Laundry Tips
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Stain Removal

Stains happen, and let's face it we aren't always equipped to deal with them. The best "tool" is knowing how to treat different types of stains. Some respond better to cold water, others to hot. Some need bleach alternative, others need nothing but a rinse.

Always check the care label first and pretest stain removal products. If the item is dry clean only, blot the excess stain and take to the cleaners within 24-48 hours of the stain.

Pretreat stains

Here are some general tips for pretreating stains:

  • Allow the pretreating liquid to sit on the stain for five minutes. That way the chemistry in the detergent will have a chance to soak into the fabric and unseat the stain.
  • For deep-set stains and soils, presoak the entire garment. Fill your machine or a tub with a low level of the warmest water allowed by your garment's care label. Add detergent, let it dissolve, then add your clothes and let sit for 30 minutes. Soak longer for tougher dirt. Drain excess water and launder normally.
  • For extra-dirty clothes, consider a prewash cycle. Essentially, you pre-treat the entire garment in an initial detergent wash. Once this pre-treating is complete, drain the water and launder the garment in the hottest water the care label recommends.
  • LG washers also feature a StainCare™ option that can remove a variety of stains in a single wash.
  • Rinse thoroughly, several times.
  • Dry naturally on flat towel — not in direct sunlight or heat.
  • Smooth out garment to original shape and size.

Protein

Grease or Oil from Cars, Makeup and Food (including Butter and Mayonnaise), Collar/Cuff Soil, Deodorant/Perspiration, Gasoline

Soak fresh stains in cold water. Rub fabric against itself to dislodge stain. If stains are old, scrape off crusted material and soak in cold water with detergent. Launder in warm water with detergent. Do not use hot water to soak or wash items with protein stains (hot water may set these types of stains).

Oil-based

Baby Food/Formula, Body Soils (Feces, Urine, Vomit/Spit-Up), Blood, Dairy, Dirt/Clay/Mud, Egg, gelatin dessert

Pretreat with detergent. Make sure to work detergent into stain and let set for 10-15 minutes. Then wash in hottest water safe for fabric.

For butter or margarine stains specifically, try the following:

  • 1Using a plastic bucket, create a soak solution by adding ½ use (approx. 25 mls) detergent per gallon of warm water. Allow the garment to soak for up to 30 minutes, weighting the item with a white towel to keep it totally submerged.
  • 2Wash in warmest water setting with detergent.
  • 3If stain remains, pretreat with detergent (pour on to cover stain and let set for 20 minutes). Then, rewash in warm water.

Avoid perspiration stains by applying deodorant twice daily (once in the morning and again before bed) to provide extra protection against wetness.

Tannin

Beer, Coffee, Tea, Soft Drinks, Fruit & Juice (including Red Berries), Perfume, Wine

First rinse in cool water. Then wash fresh stains in hottest water safe for fabric with your favorite detergent. Use detergent with bleach or bleach alternative for old stains. Do not use bar soap on tannin stains — it makes them harder to remove.

Dye

Dye Transfer, Fruit (Blueberry & Cherry), Grass, Kool-Aid®, Mustard

Pretreat with detergent and rinse thoroughly. Soak in diluted solution of water and use detergent with bleach or bleach alternative. Then wash in the hottest water safe for fabric.

Combination

Ballpoint Ink, Candle Wax, Chewing Gum, Crayon, Lipstick, Shoe Polish, Chocolate, Gravy, Ketchup, BBQ and Tomato-Based Sauces

These stains generally involve two components: oil/wax and dye/pigment. Remove the oily portion first and then the dye portion.

For stains that are waxy and/or ink-based, scrape and treat with dry-cleaning solution first, then rub with detergent and scrub stain under hot water. For most other combination stains, rub detergent into stain, then wash in the hottest water possible for fabric with detergent with bleach or bleach alternative.

For candle wax on a tablecloth, try this technique. First, physically remove the stain by scraping it with a dull knife, then shake off the residue. Place the tablecloth down on a white paper towel and place another paper towel on top of it. Press with a warm — but not hot — iron, being careful to keep the iron on the paper towel. Keep changing the paper towels as needed until no more stain transfers. Finally, pretreat using detergent, then wash in warm water.

Another option is the StainCare™ option from LG, which uses multiple temperatures to remove a variety of stains within a single wash.

Taking Care of Stains on the Go

Here are some tips to help you put together a kit to deal with stains while traveling. Pack the following items in a re-sealable plastic bag or small cosmetic bag:

  • Small travel bottle (with a pull-top lid) filled with your favorite detergent or soap (for more delicate items)
  • Sturdy plastic knife (Since many airlines now restrict such items, alternatives may include a hotel card key, laminated video rental card or any other sturdy card.)
  • Portable clothesline (Two trees or the shower walls or hotel balcony make the perfect place to hang a line.)
  • Portable drain cover or access to a small bucket/dishpan (If you're camping you probably have this packed already. The hotel ice bucket works as well.)

When pretreating, remember each stain is unique and there is no one single way to treat all stains. However, with these general guidelines and your travel stain kit, you should be set until you get home to do laundry.

As always, before treating any garment, first refer to the instructions on the care label.

  • 1When the stain occurs, gently blot it with a clean paper towel or cloth to remove as much as possible.
  • 2Rinse with water if you have access (a drinking fountain works wonders) — or use ice from the cooler or your empty drink.
  • 3Get out your stain kit when you get back to the hotel or camp ground and scrape off any dried residue with the back side of the plastic knife or other smooth tool.
  • 4Squeeze detergent or soap onto the stain. Gently work it into the stain using your hands.
  • 5Soak the garment in cool water for 30 minutes. Air-dry on your clothesline.
  • 6Launder when you get home. Some tough stains may require additional treatment. If the stain is still there after washing, do not put the garment in the dryer.