Removing Stains from Cotton, Silk and Linen

Removing Stains from Cotton, Silk and Linen

Find useful tips for removing stains from common fabrics before they ruin your favourite outfits.

By: Melissa Kay

Summer stains are part of participating in the fun of the season. We eat drippy BBQ sauce, kids play in the grass, we work on the car and inevitably someone slides into home base. You get the idea; we get dirty!

With the right care for your clothing, there’s no need to tone down the fun. Follow these tips for removing stains from clothes and get back to the carefree vibe of the season.

Tip: For the latest and greatest stain-solution ideas for removing BBQ sauce, chocolate syrup, mustard and those other summer stains, check out Tide on Pinterest.

Cotton Clumsiness

Let’s face it: Cotton can be rotten when it comes to absorbing moisture during the hot summer months. And too much washing and drying can fade and shrink those soft articles of clothing.

If you drip your summer ice pop onto your cotton shirt, get rid of the stains without damaging your clothing.

  • First, pre-treat with a stain remover such as Tide® Oxi Multi-Purpose and some cold water.
  • Soak for about 15-30 minutes and rub gently at the stain.
  • Then, machine wash on gentle cycle, use Tide® detergent, and air-dry to prevent shrinking. Your shirt will be as good as new.

Silky Slipups


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Did you attend a summer soiree in your favourite silk blouse and drop some food or drink on yourself? It happens, and it doesn’t mean you need to spend a fortune at the cleaners to get the stain out. Removing stains from clothes has never been easier regardless if you’ve spilt on fancy fabrics like silk.

  • Fill a sink with cool water and a drop of gentle detergent such as Tide® Free & Gentle.
  • Shake the garment delicately and rub ever so gently until the stain disappears. Rinse completely and dry.

Linen Lift Off
The light and airy feeling of linen makes it a perfect wardrobe staple for summer. That said, its fibers can be prone to holding onto stains. But there is hope for removal with the right technique.

  • Cover the stain with a paste made of water and baking soda and rub on the affected area.
  • Allow the mixture to settle into the stain for at least an hour.
  • Wash as you normally would with Tide® Plus a Touch of Downy Liquid Laundry Detergent to get your linens feeling soft and smelling terrific. This is a great way to remove stains from clothes!

Deodorant Disasters
When the hot weather arrives, we usually swipe on more deodorant than we do in cooler months. Inevitably, most formulas leave unsightly stains on our fabrics: T-shirts, polos and other lightweight shirts; it’s the pits!

These underarm marks can be cleared away easily, so there’s no need to worry. The experts at Tide® suggest the following:

  • Brush off any excess deodorant from your shirt, then rinse the affected area in cold water.
  • Wash your shirt in warm water with Tide®, or Tide® with Febreze Freshness for an extra fresh scent.
  • Your stains should be gone, but if they’re still noticeable, repeat the process until completely clear.

What are your tips for summer stains? Please share your ideas for saving your summer clothing.

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