Life Lessons with Emily: Remove stains

In life, certain tragedies are inevitable. One that comes to mind is discovering a stain on a favorite item of clothing. Stains can be stubborn beasts, and can even ruin clothes. However, there are ways to combat these nasty eye-sores and save your favorite shirt or pair of pants. Erica O’Neal told me about two ways to get stains out of clothes, and I decided to put them to the test.
The first method she proposes is to spray Windex on the stain before putting it in the wash. Windex has ammonia in it, and the theory is that this cleaning agent will also clean clothes. Because of the ammonia though, if left on clothes for too long, Windex could potentially bleach clothes.
Another method O’Neal suggests is to use salt. Wet the item of clothing and rub salt on the stain. Afterwards, put it in the washing machine. The salt method is supposedly good for removing blood stains.
Using a friend’s old undershirt, I created a small experiment using grass and ketchup stains. Typically, stains will fall under one of two categories: greasy or non-greasy. The grass represented non-greasy stains, and ketchup represented greasy stains.
One grid designated the control–no stain remover method was used here. The other two grids were for the Windex method and the salt method, respectively.
After applying the cleaning agents, I washed the shirt on hot. When removing stains from clothes, always check to make sure the stain is fully gone before drying it. As the stains had not disappeared after the washing cycle ended, I reapplied the Windex and salt and washed the shirt for another cycle.
The salt method worked best for the grass stain, though it did not completely remove the stain. There was not much difference between the control and the Windex.
Both methods worked quite well for the ketchup. However, the stain was almost completely removed from the control grid, too.
I would not say that these methods were a complete bust, as they did work a little. Stains are finicky, and the slightest change in type of stain or material of clothing can alter results. I would suggest trying these methods, but researching methods specific to your stain and clothing type will help a great deal.
Remember, the earlier you catch stains, the easier they are to remove. Carry a Tide to Go Instant Stain Remover pen with you, so if you do stain your clothes, you can begin the treatment process immediately. Although, the easiest way to get rid of stains is to avoid them in the first place!