Presoaking: My Secret (& Easy) Stain Removal Weapon
There are many stain removal techniques you can use, but one of my favorites is presoaking stains.
It is perfect for a Busy Mom like me because all I have to do is create my presoak solution and dump in my stained clothing or other fabric, and then walk away! The rest is done while I do something else, giving the solution time to work its magic.
The principal behind soaking stains is that the bleach, detergent, or other stain removers need adequate and substantial time in contact with the spot or spill to break it down and wash it away, and this technique allows that.
Often, I will have a stain I can't imagine coming out, and I let it soak, peeking at it periodically, and over time the spot fades and finally disappears.
Creating Presoak Solutions
It is very easy to create your presoak solution.
All you do is get a tub or bucket which can hold water and add your chosen stain remover to it, letting it dissolve or dilute in the water.
How To Presoak In Your Top Loading Washing Machine
While you typically use a bucket or tub to soak your stained clothing in, you can also use your top loading washing machine to accomplish the same thing. (It won't work in a front loader though.)
All you have to do is add your detergent and other laundry supplies to the water, then add your clothing, and then stop the machine to let the clothing and water/detergent mixture soak for one to several hours before turning the machine back on and letting the cycle finish.
If you're going to do this, to be effective, you'll need to add about 50% more detergent than normal to make a strong enough solution for stain removal.
Share Your Favorite Products For Soaking Stains With Me
As I mentioned above, there are several products you can use for this technique. Below I've collected some reviews and tips from readers who've shared how they've both used the technique effectively, and also what product they favor for the task.
If some pre-treater or additive removed the stains it also removed the dye leaving a bleached out spot. Over the years countless items have been consigned to the "only at home" pile, some after only one wearing.
A friend told me about soaking in a strong solution of Oxiclean and water. I first used hot water to dissolve the powder in a plastic bucket (like Taylor and the blackberry-stained shirt), but then added cold water to prevent shrinkage.
I generally soak whites over night but check colors after a few hours. There may be some dye loss, which may or may not be obvious when the garment is dry, but since it is an all-over loss, a little fading beats seeing a bleached out spot or the original stain.
I tested this method on long set in stains and it is remarkably effective. The "only at home" pile is now very small and basically consists of comfort clothes with holes that I still can't bear to part with.
I also found the Oxiclean spray works on many fresh oil/food stains without leaving bleached out spots.
Thanks so much for these great tips for presoaking laundry stains with Oxiclean Anne.
You're right, I love presoaking many types of stains because it is easy, and very effective. You just have to think ahead before you throw the clothing in the wash.
I mention this because I want people to realize they don't have to buy something specific to use the presoaking stain removal technique, but instead you can use something you most likely have in your laundry room right now will probably work, at least for many stains.
I Presoak Laundry Stains With Biz And It Works Well!
Robin has shared how she's used powdered Biz for years for her family's laundry.
I started using Biz about 28 years ago when my son was a baby. (Back then Biz only came in a powdered form, and I have stuck with the powder.)
I was desperate to find something to get formula stains out of his clothes. I used it as a presoak on his clothes and was amazed that the stains came out. Then I tried it on old stains (clothing I thought I'd have to throw out) and it worked on those too.
Sometimes I soaked clothing in the solution of Biz and water, and other times I rubbed the solution into a stain (like my son's football or baseball pants). I also added it to the wash cycle with my regular detergent. I've never been disappointed with the results!
Thanks Robin for sharing how you've used Biz. It is amazing stuff, and is actually one of my "best in class stain removers," along with Oxiclean which is mentioned above. They are both great for presoaking stains, which is quite an effective stain removal technique.
Please share more successes you've had with this stain removal technique, telling me what types of stains you've removed with it, how long you soaked, and in what product. You can share your household tips for laundry here.
Be Sure To Do A Colorfast Test For Garments That Will Be Presoaked
I mentioned this briefly above, when discussing presoaking, but it bears repeating. For whatever you've decided to presoak, make sure you test for colorfastness.
There are lots of clothes that this works really well for, and if you think something is ruined anyway, then again, don't worry, just give it a try. It may surprise you.
But anytime something is valuable or it's a sentimental article of clothing it can be good to use caution.
When extreme caution is called for doing a colorfastness test can put your mind at ease more about the stain removal technique you're going to use, to make sure it won't harm the clothing you're treating.
However, for most things I personally wouldn't be concerned with soaking something in any type of oxygen bleach (which are typically color-safe), and wouldn't bother doing the test first. There are, of course, always caveats to that though (and as already mentioned above, I do think it is important to do when soaking in a chlorine bleach solution).
I've written an entire article on how to test for colorfastness which gives instructions on how to do it, and when I think it is very important to do.
I'm loving the thoughts everyone is sharing on this topics, and I'd love to hear from even more people. If you've got tips and suggestions you can share your thoughts here.
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Comments for Be Sure To Do A Colorfast Test For Garments That Will Be Presoaked
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CAUTION: This website is provided for informational purposes only. It is provided as is, without warranties or guarantees. Some stains and messes just won't come out, and are permanent. Further, some cleaning methods can harm your item, so if what you want to clean or launder is sentimental or expensive call a professional. See disclaimer of liability for more information.