out the first time.

Oil and grease stains seem to be rather stubborn also. Pre-treat the stain with a tiny bit of liquid dish soap. Not too much or you will over suds your washer. You can combine the dish soap with Fels-Naptha for extremely difficult grease stains.

Most people assume hair dye will not come out. They are only partially right. Sometimes, hair dye is there for good. I manage to remove stray dye drips by rinsing the spot with water and then spraying liberally with hairspray. If the stain did not come out in the first wash, I try more hair spray and Fels-Naptha. If the stain has lightened considerably by then, I try hair spray and Fels again, or, if they item is white, bleach. If the stain hasn't faded at all by the third wash, it's time to give up.

Finally, blood. Bloodstains are actually very easy to remove. Rinse the spot with 3% hydrogen-peroxide and then launder as usual. You can pre-treat after the peroxide treatment if you wish.

Good luck with your stains.

The Dial Corporation, owner of the Borax and Fels-Naptha's brands did not compensate me in any way, shape, or form for this post. I did not receive money or free product. I honest to goodness use these products in my home everyday. If, however, a representative of the Dial Corporation reads this and would like to compensate me, feel free to shoot me an email.


  1. I'm going to have to try some of the Fels-Naptha. ~someone~ in my house left a tube of chapstick in her jeans pocket and now there are spots on 3 of my shirts that I wear for work! Grr!

    Thanks for the tips!

    1. Combine it with aa little dawn or other liquid dishsoap. Chapstick is greasy stuff.

  2. My grandmother had Borax on her shelf. I have it on mine. Why mess with something that works?
    #17 following

    1. If a product has been around uunchanged for 100 years, it must be good.

  3. This is great information! My son has a real knack for staining his clothes!

    1. I learned about Fels-Napths from MOPS (Mothers of Preschooler). Go figure.

  4. great info, thanks so much for sharing this


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