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Homekeeping · Laundry · 7 Stain Removal Mistakes You Should Avoid At All Costs
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7 Stain Removal Mistakes You Should Avoid At All Costs

The difference between effectively removing a stain and making it even worse could be as simple avoiding these errors!

Whether it’s red wine on your favorite blouse or a greasy splotch on your sofa, a significant spill or splatter can be enough to send anyone into a tizzy! It’s easy to panic and make a rash decision about stain removal in haste, but making the wrong move can ultimately be worse than taking your time to think things through!

While I can’t stop you from panicking over a sudden stain (believe me, if I could, I would have done it for myself already!), I can explain why it’s important to avoid certain panic-induced stain interventions! And that’s what I plan to do here, where I’ll be sharing 7 mistakes you should avoid in order to give your stained clothes, upholstery, and carpets a fighting chance!

For more stain removal tips and trick, check out my eBook How To Wash Everything! You can get it in my shop, or download it free if you’re an OGT Plus member.

7 Stain Removal Mistakes That Make Matters Worse

1. Rinsing With Hot Water

Pause before you rinse that stain with piping hot water! While your instincts may tell you that hot water will help dissolve whatever substance caused the stain, that isn’t the only thing worth considering!

Hot water can permanently set certain stains, especially protein-based ones like blood, and make them nearly impossible to remove. To stay on the safe side, always use cold water to flush soiled spots.

2. Rubbing At A Stain

My mother taught me to always dab or blot stains (especially fresh ones) and her advice has never led me astray! Rubbing at a stain can be counterproductive, both because it puts stress on the soiled fabric and it can potentially make the stain even bigger. Blotting a stain instead of rubbing it will help you avoid both these problems.

3. Drying An Item Before The Stain Is Gone

We’ve all thrown a stained item in the wash ASAP to prevent the stain from setting, but it’s important to make sure the stain is completely gone before drying it! As I mentioned above, heat can set stains permanently, so you don’t want to dry a stained item until you’re completely satisfied that the stain is gone.

It’s always a good idea to treat a stain first (I use my Ultimate Stain Remover Spray for just about everything, apart from blood and ink, which are best treated specially), then wash the soiled garment and check it afterward.

4. Mixing Stain Removers

It’s never a good idea to mix chemicals, even when it comes to stain removers, because certain chemicals can create harmful gases when mixed. So when you’re treating a stain, choose one stain remover and give it a go. If the stain remains after going through a wash cycle, feel free to try a different approach!

5. Using Too Much Stain Remover

You want to ensure your stain remover of choice covers the stain, but you don’t want to oversaturate it! Applying too much stain remover can make it almost impossible to rinse out completely (especially when you’re working with carpets or upholstery). To avoid overdoing it, apply stain removers lightly in repeated applications if necessary.

6. Letting Stains Sit Too Long

Once you’ve decided on the best way to treat your stain, tackle it right away! It can be tempting to throw the soiled item in your laundry hamper and let it sit until your next laundry day, but the longer a stain sits, the harder it can be to remove completely—especially it the stain is colorful or greasy. So rinse and treat those stains promptly!

7. Attacking A Stain From The Center

Similar to wiping up a spill on your kitchen counter, trying to clean a stain up from the center raises the risk of spreading it around. Approach the stain from the outside edges to help prevent it from spreading or seeping.

Do you have any tips for tackling tough stains?

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    Hi, I’m Jillee!

    I believe we should all love the place we call home and the life we live there. Since 2011, I’ve been dedicated to making One Good Thing by Jillee a reliable and trustworthy resource for modern homemakers navigating the everyday challenges of running a household. Join me as I share homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make life easier so you can enjoy it more!

    Every day I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

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