Removing Stains from White Clothes
What's the best way of removing stains from khaki clothes? Most stain-remover laundry products leave stains themselves on the khakis.
My Mom taught me this laundry stain remover trick 20 years ago and I still use it on a lot of clothes today. It's using Lestoil®. It is especially good for removing oily or greasy stains, and I have used it on khaki and other colored pants. I make sure to cover the stain with Lestoil® straight from the bottle, enough to lightly coat the stained area, and then toss the clothing right into the washing machine and wash as usual. Don't let treated clothing sit before washing as some fabrics could get a lightened area. This tip has saved a lot of clothing in my family!
Betty in Brunswick, Maine
Try Dawn® dish soap. I used it on my son's khaki shorts when he spilled grape juice on them. I wet the shorts and applied Dawn® liberally to the spot. Then I soaked in cold water overnight and hung the shorts to dry. I then re-washed the shorts.
I use lye soap. It is safe for all colors. I live in an area that has an abundance of red clay. I never could get it out. A friend told me she used lye soap. I got some and it really works. Rub it on the stain and scrub with a soft brush. Sometimes I have to repeat several times. Most of the time it takes the stain right out or lightens it enough that a color safe bleach with remove the rest of it.
The best item I have found to remove stains, particularly dirt and grease, is Simple Green®. It is biodegradable, environmentally friendly and does not leave any residue of its own behind.
I use it as my primary cleaning agent for the entire house. The jug provides directions to dilute for different cleaning jobs. It usually lasts me about a year. It's pretty inexpensive for a primary cleaning agent. It smells great and has no harmful fumes.
At our local Bed, Bath and Beyond, there is a little bottle called Grandma's Secret Spot Remover®. It works fabulous. I use it on my husband's collar on work shirts (filthy from farming) and even my Sunday clothes. You can do a drop or squirt it all over, rub, and then wash. It's great stuff!
Use an old toothbrush and scrub the stain with Ivory® soap and a little water, then wash as usual. Since the soap has no oil in it, the stain and soap should wash out in the laundry cycle.
I have found that the Shout® Advanced Gel does a really good job, but you have to follow certain steps. Spray the stain and saturate the fabric, scrub the gel into both sides of the fabric with an old toothbrush until you have activated the gel with friction, wash as usual, and hang to dry. Do not put it in the dryer nor iron it until you've inspected the item and verified that the stain came completely out. I then put the item back in with the next load of clothes just to be doubly certain that the whole stain is gone.
And add borax to the laundry when you are washing items known to show what I call "Shadows and Stains." The borax boosts the power of the detergent so things really come out cleaner. I also use vinegar instead of a commercial softener. It keeps the clothes from getting musty if they sit in the washer before you take them out, and it makes all the soap rinse out of the clothes. Fabric softener or soap residue can leave marks on your pale-colored clothes when they are put into the dryer as well as making you itch if you are sensitive.
If it happens to be an oil based stain, a bar of Fels-Naptha® soap rubbed to a foam then washed in hot water with your regular detergent usually works. A bar lasts for a long time if you keep it dry between uses.
You can use whatever detergent you want, but I keep an old shampoo pump bottle filled with liquid Tide 2X under my bathroom sink for just such things as this. I put a few pumps onto the stain, throw it into the dirty clothes hamper, and when I get around to washing it, the stain (99% of the time) comes right out with no side-effects. I never even bother buying laundry stain removers.
I have used Biz Stain Fighter for khakis that one of my son's got grass stains on. I soaked the khakis in hot water with the Biz overnight. I washed in warm water as usual with detergent. The stain came right out!
Shelley from IN
Take the Next Step:
Share your thoughts about this article with the editor: Click Here
Sign up for our free weekly eNewsletter Surviving Tough Times.
Looking for an answer to a frugal living question? Click here to ask a
Dollar Stretcher Stretchpert!
Copyright 1996 - 2013 "The Dollar Stretcher, Inc." All rights reserved unless specifically noted.
Contact the Dollar Stretcher at:
PO Box 14160
Bradenton FL 34280
"The Dollar Stretcher, Inc." does not assume responsibility for advice given. All advice should be weighed against your own abilities and circumstances and applied accordingly. It is up to the reader to determine if advice is safe and suitable for their own situation.