Removing Stains From White Clothing

First, a warning:  These techniques are only to be tried on durable fabric or as a last resort before throwing the clothes out.

Over the years, there are two methods I have used for getting stains out of white fabrics.  Both these methods are pretty harsh and could potentially damage the fabric.  However, they often also work.  Look at the item and figure out if it is worth the gamble to see if either of these methods will help.  They work quite well on cotton and I have never tried them on polyester (like uniforms) because I am scared.

Recipe #1 involves taking 1/2 cup of powdered Clorox 2 bleach, 1/2 cup of powdered All laundry detergent, and 1/2 cup of Cascade dishwasher soap.  Mix together and dissolve in a large bucket or laundry tub. Soak the fabric in this mixture, checking every 20 minutes or so to see if the stain has been removed.  Rinse well when the stain has come out, and wash separately or with whites only the first time.

Recipe #2 isn’t even a recipe.  I pour about a cup of Cascade in the washing machine in lieu of the laundry soap, add the clothes, and after allowing it to agitate for a few minutes, let it sit for several hours or overnight.  I do this weekly with my white towels and bath mats.  It is the cleanest they ever get.

For more laundry stain ideas, see Laundry Helpers I Love.

About the Author

Kate Horrell
Kate Horrell is a military financial coach, mom of four teens, and Navy spouse. She has a background in taxes and mortgage banking, and a trove of experience helping other military families with their money. Follow her on twitter @realKateHorrell.
  • Ashley

    The absolute BEST solution I have ever found for stains is simply line dry in the sun! I have never found a stain that won’t come out with a little sunning. I use cloth diapers and in 14 months of use, not a single has a stain because I line dry them in the sun about once a month.

  • Anne Francis

    For blood the best solution is application of hydrogen peroxide not cold water which too frequently leaves a brownish ring in the area from the iron molecule, hemoglobin.