How to remove set in stains | The Great American Laundromat (2023)

In a perfect world, you would be able to treat stains as soon as spills happen. However, in reality, that is definitely not an option for most of us — especially when kids are in the equation. If you have reached your wit’s end trying to remove set in stains from your family’s clothing, we have good news for you! Below is our quick guide for learning how to remove set in stains.

There are actually a variety of effective ways to remove even the most stubborn stains from your clothing and linens. All you need is a little bit of time and some elbow grease. Ready to get started? Here are our top solutions for removing set in stains from just about anything.

Solution 1: Remove set in stains with good, old-fashioned bleach

The reason this tried-and-true cleaning method has maintained its popularity over the years is that it is one of the easiest and most effective options for getting rid of stains. When choosing a bleach stick to an oxygen bleach product that is powdered and includes sodium percarbonate and sodium carbonate in its formulation. Some of the top options on the market include OxiClean, Oxo-Brite, and Biokleen.

Once you have your bleach ready to go, it is time to find a container that you can soak your soiled clothing in for five to six hours. When choosing a container, be sure to factor in enough room for both the stained item and the bleach water solution.

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After choosing the perfect container, it is time to treat your stain! You will want to fill your container with hot water (cold water will not have effective results with oxygen bleach) and then add the bleach according to the directions on the container.

Now it’s time for a good long soak. The amount of time needed to remove a set in stain will vary depending on the severity of the stain. For optimum results, we suggest letting your clothing soak for five to six hours. While it soaks be sure to check in from time to time on the progress. You may also want to give the clothing an occasional stir to ensure the bleach does not all settle on the bottom of the container.

Following this process run your item through a normal laundry cycle. Once you have washed the item, check it to ensure the stain is completely removed, since drying can actually set the stain. If the stain is still there, you may need to use this same method again, or you may want to move on to another solution for the removal of set stains.

And that leads us to . . .


Solution 2: How to remove set in stains with white vinegar!

Yet again white vinegar comes to the rescue when it comes to household chores. Considered to be as effective as oxygen bleach by many, white vinegar is incredibly powerful when it comes to removing stubborn stains. To treat your stained clothing or linen follow the below easy steps.

1. Begin your treatment process by saturating the stained area of your garment with white vinegar.
2. After fully saturating the area, create a paste from white vinegar and baking soda, and vigorously rub the stained area.
3. Once you have done this, it’s time for a good soak. For this you can either fill a container with enough vinegar to completely cover the stain, and place the item in to soak, or, you can mix several tablespoons of white vinegar and your favorite laundry detergent in a bucket of water and soak the stain overnight.
4. Following this, give the item a good rinse and run it through a normal laundry cycle.
5. Similarly to the bleach method, do not dry the item if the stain is not thoroughly removed, as this can make worsen the stain. If the stain persists re-try this solution, or look into a stain-fighting treatment tailored to your specific type of stain.

And that leads us to . . .

Solution 3: Choose a treatment specific to your stain

If you have tried the first two stain removal solutions with little or no success, it may be time to try a treatment focused on the specific stain causing agent. Below are some of the most common causes of stains and the best solutions for getting rid of them successfully.

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Blood Stains

When it comes to getting rid of blood stains there are a variety of effective treatment options. A few of these include hydrogen peroxide, cornstarch, ammonia, soda, WD-40, and even meat tenderizer.

Ink Stains

Believe it or not, hairspray is actually the key to getting rid of tough ink stains! To use this method, simply spray the stained area with a hairspray of your choice. After this, just dab the area with a vinegar soaked rag and watch the ink magically disappear from sight.

Sweat Stains

Another surprising stain removal technique is using crushed aspirin to remove sweat stains. You heard us right! To use this method, crush up three aspirin pills (uncoated) and mix with a half cup of water that is room temperature. Soak the stain in this solution for two to three hours, give it a good wash, and voila! Your clothing should be as good as new.

Grease Stains

Grease stains can be incredibly frustrating to remove, so it makes sense to use a product formulated specifically for grease removal: dish soap! To use this treatment method, fill a ziplock bag with dish soap and hot water, and place the garment inside. Shake it up, let it soak, and your stain should be nothing but a distant memory.

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Want to learn more about easy ways to optimize your laundry routine to get your clothing and linens looking their cleanest and brightest? Contact our team of laundry experts today!

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How do you get stains out of already set in? ›

Douse the stain with white vinegar, then apply a paste made of equal parts baking soda and vinegar. If this doesn't work, immerse the item overnight in a bucket of water containing a few tablespoons of detergent and vinegar. Rinse and wash the following morning.

How do you get hard set stains out? ›

“Use a solution of 50 percent vinegar and 50 percent water on the stain. Apply liberally and then treat with laundry soap and water. “DO NOT put the garment in the dryer until you have seen that the stain is gone,” he warns.

What is the best stain remover for set in stains? ›

OxiClean has the best overall value for its ability to tackle tough, set-in stains on clothes and throughout other household areas. We think it's the best laundry stain cleaner on the market and can replace several products in the laundry room. OxiClean is also easy to use in most cases.

How do you remove unknown set in stains? ›

Mix 1 tablespoon of liquid laundry detergent with enzymes with 1 cup of water. Add 1/4 teaspoon of white vinegar and stir. Use a Dobie All Purpose Cleaning Pad to apply the detergent-vinegar mixture to your unidentified stain. Blot with the pad until the stain is gone.

How do you get deep set stains out of clothes? ›

For tough stains, try blotting the stains with one of the following: 1/3 cup vinegar in 2/3 cup water; 2 tablespoons ammonia in 1 cup water; or rubbing alcohol, either straight or mixed with an equal amount of water. Rinse well and then launder as usual.

Will Dawn remove set in stains? ›

Turns out the solution to these stubborn stains has been right in front of my face this entire time: It's Dawn Dish Soap.


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