The Internet is rife with laundry hacks, DIY stain removers and homemade laundry detergent recipes. Many of these simply don’t work or can damage your washing machine and ruin your clothes. Some surprisingly simple tips and tricks, however, do work .Always be sure to follow manufacturer’s laundering instructions and test any alternative methods on an inside hem or other unseen portions of the fabric before using on a larger, more apparent stain.
Stain Removal Using Items Found in Your Kitchen
Your kitchen is a great resource for creative laundry solutions. For many stains, a strong solution of table salt dissolved in hot water works as well as bleach. Apply white vinegar or lemon juice to stains prior to washing or create a paste from baking soda and water and apply to the stain. For sweat stains, moisten with warm water and shake meat tenderizer on. Allow the item to sit for 30 minutes then wash as usual. Club soda, salt and milk are all effective treatments for red wine stains. Blot a lipstick stain with white bread and launder normally to remove the stain.
Safer DIY Alternatives to Bleach
Chlorine bleach is harsh, toxic and can cause negative skin reactions. As an alternative, mix 1 part 3% hydrogen peroxide to 15 parts distilled water and add lemon juice (about 3 tablespoons per cup of peroxide). Use this mixture in the washer just as you would bleach or use in a spray bottle for other household cleaning tasks. To replicate the bleaching properties of oxygen-type cleaners, mix 1 cup water with ½ cup hydrogen peroxide and ½ cup baking soda. Soak your laundry in this mixture for 2 hours then wash as usual.
Use the Sun to Get Laundry Even Cleaner
One of the best laundry hacks is free and readily available: the sun. Wash your stained item as normal then, while it’s still very wet (remove the item right after the rinse cycle if possible), hang it in the direct sun for several hours. For particularly stubborn stains on white items, apply a little lemon juice or white vinegar before you put it in the sun. After several hours, you may be surprised to find the stain has literally disappeared!
If you have ongoing problems with stains or other laundry challenges, the most likely culprit is your washing machine. A well-maintained washer will remove most stains during a normal wash cycle. Contact your local appliance repair professional and have them take a look if you think your normal cycle isn’t cleaning your clothes the way it should be. With your laundry machine in good working order, you may not need any laundry hacks to get your clothes clean and looking sharp!