I recently bought a really nice Brooks Brothers white dress shirt at a
The shirt is in flawless condition except for one small, faint stain. The
stain is actualy on the underside of the front panel and and is completely
hidden when the shirt is buttoned. However, I'd like to remove the stain.
Since I don't know the origin of the stain, I have no idea of how to
pretreat it. From first glance, it would appear to be a food stain (possibly
Any suggestions on how I should treat this stain and clean the shirt? The
directions call for washing warm in non-chlorine bleach. Should I maybe
attempt to wash it in detergent w/ Clorox?
If the stain is indeed tomato sauce, that's one of the types of stain
that OxyClean is especially good at removing.
I find a few hours soak in a hot OxiClean solution as effective as
washing with chlorine bleach, without rotting the material like bleach.
It got all kinds of old food stains out of the kitchen dish towels that
chlorine bleach never did, too.
I use more than one scoop in a large load of whites, though, 3 or 4,
and detergent, and let it agitate a couple of minutes to mix before I
shut it off for 4 hours (or all day if I throw them in before work).
My underwear and socks nearly glow in the dark, and don't rot out in
6 months like they did with chlorine bleach. The large bucket of
OxiClean from Sams cost me around $11 and lasts me about a year in a
2-person family, mainly used for washing the whites.
Thank you for posting this, Jamie. After reading so many negative comments on
USENET about OxyClean (and from two friends who have used it) I was convinced
it wasn't worth the money. This is the first time I hear it needs to soak for a
few hours to be effective. I would like to give it a try. I own a front loading
washer, that means I will have to soak the whites in a bucket and then transfer
the washer. A bit messy but if it works better than bleach...
don't you have a pre wash?
How about starting a wash then switching off to soak for a bit making
sure the water line is below the door.
Shop bought Oxyclean is quite expensive, I have yet to find it in big
tubs here. A cheaper alternative is Napisan or I know Boots do their
own nappy soaker at a good price.
The stain should come out in 10-20 minutes with a hot OxiClean
mixture. If it fades the stain, but does not remove it, repeat with
a second application of hot OxiClean. Use very hot water (1/4 full
container) being careful when you add the OxiClean--it will suddenly
foam up. Just adding the OxiClean to the wash does not do much good.
If this does not work, I have another idea. Also, there's nothing
special about OxiClean, Clorox (and other companies) make very similar
granulated oxygen products that are just as good.
OxyClean is worth its weight in gold. My dog wet on white carpet and nothing
would remove the stain. I made up a solution of oxyclean with 1 tablespoon
of chlorine bleach (boy did it foam) and saturated the spot with it leaving
it overnight. The next morning I used my little green machine with a little
hot water and more oxyclean and the stain was completely removed.
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Where's DrClean? The bleach in Oxyclean is hydrogen peroxide. I think
he would say that for a spot, the most efficient approach is to wet it
with a drop of ammonia, then apply a drop of peroxide.
Chlorine bleach in swimming pools has a reputation for rotting swim
suits, but suits deteriorate just as fast in pools with non-chlorine
disinfectants. So when chlorine bleach is used properly in a pool, it's
no harsher than other bleaches.
I can think of two possible reasons for trouble with chlorine bleach.
One is that perhaps there is more bleach than in the Oxyclean solution
The other is that unless chlorine bleach is buffered or very dilute, the
pH can be very high. A high pH alters some dyes and can rot fibers,
especially silk, wool, and nylon. A high pH also inhibits the bleaching
action of chlorine bleach.
The pH of your detergent would affect how well chlorine bleach works and
how much damage it does. That could explain why some people have better
luck than others.
Typically, a cup of chlorine bleach is recommended per load. An old
trick is to use half a cup of bleach and half a cup of baking soda. The
baking soda buffers the wash water to make the bleach gentler on fibers
and colors and tougher on stains and germs.
If I have stuff that needs bleaching, I bleach it in a bucket after it's
washed. This means I can wash stuff that should be bleached with stuff
that shouldn't. Washing the bleachable stuff first removes organic
material that would neutralize bleach.
I bleach in a bucket of water with a little bleach and a little baking
soda. It doesn't take much, maybe a tablespoon of each, and it takes
less than an hour. The solution rinses out easily.
re: removing faint stain from underside of white dress shirt
Since the label says to use non-chlorine bleach, I'd try soaking it in some
oxi-type bleach in water as hot as you think safe -- for a few hours, or
even overnight. Then wash and dry as recommended. If you could hang it to
dry in the sun, that'd help too.
I have used "Mary Ellen's Set-In-Stain Remover for Whites" and been very
happy with the results. It's a bit difficult to find though!
Try this first:
Use cream of tartar to brighten delicate white items .
Soak the spot in a solution of water, a tablespoon of cream of tartar and a
little bit of laundry detergent, then run through the washer as usual.
Let me know if this works for you!
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