Removing Stains from White Clothes

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Stained Shirts

We live overseas in Turkey. We don't have the option of running to Wal-Mart, so "other" methods of doing things really come in handy.

Living overseas can cause your clothes to look a lot older a lot quicker. Our problem is gray to black stains on our whites near the collar, especially on t-shirts. (Of, course our favorite t-shirts have the most spots.) Does anyone know what causes this? And, how do we remove the spots? I use liquid detergent, mostly Tide, but also, I use a water softner. It doesn't seem to matter if I use the water softner or not. The spots still appear. I could try bleaching the spots, but it will also bleach out the color decorations on the t-shirts.

Please help. We have two years left here with the military and I'm running out of t-shirts.
Wilma J.

Three Cup Recipe

Usually the mineral content of the water is what discolors the white clothing to the gray, dingy color. I have used this recipe with great success.

Dissolve one cup powdered Tide, one cup powdered Biz, and one cup powdered Cascade in large hot water wash load. Add clothes and soak several hours or overnight. Double rinse with cold water after final rinse.

Clorox 2 powder will not take out the designs on t-shirts. I use one cup liquid clorox on all our white to light t-shirts about once a month and they look brand new.

Removing Stains from Clothes: From the Kitchen

Use a paste made of meat tenderizer and water. Rub it into the stains just before throwing in the washer. The tenderizer breaks down the proteins (your sweat) and loosens them to lift out of the fabric. This also works wonders on baby spit up stains. As a mother of twins who spit up at every feeding, I know this!
Jan P

Simple Recipe

Several years ago, I came across a recipe for a wonderful spot remover. It is cheap and good! It is equal parts of water, ammonia, and some type of cheap dish soap. You can't get the same benefit if you use a name brand dish soap for some reason. Label a spray bottle or old dish soap bottle and keep in the laundry room. Spray or squirt a little on the spot, and with an old soft toothbrush, rub the spot. Don't let this set a long time before washing, as it can take the color out. It can set for 30 minutes or so. I have gotten coffee out of silk that the dry cleaners wouldn't touch. It took several applications. Don't put the article of clothing in the dryer; the stain sets.

I have used it on the neck of my husband's dress shirts and been successful even after going through the dryer, but it is best not to put them through the dryer.
Barbara McG.

Grease Removal

I live in an area the has bad water and I use hand cleaner like Goop (used by mechanics) to take out stains like the ones you're talking about. I have even removed stains that have been there for a while on sweat shirts and t-shirts when we get hand me downs. I add a 1/2 cup of automatic dish soap to the wash and this really makes a difference to get them brighter. Just make sure your washing machine agitates to mix this up well before you add your clothes.
Roxane C.

Removing Stains from Clothes: Old Fashioned Combination

The best way to clean clothes and save money on all those pre-treatments is with baking soda and vinegar. Add 1/2 cup baking soda to your detergent in the wash cycle or use detergent that already has baking soda in it (like Arm & Hammer). Then add 3/4 cup vinegar in the rinse. It gets the colors brighter and the whites whiter, and I rarely have to use any pre-treatments. Even in Turkey, you should be able to get baking soda and vinegar at fair prices.
Sharon P.

Try Crystal Wash. 1000 loads of laundry - no detergents, no dyes, no chemicals, no perfumes.

Spot Bleach

For dark spots that you want to bleach out without having to bleach the whole article of clothing, use a Q-tip and soft scrub with bleach. Just dab the soft scrub on the spots you want bleached and let sit. Test every five minutes until spot is gone.

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