Laundry Tips

Doing laundry can be a chore. @HomeRentals hopes to lighten the load by offering laundry and stain removal tips:

Laundry Basics

  • Be sure to read labels. You may be surprised to find that many items have special washing instructions.
  • While you're sorting laundry into piles of whites, lights, darks, brights and delicates, check clothing for stains and pockets or pant cuffs for any items you've forgotten.
  • To avoid snagging, check and secure zippers, buttons, snaps and buckles. Also, unroll cuffs on shirts or pants, and tie drawstrings.
  • Once you've sorted your laundry, avoid overloading machines. It's best to never fill the tub more than ¾ full. When putting clothes into the washer, don't pack them inside the tub.

Got a stain?

Getting it out may be easier than you think - if you use the right techniques.

  • Act quickly to remove stains.
  • Remove as much stain as possible by brushing or scraping. Do not rub.
  • Pretest fabrics before using any stain remover, especially colored fabrics.
  • Never use hot water on stains; it will set them.
  • When using cleaning agents, follow instructions; use rubber gloves and avoid directly breathing harmful chemicals.
  • Work on glass or a surface that will not be damaged by cleaning agents.
  • Do not use alcohol on acrylic, acetate or triacetate fabrics.
  • Do not use vinegar on cotton/linen.
  • Do not use ammonia or enzyme products on wool/silk.
  • Do not use soak products on wool/silk.
  • For best results, place stained areas face down on paper towels - preferably white - and apply stain remove to the underside of the stain.
  • Soaking may help loosen old stains.
  • When in doubt, have the stain treated by a professional dry cleaner.

Stain Removal Tips

Here are some effective ways to remove common stains. Follow with your regular washing procedure unless otherwise noted:

  • Alcoholic beverages: Immediately flush or sponge stains with cold water, then soak in detergent and cool water. For red wine, use a pretreat product or a safe dry cleaning solvent.
  • Blood: Cover area with meat tenderizer and apply warm water to make a paste. Wait 15-30 minutes and then sponge with cool water or soak using an enzyme soak product. Use diluted chlorine bleach for whites or bleach powder for colored fabrics, if necessary.
  • Coffee, tea, chocolate, cocoa: Soak in warm water or cold water. An enzyme soak product may help. Brush area vigorously with a paste of detergent and hot water. Remove grease stains with a safe dry cleaning solvent.
  • Crayon and candle wax: Scrape off excess wax with a dull knife and sponge with a safe dry cleaning solvent.
  • Cream, milk, ice cream, dairy: Sponge with a safe dry cleaning agent. If needed, follow procedure for chocolate or fruit stains.
  • Deodorant: For light stains, treat with your regular laundry detergent. For heavier stains, treat with a safe dry cleaning solvent. Wash with the warmest water safe for the stained fabric.
  • Fat, grease, oil: Sponge with a safe dry cleaning solvent or try treating with a liquid detergent.
  • Food stains: Sponge with a safe dry cleaning solvent. If necessary, use diluted bleach for whites or bleach powder for fabrics. For severe or older stains, soak in warm water for several hours with a detergent or an enzyme soak product.
  • Fruits, non-green vegetable, mildew: Soak in warm or cold water with a detergent and wash as usual. For difficult stains, cover area with bleach powder and apply a few drops of hot water to make a paste. Add a few drops of ammonia after checking for fabric resistance. Wait 15-30 minutes and wash as usual.
  • Grass, green vegetables: Soak in warm or cold water, or sponge with denatured alcohol after checking colorfastedness of fabric. Wash at an appropriate temperature with bleach safe for the stained fabric. For acetate, try sponging with a safe dry cleaning solvent.
  • Gum: Rub hardened chewing gum with an ice cube. Scrape off excess and sponge with a safe dry cleaning solvent.
  • Ink or ballpoint: Sponge with a safe dry cleaning solvent. Brush with a detergent paste and ammonia water if safe for fabric. On colorfast fabrics, try wetting with hair spray or rubbing alcohol and blotting. India ink and other indelible inks are practically impossible to remove completely.
  • Lipstick, cosmetics: Light stains may be removed by using a pretreat product or liquid detergent with careful rubbing. For most stains, it is best to use a professional dry cleaner.
  • Motor oil, tar: Remove excess by blotting with paper towels or scraping off. Use a safe dry cleaning solvent and pretreat area with a liquid detergent.
  • Mud: Scrape off excess. Apply pretreat detergent, wash in cold water and then in warm water. For red mud or mud that may contain iron, try rust removal methods. Non-chlorine bleach may be used.
  • Nail polish: Place stained area face down on paper towel. Sponge with nail polish remover if fabric is acetone resistant or a safe dry cleaning solvent.
  • Paint: Scrape off fresh paint and sponge with a safe dry cleaning solvent.
  • Perspiration, diaper soil: Soak in warm water with an enzyme soak product. Wash in warmest water safe for stained fabric. If the stain remains, dampen and sprinkle with meat tenderizer. Let stand 30 minutes to one hour. Treat with a safe dry cleaning solvent, rub detergent on stain and rewash.
  • Rust, iron: Use rust remover and follow package directions. If bleaching is necessary, only use non-chlorine bleach powder.
  • Scorch: Bleach with diluted chlorine bleach. For colored fabrics, use a bleach powder.

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