Have you spilled your drink on the couch? Did you drop a spoon on your favorite t-shirt while enjoying some soup? The immediate thought is how to remove that stain. We all have been there. You might run to the store and buy a potent and harsh chemical that will perhaps remove the stain but which may be harmful and damage the thing on which it is applied. What if we tell you that something natural can work as miraculously on stains as any chemical would? This natural alternative is one of the most common household items. We are sure you have eaten it too in your favorite dessert.
No, this is not a trick. We are talking about baking soda which is available at home. Baking soda or sodium bicarbonate is a versatile item. It is a cleaning agent, deodorizer, buffering and leavening agent, and a fire extinguisher. It is the most inexpensive, gentle, non-toxic method of getting rid of horrid stains from clothes, upholstery, tiles, and other surfaces.
Stains are inevitable. You will have a laundry disaster at one point or the other. This article aims to teach you how to remove nasty stains so that you don’t have to lose that favorite dress because of a stain. The key to any stain removal is to pre-treat. Washing the cloth with detergent is not always enough. Therefore, pre-treat your fabric as soon as it gets stained. This will make the entire process faster and smoother.
The ABCs of stain removal
These are quite literally the ABCs of stain removal. Once you learn these, you will become a master at treating stains.
Stains are dangerous. But what is riskier than that? It is not treating or acting on them as soon as possible. Fresh stains are easy to treat and remove. The more it stays on the cloth, the more it sets and becomes a permanent stain. So, pre-treat the fabric right away.
Stain removers are meant for stains, but they can often bleach the color of the cloth itself. To prevent such a laundry massacre, always test the color fastness of the fabric. Some fabric dyes bleed with every wash. You have to be extra cautious while removing stains from such sources. Baking soda is a gentle cleanser but it too can strip off the dye depending on the fabric.
After you pre-treat the stain, wash it with regular detergent. Here comes the crucial step. Before you put it in the dryer, thoroughly check for any remnants of the stain. Because once it is dried with heat, any remaining spot will become a permanent embellishment. If you aren’t satisfied with what you see after washing, pre-treat and wash again.
How to pre-treat various stains?
Baking soda is a powerful cleaner and can remove even the toughest stains. A baking soda paste is made to pre-treat stains. Baking soda and water (warm water) are mixed in a ratio of 2:1 to get the desired consistency. Of course, this can be tweaked according to the material and the toughness of the stain. Apply this paste generously on the spot you want to treat and wait for some time before you wash it. The baking soda paste traps and breaks down the stain and removes it. You can also directly spread baking soda on some spots instead of applying the paste.
Sweat stains on the back, collars of the shirt, or in and around the armpit area can become a nuisance. It looks ugly and smells horrible. To banish these sweat marks, apply the baking soda paste and leave it one for an hour or two. Once it dries, brush it off and wash it. This paste looks after not only the stain but also removes the odor.
Blood stains can become a nightmare if not treated immediately. Soak the cloth in a bucket of cold water before you apply the baking soda paste. Leave on the paste for at least an hour before washing it off. Baking soda will dissolve and lift the blood stain gently off the cloth.
We know that spilling sauce on your dress while eating noodles is the last thing anyone wants. Do not fret. We have got you covered. Have you ever seen stains on chef coats? No, right? They are impeccably white. They are toiling in the kitchen for hours and spill so many sauces and whatnot on their coats. Then what is the secret behind the whiteness of their coats? Baking soda. For a white fabric, you can soak it in a tub of water with some detergent, a cup of baking soda, and a fabric brightener. Once they are well-soaked, remove the clothes and wash them.
Wine and fruit stains can be the worst if not tended to immediately. Pour baking soda directly on the stain and let it sit. The baking powder will break down the stain molecules, absorb any excess liquid and prevent it from leaching into the surrounding areas. Later on, run warm water through the back of the stain. This is a miraculous way of removing wine stains from fabrics.
Some stains, like sweat stains, have a terrible odor. You might have seen often, after treating and removing the spot, the smell lingers that can be off-putting. Unlike any other stain remover, baking soda does not mask the smell but neutralizes it. Therefore, baking soda is a very popular stain remover plus deodorizer. For smelly stains, opt for baking soda. You can spread it on the cloth, which will soak up the moisture and remove the odor. Or you can rub a paste of baking soda on it, which will remove both the stain and the smell.
New mothers can relate to obstinate vomit stains. They will ruin the clothes and upholstery, and these stains also have a nasty lingering odor. But how do you tend to the stains when everything else is in chaos? If you can’t wash off the spots immediately, sprinkle baking soda right away on the site. Once you have got a hold on the rest of the things, tend to the stain. Rub the baking soda into the fabric and then wash it off. This will tackle both the spots and the rancid odor.
If there’s anything terrible than wine stains, it has to be grease stains. They not only leave marks, but it forms a weird sticky lamination on the surface of the cloth that will not budge, no matter what detergent you use. But baking soda is such a unique substance that it can even break down grease molecules and lift them. Pour baking soda on the site and let it rest for about an hour. Then take a toothbrush, rub it on the spot and wash it off. If there’s an oily film left, you can add some vinegar to it to instantly remove any remaining greasiness.
One thing is clear: baking soda is an all-rounder. So, if you have got baking soda at home, you need not worry about stains. The stain removal capacity of baking soda is not limited to fabrics; it can also remove water marks and stains from tiles, faucets, and showers. Because of its whitening properties, baking soda is also used in dentistry to remove stains from teeth enamel.
So, sip that wine while sitting on your couch, play with paint with your kids, and let your kids jump into that mud puddle when it rains. These moments are what you will cherish forever. Remember with baking soda, any stain is temporary!
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