How To Get Laundry Detergent Stains Out Of Clothes?

While you recognize laundry detergent as the chief stain remover, it can turn out to be the culprit. You toss a cloth into the washing machine, add some detergent and water appropriately — but when it’s ready to pick, a conspicuous stain appears on the surface.

How To Get Laundry Detergent Stains Out Of Clothes

That’s quite disappointing, but it shouldn’t upset you with this guide on how to get laundry detergent stains out of clothes before your face.

Can Laundry Detergent Cause A Stain?

Technically, laundry detergent only leaves spots and residue on clothes upon an incorrect use. Their formula doesn’t comprise elements known to stain clothes immediately. You know what their formula is meant to do immediately; remove stains. However, the spots and residue can indeed turn into stains if not correctly eradicated in a good time. So timely response with the apt methods will be your savior if you’re a victim.

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Also, there are different laundry detergent types, and each of them has a different way of soiling your clothes. In our solution section, we’ll highlight how to remove stains/spots caused by most of the popular laundry detergent types.

Read on.

The Possible Causes:

Overstuffing Clothes In The Washing Machine

Your machine washer has a recommended capacity that, if exceeded, such problems as detergent stains are the results. A tumble of clothes makes it hard for the machine agitator to slosh the clothes around; hence, the detergent won’t dissolve in water properly. Overstuffing clothes can cause stains, whether you’re using the powdered or liquid laundry detergent.

Using Hard Water With Powdered Detergent

The deal here is that powdered detergent doesn’t often cohere with hard water. When you use them together in a washing machine, the underlying clothes leave with the detergent’s stains. It’s usually quite hard to notice these stains on white and other bright-colored garments (I’m not good at identifying colors). However, they’re conspicuously visible on dark clothes.

Using Too Much Detergent

Too much of something has never ceased to be dangerous. Using the laundry detergent (or the fabric softener) in excess leads to a build-up that can turn your whites into grey. It happens either when the detergent builds up inside the washing machine or directly on your cloth. Worse still, the detergent can cause a bad smell that can come from bacteria.

Improper Agitation

Agitation — in cleaning — refers to water’s use to dissolve a detergent before it’s used in the washing cycle. If the process is poor, especially during the cold season, when detergents tend not to dissolve quickly, residue remains, and that’s what causes stains.

How To Remove Detergent Stains From Clothes

When you fall prey to detergent stains, don’t count yourself out of luck yet. Use the following methods to remove the stains without a worry.

Liquid Laundry Detergent Stains

If it isn’t rinsed away thoroughly, the liquid laundry detergent may leave behind residue, which can quickly turn into stains on your clothes in the long run. To remove them, you need a vinegar-and-water wash and a rinse of that cloth. Below is the process.

I). Add a quart of water into a washing tub. Into the water, add one cup of vinegar and stir.

II). Place your stained cloth in the solution above for ten minutes — and rub the stained spot against itself for some time. This will make the dried detergent lose.

III). Leave the cloth to soak inside the water-vinegar solution for another 30 minutes.

IV). Rerun the cloth in the washing machine (set in a normal wash mode). Ensure that you do not overstuff the clothes again.

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Powdered Laundry Detergent Stains

While the method described in (I) above can also remove powdered laundry detergent stains, there’s yet another effective method that you can try out. Follow the steps below.

I). Wash the spot in hot water and adequately wring the excess water.

II). Lay the cloth flat on a clean surface and add the household rubbing alcohol on the spot. Ensure that you cover the entire spot with the alcohol.

III). Leave the alcohol to penetrate the spot for 20-30 minutes.

IV). Use hot water again to rinse the spot. It should go away, but if it doesn’t, repeat the same process until it does.

Fabric Softener Stains (BONUS)

Besides making clothes smell nice and have a soft texture, fabric softeners also make ironing easier, reduce wrinkling, and do so much more. However, they can also cause stains. Fabric softener residue often feels waxy, and it may turn into a stain if left in the long run. Here’s how to get rid of it.

  1. Apply soap on the affected area and use a brush with soft bristles to scrub that area. Scrubbing loosens the stain while making the fabric flexible, too.
  2. Set your machine washer to the “regular” mode and add the cloth for regular washing.
  3. If the stains aren’t yet removed, repeat the same process until they exit.

How To Prevent The Stains:

Dissolve Powdered Detergent Before Using With Hard Water

Since the powdered detergent doesn’t completely dissolve in hard water, it’s wise to dissolve it in warm and or fresh water before using it in the form of a solution.

Always Use The Recommended Amount of Detergent

Using too much detergent is likely to cause stains while using too little of it won’t meet your cleaning needs. There’s a recommended amount of detergent, usually written on the label. It’s the best amount that can help you avoid stains brought about by using excess detergent.

Always Rinse Thoroughly

Proper rinsing of clothes helps to avoid the accumulation of detergent residue that later turn into stains.

Add The Right Amount Of Clothes To Your Washing Machine

Depending on the type and mode, there’s a recommended amount of clothes to throw into your washing machine. Take keen note of this while using the machine to avoid such snags as detergent staining.

The points above all boil down to using the underlying detergent in the most appropriate/recommended manner.

The Bottom Line

You need these hacks to get laundry detergent stains out of clothes to save your bacon when you become a victim of the common detergent staining. With the tips, you aren’t going to worry again about the stains on your expensive clothes.

Best of luck, pals!


Author Bio

Ashley S graver

Ashley S graver

Hi, I am Ashley a cleaning nerds who love cleaning tools and accessories that can be used to make our lives germ free. I talk about them, review & analyze them and also i have a decent cleaning blog where i give you tips and strategies to keep things clean on your end.

Join me in this journey of keeping things clean.

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