How to Get Out Tough Stains Beyond Your Laundry Machine

How to Get Out Tough Stains Beyond Your Laundry Machine
Worried about the ketchup stain from that burger you ate? Use these stain-removing tips along with your home appliances.

In her best selling book, Stainless, Australian fine arts restorer and author Shannon Lush extols the virtues of vinegar and baking soda for removing stains for just about anything. But sometimes you need a little more elbow grease when it comes to removing the toughest stains that can accumulate during spring.

Everything from grass and mud to bicycle grease and barbecue sauce can get onto our clothes when the weather starts to warm up. Here we look at how to clean tough spring stains and some of the best laundry home appliances to use.


Ditching the Dirt

Spring is when we spend hours in the yard digging, mowing, planting and pruning, which can leave our clothes looking like a Jackson Pollock painting.

Follow these steps to get dirt, mud, and set-in grass stains out of your clothes.

For soil and mud:

  • Allow the mud to dry
  • Brush or scrape dried mud off the garment
  • Apply spot cleaner or liquid detergent to the stained area and scrub with a wet toothbrush
  • Soak the item in cold water
  • Place in the washing machine, wash separately from other clothes
  • Air dry


For grass:

  • Soak your garment in a solution of two parts water and one part white vinegar for 15 minutes
  • Dab the stain with a clean white cloth
  • Place in the washing machine using an enzyme-based detergent


Gearing up for Grease

From cooking oil to automotive fluids, there are many forms of grease, and just about all of them are known to cause stains on the fabric.

Try this tip for cutting out grease and oil on your clothes:

  • Rub in a small amount of dish detergent or a paste of powder detergent mixed with water on the grease stain and let it sit for 30 minutes
  • Wash the garment in lukewarm or cold water (make sure the temperature is not over 30°C)
  • Repeat if necessary
  • Hang to dry


Leave off the Mustard

Spring usually means the start of barbecue season. With that comes the use of stain-inducing condiments such as ketchup, barbecue sauce, mayo, and mustard.

While each has a stain-causing ingredient, most stains can be removed by using this method:

  • Use a spoon to scrape away any excess
  • Rinse with cold water
  • Apply one part cleaning solvent such as denatured alcohol (also known as methylated spirits) combined with three parts dishwashing liquid
  • Rinse again with cold water
  • Wash, as usual
  • Air dry


Best Washers and Dryers for Removing Tough Stains

Several appliance review sites list the best washing machines for cleaning clothes. In a test done by, Whirlpool appliances’ FreshCare FWG81496W is noted for its great cleaning performance and post-cycle tumble, which leaves clothes smelling like new. also noted Maytag appliances’ MHW8200FC front-loading washer for its ability to remove mildew off clothes as well for its PowerWash cycle, said to obliterate stains.


For more information, read What Canadian Appliances are Best to Buy in Spring.


Genier’s Vernon appliances’ store is currently holding a spring event sale on Whirlpool and KitchenAid appliances. See our Promotions and Manufacturer Special Offers for more information.


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