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Five stains Americans love to hate - and how to beat them


Five stains Americans love to hate - and how to beat them

Laundry is a household chore that’s as inevitable as death and taxes, and every adult needs to tackle. And nearly half of Americans do laundry to remove stains that “drive them crazy”.

A YouGov survey of more than 1,000 respondents’ shows that 95% of people do their laundry at home, and that more than half do laundry 2-6 times per week. Parents are most stain-obsessed, with 52% saying stain removal is their main reason for doing laundry.

Stain removal is twice as important for them than clothes that smell fresh and retain their colors. Nearly 40% of respondents stated they can't stand having a stain on their clothing as it drives them crazy and embarrasses them.

The stains that bother them most are blood, followed by crayon, grass, ketchup, marker pen ink and mustard.

How to beat stains

"When thinking about stain removal, it's important to have a stain removal system in place to ensure clothes getting fully clean," says Leigh Murphy, a scientist working at Novozymes.

Murphy examines thousands of stains every year. As a scientist who works to develop enzymes to be used in laundry detergents, where they help to remove stains, he knows what he is talking about.

"When in doubt, soak the garment and allow stains to dissolve before throwing the item in the washer and then drying the item; if you don’t, you risk that the stain becomes permanent."

The top five troublesome stains for Americans and how to remove them:

  1. Blood: If the stain is fresh, soak it in cold water. Don’t use hot water as it makes it permanent. For dried blood stains, pretreat or soak in warm water with a product containing enzymes. If the stain remains, rewash using bleach safe for fabric.
  2. Crayon: For a few spots, dampen the stain and rub with bar soap. For a whole load of clothes, wash with hot water using a laundry soap and 1 cup (212 g) baking soda. If color remains, launder using sodium hypochlorite bleach, if safe for fabric. Otherwise, pretreat or soak in a product containing enzymes or an oxygen bleach using the hottest water safe for fabric, then launder.
  3. Grass: For grass stains, pretreat or soak in a product containing enzymes. If the stain persists, launder using sodium hypochlorite bleach, if safe for fabric, or oxygen bleach.
  4. Ketchup: Remove the ketchup stain with a spoon or knife, but be careful not to rub it into the fabric. If the garment is washable, remove the garment as soon as possible and run cold water through the stain from the back to force the stain out of the clothing.
  5. Marker: Place the stain face down on clean paper towels and use a sponge to rub alcohol into the area around the stain, and then apply it directly to the stain. Continue sponging the stain with alcohol, frequently changing the paper towels underneath, transferring as much ink as possible to the paper towels. Rinse thoroughly afterwards.

Read more about the tips here.


Laundry tips


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