If you live with kids, you know all about stains. Stains on their clothes, on yours, on the couch, the carpet, the walls. Everything they come in contact with, and sometimes even things you didn’t think were possible- you should see my kitchen ceiling above where my Monkey eats!
So, as a mom, you need to be equipped with all the stain removing tools and know how you can. There are four types of stains, protein stains (milk, Formula etc.), oil stains (auto grease, olive oil, etc), tannin stains (coffee, tea, coke), and dye stains.
Protein stains are awful, and we all get them with newborns. The thing to remember is to wash these in cold water. Hot water could set the stains further by cooking the proteins. Gross right? Usually I pre-treat with Dreft or Shout spray. I let the pre-treatment sit for a good long time before washing in cold water with regular detergent.
Oil stains have their own issues. You can’t often pre-treat them because they seem to mysteriously appear. I often don’t notice them until after I have washed the item. Big Daddy works in a restaurant and often comes home covered in grease. For his dress shirts I soak them in Dawn Dishwashing Detergent and very hot water. It has gotten rid of a majority of his stains.
Tannin stains aren’t too familiar here. We don’t do much coffee, tea, or coke, but I do know you should choose a detergent with enzymes in it. I usually take the garment and put the detergent straight on the stain just like I would a spray pre-treat. Don’t dry the clothes until you are absolutely sure the stain is gone. The heat in the dryer can cook the sugar, caramelizing it and turning the stain a deeper brown.
Finally, we have dye stains. My only advice here is that if you are working with dyes, don’t wear clothes you want to keep. I don’t think I have ever truly removed a dye stain. For sure, keep all dyes away from the kids!
As with all laundry tips, try every treatment on an inconspicuous spot to ensure it won’t ruin your fabric.