How to Remove Stains From Clothes At Home Better Than The Dry Cleaner

Welcome back to the Gentleman’s Gazette!
In today’s video, we’re going to be discussing a set of techniques that are
absolutely vital for keeping your clothes in wearable condition as long as
possible, how to remove any type of stain you might encounter. This video is part
of a series on garment care; the previous installments in the series dealt with
how to remove the musty smell from vintage clothing how to wash and
maintain wool sweaters and some cheap and easy laundry hacks, you can find
those videos by clicking the banners at the right. Today’s video is the final
part in this series and as we mentioned at the top, it covers stain removal. No
matter how careful a man may be in his day-to-day life with his clothes, the
occasional stain is inevitable whether it be from a plate of spaghetti and
impromptu tire change on the side of the road or really any time spent with a
toddler, you’re bound to encounter a tough stain at some point. Fortunately,
however, stain removal doesn’t have to be a chore or involve the dry cleaner. As
long as you understand some basic chemistry you’ll be all set. To begin,
here’s a breakdown of the four basic types of stains you’re generally going
to encounter. Stains can be organic or inorganic in nature and from there can
be oily or not. In other words, the four types of stains are organic, inorganic,
oily organic, and oily inorganic. As examples of each of these, stains from
living organisms including plants are considered organic, things like grass
stains, blood, or red wine. Meanwhile, stains from manmade materials are
inorganic, things like ink, solvents, or machine dust. Oily organics are things
like barbecue sauce or sweat stains and oily inorganics are generally cosmetics
like lipstick. With that said, there are a few exceptions as far as treatment is
concerned. Coffee and tea are treated like inorganics, for example. For such
exceptions and really for any case, it never hurts
to do a little bit of searching on the web but in general, here are the best
techniques we’ve found for getting rid of all of these different types of
stains. First, standard organic stains are best treated with hot water and a
substance that’s commonly marketed as bleach alternative. Bleach alternative
and oxygen bleach are marketing names for a substance that’s scientifically
known as sodium percarbonate or SPC for short. It’s the active ingredient in
cleaners like Oxiclean but whereas those types of commercial cleaners
usually contain fillers, SPC is most effective in its pure form. Here’s a
related point as long as we’re talking about bleach alternative, never use
conventional chlorine bleach on your clothes again. Not for stains and not for
whitening. Most white clothes are actually treated with agents referred to
as optical whiteners or optical brighteners. Chlorine bleach, in addition
to being harmful to the body if ingested or with prolonged contact, can also
remove these optical whiteners from clothing actually making them look less
white and can damage the fibers of clothes over time. So bleach alternative
or SPC as we’ll refer to it throughout the rest of the video is the way to go.
For treatment of an organic stain, start by laying a towel down on your work
surface. Actually, for any of the types of stains we’re about to cover, putting down
a clean towel is a good idea. Next, add a bit of SPC, we used about 1/2 capful to a
basin of hot water and stir to completely dissolve it. Then, thoroughly
wet the stained area of the garment in question with the hot water and SPC
mixture. Lay the garment flat on the towel and gently blot at the stain with
a clean cotton cloth, wash cloth, or towel. You can also use a garment safe stain
brush on most fabrics as we’re doing here. The exceptions to this being wool
and silk, because these fabrics are often more delicate, we’ll cover them
separately later on in the video. After pre
treating your stain this way, it can be washed as normal in your machine and if
you’d like, you can also add a bit more SPC directly to the drum of the machine
during the wash process. Next, standard inorganic stains like ink are best
removed by the use of a solvent. Rubbing alcohol or more technically isopropyl
alcohol is best here. Although you can also use different substances like plain
vodka. Applying the alcohol to the stain with a spray bottle works well after
which point it can be gently blotted. Then wash as normal and as before, you
can add some SPC to the machine if you’d like. All oily stains whether they’re
organic or inorganic in nature are best treated by first dealing with the oil. As
oils often surround other staining substances, we’ll be looking at these
stains sort of like a stain sandwich that is oil layer, stain layer, oil layer.
To remove the first oil layer, fill a spray bottle with a solution of 50
percent white vinegar and 50 percent water. Spray the oil layer of the stain
and then blot. Actually, using a stain brush may work best here. Next, apply a
bit of water along with laundry detergent or better yet soap flakes and
scrub again to deal with the main stain layer and for the final oil layer, spray
again with your water and vinegar solution and blot or scrub a final time.
To finish here, you guessed it! Wash as normal with optional SPC. Finally, in this
section, we’re going to pay special attention to sweat stains as they’re
often a combination of oily organics and the aluminum found in many commercial
antiperspirants. They’re best treated with a combination of SPC and a stain
solution. Apply a few drops of the stain solution to the sweat stain then add a
pinch of SPC, you should create a paste with either your finger or your stain
brush. Let this paste sit for at least 20 minutes or longer if you prefer and then
rinse it out with hot water. In fact, boiling water poured
from a teakettle works best here then wash as normal with optional SPC. Here’s
a related tip to prevent stains from returning to these garments, you can
spray the affected areas with your vinegar and water solution before
washing them as normal in your machine. So what about treating stains on wool
and silk garments? As we said earlier, these types of garments are usually more
delicate in nature so you won’t want to apply SPC to them directly or scrub them
with a stain brush. For these fabrics, it’s best to pre-soak for a little while
in water with a bit of stain solution and then wash as normal. Of course, these
garments, if placed in a washing machine, should be individually and tightly
packed in mesh washing bags. You can add a bit of SPC to the drum of the machine
while washing if you’d like since the low concentration and minimal direct
contact won’t be overly abrasive. For more information on washing silk wool
and other delicate fabrics, you can take some tips from our previous video on
washing sweaters here. Here are a few final tips for today.
Whichever stain type and consequential removal method you’re dealing with, know
that you shouldn’t expect to see a complete clearing up of the stain as
you’re scrubbing it. Rather aim for about an 80% reduction in stain visibility and
then machine wash, the rest should come out. As we said in our sweater video,
washing on warm and with the express setting should be sufficient for most
garments and you can always add a little bit of SPC to the drum if you so choose.
Finally, it may well be that a given stain isn’t solely one type of the
stains we’ve covered here today. Therefore, if you’ve tried one removal
method and the stain hasn’t completely come out, just try one or more of the
other removal methods and you should ultimately be successful. As an example
of having to use multiple methods, we found both the fountain pen ink and the
lipstick that we used for demonstration purposes in
this video to be especially resilient. They didn’t come out with each of the
first methods we recommended so we used a few other methods to get them out. We
think that they got to about the 80% stain removal threshold we were looking
for and putting them through the washing machine should get the rest of the
stains out. With these techniques in your arsenal then, stains should no longer
pose a significant threat to you or your garments and you should be able to take
care of them completely from the comfort of your own home. As we said at the start
of the video, be sure to take a look at the three previous installments in this
laundry and garment care series here. Which of the techniques we laid out
today were you most surprised by and do you have any alternative techniques for
stain removal that we didn’t mention here? If so let us know in the comments
section below and as always don’t forget to subscribe to the Gentleman’s Gazette
YouTube channel and hit the little bell icon so these videos will come straight
to your inbox. in today’s video I’m wearing an outfit
that might be typically worn around the house taking a day to do a little bit of
necessary garment care my medium blue cardigan is especially informal given
its two front pockets I’m wearing it over a shirt from Charles Charles Tyrwhitt that
features a gingham pattern in blue and white the shirt does have French cuffs
but I’m wearing them configured in a barrel style today so that they fit
better under the sleeves of the sweater my cufflinks are vintage silver ones and
they feature a simple geometric pattern that complements the gingham pattern of
my shirt well my plain brown trousers harmonized
well with my shirt and cardigan and on that note you can check out our video on
how to effectively pair brown and blue here to go along with this color scheme
my socks are plain blue in color but they do feature a subtle stripe in their
weave the outfit today is rounded out by my dark oxblood penny loafers which are
informal in nature and also harmonize well color wise I’m not really wearing
very many accessories today aside from the vintage cufflinks but if you’d like
to take a look at some other types of accessories
cuff links as well as tie pins collar clips
boutonnieres pocket squares and so on just take a look at the Fort Belvedere
shop here

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