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How to get stains out of your white t-shirts

Woman sitting on the ground holding up a dirty white t-shirt in front of a washing machine

Is there anything more disappointing than putting on a crisp, freshly-washed white t-shirt with high hopes for the day, only to find a noticeable stain on it hours later? Whether you dripped ketchup from your burger at lunch or a splash of chocolate milk found its way onto your shirt during your work break, sometimes it feels like keeping white t-shirts free from stains is simply an impossible task.

If your white t-shirt is stained, you might be tempted to throw it away, but don’t toss it just yet–with a few tips and tricks, it’s possible to remove even the most persistent stains from your white clothes. And speaking of taking care of your possessions, don't forget to invest in product protection for your online purchases. By subscribing to Mulberry Unlimited, you can coverage for all your products under the same protection plan, complete with unlimited coverage and claims.

If you’re wondering how to get stains out of white clothes, here are some tips that can help:

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General Tips

Although different types of stains require unique treatments, there are some universal tips to keep in mind when you’re working on a stubborn stain, regardless of the type:

Act fast

When it comes to removing stains from your white tee, remember: you’re running against the clock. The longer you wait to treat the spot, the more time the stain has to set in–which often means it will be more stubborn to remove.

Although sometimes your circumstances won’t allow you to immediately begin treating the stain, whenever possible, act as fast as you can to give your white t-shirt the best chance of becoming clean again.

Avoid heat

Another important tip is to avoid heat. Heat will set the stain, more than likely making it impossible to remove from your white clothes. While it’s okay (and advisable) to run your t-shirt through the washing machine after you’ve treated the stain, don’t absentmindedly toss it into the dryer afterwards–allow your shirt to air dry and then reassess the situation to see if the stain is gone or still needs some work.

Use a white cloth to scrub

While it’s tempting to grab the closest towel or cloth when you’re panicking about a stain, keep in mind that white, or at least light-colored, cleaning cloths are best. Dark-colored materials can leak dye onto your white t-shirt while you’re scrubbing, adding metaphorical fuel to the fire. For this reason, make sure you choose a white cloth or towel.

Use a trustworthy stain remover

When treating your stains, remember to do your research before grabbing a cleaner off the shelf–not all stain removers are created equal! If you’re looking for a stain remover you can trust, a good tip is to opt for brands that have stood the test of time.

Brands like Tide, Oxi-Clean, Shout, and Carbona are widely recognized as some of the best stain removers for clothes, and are particularly effective at targeting specific stains. Shout Stain Remover, for example, is known for its ability to remove old spots, so it would be a good choice for stains you’re late to the game treating.

How to treat specific stains

Now that you’ve got some general tips and tricks under your belt, let’s take a look at how to target a few of the most common types of stains:

  • For grass stains: While grass stains are tougher to remove from white clothes than the average stain, don’t be discouraged if you don’t see immediate results–just keep working on it. The best way to treat a grass stain is by carefully scrubbing laundry detergent into the stain, then rinsing, washing, and repeating if needed.
  • For blood stains: The best way to treat a blood stain depends on how recently it occurred. For fresh stains, rinse thoroughly with cold water, then scrub with detergent and wash as normal. For older stains, soak in a cold water and ammonia mixture (create the mixture by combining one gallon of water with 2 tablespoons of ammonia), then rinse and proceed to wash in a normal cycle.
  • For grease and oil stains: Scrub grease and oil stains with laundry detergent and water, then wash as normal. When scrubbing, use distilled water if possible, as it is more powerful than regular water at dispelling grease.

Final thoughts

While there’s nothing more disappointing than finding a new stain on a freshly-laundered white t-shirt, don’t worry–with a few of the tips in this article, your white tee will be as good as new in no time.

And as always, remember to invest in product protection when it comes to your online purchases. With Mulberry Unlimited, you can get coverage for all your items under the same product protection plan for an affordable monthly price.

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Justin Smith

About the author

Justin Smith is the SEO Content Marketing Specialist at Mulberry. He has written about everything from stock market investing to electric vehicles, most recently for SuperMoney. Apart from optimizing the latest blog content and hunting for the perfect keywords, he also enjoys going on long runs.

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