The good news is that, with a little trick, you can clean your clothes a lot more and keep them longer, too.
You form a very close connection with your favorite clothes. A go-to pair of white jeans comes out of hiding at Memorial Day each season, and, when winter rolls around, your favorite fluffy sweater protects you from the cold. So, when a glass of spilled red wine threatens to ruin an essential item, you may be in a hurry to wash it.
However, this is the problem: throwing hastily a stained item into your washing machine without treatment, you run the risk of losing it, explains Corinna Williams, who founded the hip laundry mat Celsious with her sister, Theresa Williams, in Brooklyn, New York.
"Not pre-treating laundry immediately after, say, the vinaigrette hits your white T-shirt can make it much harder to remove the stain once it has set," she explains. "At that point, eliminating the stain will require much harsher treatment, which will ultimately shorten the life cycle of your garment."
This "harsher treatment" usually amounts to excessive use of bleach and detergents that can ruin your clothes, adds Williams. To treat your stains properly and quickly, the Williams sisters suggest the following:
- Blot the stain with a dry napkin to absorb most of the liquid.
- Use white vinegar to treat coffee, tea and grass stains. Use a good chlorine-free bleach complex for wine and fruit discoloration. Use a vegetable soap-based stain stick for makeup marks or discolored shirt collars.
- Wash the garment as usual.