07/20/2016 03:56 EDT | Updated 07/20/2016 04:00 EDT

How To Remove Stains From White Clothing

According to the laws of thermodynamics, typically, all white clothing will keep you cooler in the summer. That’s not always true but it’s enough to have convinced the vast majority of us that we should wear white most during the summer months.

Along with the wearing of white comes the inevitable struggle of keeping it…well, white.

white outfit street style

If like me, you love wearing all white ensembles but you happen to love marinara sauce and overstuffed tacos just as much, you can probably attest to the struggle.

Stains will happen to white clothing and sometimes they’ll refuse to budge despite repeated washes. It proves rather frustrating everytime you remove that recently stained shirt from the wash only to see the faded reminder of a great night out eating pulled pork sammies.

Fortunately, you’ve discovered this article and will now proceed to banish stains from your whites forever.

white clothes stains

Stock up on stain removal products

Before we school you on how to effectively remove stains from whites, you’ll need a few key items.

Hit your local supermarket and stock up on baking soda, vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, dish soap, oxygen bleach and a good old fashion bag of lemons.

Pre-treat ASAP

The quicker you can treat the stain, the better your chances of getting it out completely. This is especially important when you’re dealing with white clothing.

Dish washing liquid is great for pre-treating stains and it’s an item you probably already have at home. Don’t take my word for it but apparently, Blue Dawn Dish Soap has achieved a cult-like following for its astonishing cleaning abilities.

If you want, mix in a little hydrogen peroxide with the dish soap and apply it to the stain. For tougher stains, let the solution sit for a while.

Grab a toothbrush and start scrubbing the area. You might even get the stain out completely after this step.

Use vinegar for sweat stains

Sweat stains are an embarrassing reminder that you have the potential to smell really bad. The good news is, the yellow-ish stains that make your white clothing look old and dingy can be easily removed.

Soak your white clothes in a large bowl filled with lukewarm water and vinegar.

Create a paste using hydrogen peroxide, salt, baking soda and more vinegar. Apply the paste to the offending stain(s) and let it sink in for 15-20 minutes.

Toss the item into the wash as you normally would and watch as it emerges like the crisp white entity you knew it to be.

Wash in hot water

It can get dicey when washing with hot water but this tactic will also get your whites their whitest. Laundry can be a dangerous game so be sure to read the label thoroughly.

If the fabric can handle a bit of heat and is heavily soiled, use hot water but take extra precautions to make sure you only have other whites in the mix. The last thing you need is your blue underwear to bleed on to your whites.

Strong, resilient fabrics like cotton can usually withstand hotter temperatures but always double check the label.

Use a laundry booster

You’ve decided there’s no way you’re letting that stain stick around and you’ve taken the necessary steps to ensure victory, including pre-treating and soaking the item in question.

If you really want to be sure there’s no trace of that stain left, add a laundry booster to your cycle. Borax or OxiClean are good store bought options but you can also make your own homemade laundry booster with baking soda.

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