The Basics of Stain Treatment:
Let’s face it. Taking the time to treat stains feels like a lot to ask – especially when you’re a busy parent. Because when you have a family (big or small), the stains are seemingly endless. Molly’s Suds can help you become a master of stain removal.
Rule 1. Always check for stains before laundering.
Rule 2. Timing is everything.
Rule 3. Always read product labels and clothing care labels before taking action.
Rule 4. Always blot first.
Rule 5. Rinse from the inside out.
Rule 6. Use the right water temperature.
Rule 7. Know when to call in reinforcements.
BONUS TIP: Some stains make take several attempts, do not dry your garment until you are sure the stain has been removed. You can continue to treat the stain 2-3 times until successful, washing between each treatment.
Essential Stain Treatment Tools:
Stain Spray: Loaded with enzymes and stain-cutting ingredients that are designed to work on a broad array of stains.
All Sport Laundry Wash: You can create a stain pretreatment solution by diluting 1 part of All Sport with 1 part of water.
Spray Bottle: Useful to help you easily and quickly create your own stain pretreatment solution and for other DIY recipes.
Laundry Stain Brush: A soft-bristled brush perfect for pushing stain pretreatments deep into fibers while being easy on fabrics.
Helpful extras to keep on hand: Distilled white vinegar, salt, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and isopropyl alcohol
Stain Guide A-Z:
Baby Formula: Rinse the garment in cold water as soon as possible. Apply Stain Spray directly to the stain and brush using our Laundry Brush. Launder in cold water. If the stain remains, repeat.
Baseball Sand & Red Clay: Rinse stain with cool water and apply Stain Spray until saturated. Allow to sit for 10-15 minutes. Rinse. For heavily stained areas, soak in hot water and a scoop of Oxygen Whitener overnight, then was according to the care label.
Blood: It’s important to treat blood stains as quickly as possible. Rinse excess blood using cold water. Apply Stain Spray directly to the stain. For white garments, apply a paste of Oxygen Whitener. Work the stain solution into the stain in small, gentle circles using our Laundry Brush. Wash immediately in cold water. Repeat as needed.
Breastfed Baby Poo: Fill a tub with very hot water and one scoop of Oxygen Whitener. Scrub clothes using a Laundry Brush and hot solution of Oxygen Whitener. You can sprinkle additional Oxygen Whitener directly on the stain and allow to soak for at least one hour. Launder with warm or hot water, a scoop of Oxygen Whitener, and Molly’s Suds Laundry Detergent (we recommend Super Powder for this job).
Butter: For butter and other fatty stains our Dish Soap may be the best option to remove the stain. Rub a small drop of Dish Soap over the stain and rinse with hot water. Apply Stain Spray afterwards and allow to sit 15-30 minutes before washing in hot water.
Chewing Gum: Put the garment in the freezer until the gum is frozen and then peel it off from the fabric. Soak any residual gum stains with distilled white vinegar. Wash as usual.
Chocolate: For chocolate stains, rinse the area with warm water. Then apply Stain Spray and gently rub into the fibers of the garment. Allow to sit for 30 minutes. Rinse on cool and repeat if necessary.
Coffee & Tea: Blot the area to remove as much of the stain as possible. Rinse with cool water and apply Stain Spray generously until saturated. Allow to sit 10-15 minutes. Rinse. For heavily stained areas you may also need to soak in hot water and Oxygen Whitener overnight before washing in warm water.
Deodorant & Pit Stains: For yellow armpit stains, wet the stained area with hot water. Apply a generous amount of Oxygen Whitener and work into the fabric. Allow to sit for 30 minutes. Put the garment directly into the wash for a presoak in how water and another scoop of Oxygen Whitener. Wash as normal. For white deodorant residue stains, heat the fabric to loosen the deodorant using a steam cleaner or steam setting on your iron. Gently rub with a damp washcloth until the stains are removed. Wash on warm.
Dirt & Mud: Wait for the mud to dry, then brush off excess dirt from the area. Apply Stain Spray and work in using our Laundry Brush. Allow to soak in warm water for 15 minutes. Apply another layer of Stain Spray and launder as usual with warm water. Repeat as needed.
Dye Transfer: That red sock just bled all over your load of whites leaving everything pink? Add 2 scoops of Oxygen Whitener and set it to soak on the hottest temperature safe for your laundry. You may need to do several overnight soaks with Oxygen Whitener before the dye is completely removed from your laundry. Do not dry between wash cycles, this will set the stains. Repeat as needed.
Grass: The best treatment for grass stains is our Stain Spray. Rub in gently with our Laundry Brush and soak overnight. If additional treatment is needed, try sponging the area with isopropyl alcohol and rinse. Finally soak the garment one final time with Oxygen Whitener in hot water and wash it with an enzyme-based detergent like Molly’s Suds Super Powder.
Ink Stains: Use isopropyl alcohol and blot the stain with a cotton ball until the stain is removed. If the ink is still present, fill a tub with cool water and a scoop of Oxygen Whitener. Allow to soak up to 8 hours. Rinse and repeat before laundering as usual.
Juice, Jams, and Jellies: For fruit based stains we recommend applying Stain Spray generously, working into the fabric and washing as usual. For stubborn stains, apply a thick paste of Oxygen Whitener and water. Allow to sit for 30 minutes and rinse on the hottest water safe for your garment. Wash as normal, repeat as needed.
Lipstick: Place a piece of paper towel against the lipstick stain, stain side down. Dab Dish Soap onto the backside of the stain. All to sit for 10 minutes. Gently blot the backside of the stain with a clean wet rag. Once removed, launder in cold water.
Makeup: Gently blot any wet makeup from the area making sure you’re not rubbing it deeper into the garment. Apply Stain Spray and work in the fabric using small, gentle circles. Sit for 15 minutes and gently scrub again with a Laundry Brush. Rinse in hot water, wash as usual. For really stubborn stains, create a paste using water and Oxygen Whitener and work into the stained area. Allow to sit for several hours before laundering again. Repeat as needed.
Marker Stains: For most washable markers, blot the stain with cotton swab soaked in isopropyl alcohol to lift the stain from the fabric. Continue with a new cotton swab until the ink is removed. Launder as normal.
Mascara: Apply Stain Spray and work into the fabric using our Laundry Brush. Allow to sit for at least 15 minutes before washing as normal. Repeat if necessary.
Mildew: This is one of the hardest stains to remove once it’s settled into the fabric. Mix equal parts vinegar and water in a tub. Add a generous sprinkle of salt. Submerge your clothing in the solution and allow to soak for several hours. Repeat several times as needed.
Nail Polish: Nail polish is nearly impossible to remove. If you catch it before it dries you may be able to salvage the garment. Scrape or blot away as much of the nail polish as possible; without rubbing. Place a paper towel over the stain and place the stain face down on a flat surface. Soak a cotton ball in nail polish remover and blog the back of the stain. Replace cotton ball and paper towel often to avoid redistributing the stain. Continue until the stain disappears or until you admit defeat! Use caution when trying this method on synthetic fabrics such as acetate and triacetate.
Oil & Grease: The secret is to cut through the grease. This is why we recommend Dish Soap as a backup; however our Stain Spray is packed with active enzymes designed to target fats and oils. Spray with Stain Spray and work into the fabric. Rinse and repeat. Repeat several times until the stain is removed. We recommend using the hottest water that is safe for the garment since it will help cut through the grease. Wash as usual.
Permanent Markers: Permanent markers are….well permanent! But we know you may want to try anyways. Our best advice is using a cotton swab soaked in isopropyl alcohol and gently blot the stain. Continue this process with a new cotton ball until the stain is lightened or removed. If the stain remains, apply a paste of cool water and Oxygen Whitener to the area. Submerge in a tub of cool water and allow to sit for up to 8 hours. If the stain is gone, launder as normal. If not, repeat!
Rust: Soak a cotton ball in distilled white vinegar and blot the stain. Cover the stain in a thin layer of salt and use a Laundry Brush to work it into the fabric. Lay the garment in direct sunlight for 30 minutes or until the stain has faded.
Tomato-Based (Ketchup, Red Sauces, and Soups): Remove as much of the food as possible without rubbing the stain into the garment. Rinse using cold water, working from the inside out. Add Stain Spray and let sit for 30 minutes. Rinse in warm water, working the stain from the inside out. Repeat as necessary until removed. Then launder according to the care label.
Turmeric (Mustard and Curry): Another terribly stubborn stain! Turmeric-based stains set extremely quickly. For fresh stains, blot stain with a napkin. Do not rub! Rinse the stain in cold water and push the stains from the backside of the fabric. Apply Stain Spray work in with the Laundry Brush. Rinse and reapply, sitting for 15 minutes each time. After applying this treatment 2-3 times, you may find that one final soak in Oxygen Whitener and hot water overnight may help remove any residual staining. Repeat these steps several times before laundering with Molly’s Suds Super Powder. Do not dry until you are happy with the results.
Urine: This method will work for both human and pet urine on washable fabrics. If you can’t treat the stain right away, rinse and soak in cold water until you can get to it. If possible, add 1/2 cup of baking soda to the water to help break down the odor. Do not use hot water!! Add 2-3 scoops of Oxygen Whitener to your washer, along with one of our enzyme-based detergents (Super Powder or All Sport). Allow to soak for 30 minutes, release the water and rewash on the hottest setting safe for the garment with more Oxygen Whitener and detergent. Allow the item to dry in the sun.
Wine: Happens to the best of us! Blot away excess stain with a paper towel or clean dish towel. Cover the stain with distilled white vinegar to neutralize red and purple pigments found in red wine. Sprinkle table salt generously over the stain and allow to dry. Put the garment over a bowl or sink and pull taught (if safe to do so). Pour clean, boiling water over the stained area from approximately 12 inches above the stain. Repeat as necessary until stain is removed. Launder in the hottest water safe for the fabric and check the stain before drying.