Cleaning Tips

BEGINNERS GUIDE: Clothing Labels:

Labels for your clothing will contain washing instructions or drycleaning information that will guide you in proper care of your items.  All garments must have care labels so that they can be seen or found by the consumer.

Washing, drying, bleaching, warning and ironing instructions include the following:

Washing:

The label will advise if the item should be washed by hand or machine. It will also suggest the water temperature –  such as cold, warm, or hot.  However, if the regular use of hot water up to 145 degrees F (63 degrees C) will not harm the product, the label need not mention any water temperature. For example, just saying Machine Wash means hot, warm or cold water can be used.

Water Temperatures:

Laundry Care Symbols

Click on image to enlarge

Hot – initial water temperature ranging from 112 to 145 degrees F
(45 to 63 degrees C).

Warm – initial water temperature ranging from 87 to 111 degrees F
(31 to 44 degrees C).

Cold – initial water temperature up to 86 degrees F
(30 degrees C).

Washing Machine Cycles:

Small load – smaller than normal washing load.

Delicate cycle or gentle cycle – slow agitation and reduced time.

Durable press cycle or permanent press cycle – cool down rinse or cold rinse before reduced spinning.

Warm rinse – initial water temperature setting 90 to 110 F (32 to 43 C).

Cold rinse – initial water temperature setting same as cold water tap up to 85 F (29 C).

Washing Instructions

Separately – wash alone.

With like colors – with colors of similar hue and intensity.

Wash inside out – turn product inside out to protect face of fabric.

Rinse thoroughly – rinse several times to remove detergent, soap, and bleach.

No spin or Do not spin – remove the item at the start of final spin cycle.

No wring or Do not wring – do not use roller wringer, nor wring by hand.

Drying:

The label must state whether the product should be dried by machine or by some other method. If machine drying is called for, the label must also state a drying temperature that may be used. However, if the regular use of a high temperature will not harm the product, the label need not mention any drying temperature. For example, Tumble Dry without a suggested temperature after it means that a high, medium, or low temperature setting can be used.

Bleaching:

If all commercially available bleaches can safely be used on a regular basis, the label need not mention bleaching.  If any bleach would harm the product when used on a regular basis, the label must say “No bleach’‘ or “Do not bleach.”  If regular use of chlorine bleach would harm the product, but regular use of a non-chlorine bleach would not, the label must say “Only non-chlorine bleach, when needed.”

Other: Warnings

Warnings will include the words “Do not,” “No,” “Only,” or some other decisive wording. For example, if a shirt is not colorfast, its label should state “Wash with like colors” or “Wash separately.” If a pair of pants will be harmed by ironing, its label should state “Do not iron.” Warnings are not necessary for any procedure that is an alternative to the procedure prescribed on the label. For example, if an instruction states “Dry flat,” it is not necessary to give the warning “Do not tumble dry.”

Ironing:

If ironing is mentioned, the label will provide an ironing temperature that may be used. However, if the regular use of a hot iron will not harm the product, the label need not mention any ironing temperature.

 

WASH DAY HELP: Stain Treatment

Alcoholic Beverages

Rinse stain immediately with cold water or soak stain 30 minutes in cold water. Apply detergent or dishwashing liquid to any trace of stain while still wet. If safe for the fabric, wash in hot water using chlorine bleach.

Baby Food, Formula
Rinse with cold water. Soak with an enzyme soaking product. Rinse. Wash as usual. If stain remains, apply a pretreat product and wash again.

Blood
Treat stain immediately. Soak 30 minutes or more in cold water. Rub detergent into stain. If stain persists, place a small amount of household ammonia on the stain and rub again with
detergent. If safe for fabric, wash in hot water and chlorinebleach if traces of the stain persist.

Candle Wax
Rub with ice and scrape off excess wax. Place stain between paper towels and press with warm iron. Then place stain face down on paper towels and sponge with rubbing alcohol, if safe
for fabric (refer to WARNING above). Let dry, wash. If traces of color remain, wash with commercial color remover (Rit,Putnam, etc.) or, if safe for the fabric, hot water and chlorine bleach.

Cheese
Rinse with cold water. Soak with an enzyme soaking product. If the stain remains, apply a pretreat product. Wash as usual.

Chewing Gum
Rub with ice and scrape off excess gum. Place face down on paper towels and sponge with a pretreat product.

Chocolate or Cocoa
Rinse with cold water. Rub detergent into stain and soak in cold water. tt greasy stain remains, sponge face down on paper towels with a pretreat product. If traces of the stain remain, wash in hot water and chlorine bleach (if safe for fabric).

Coffee, Tea
Soak in cold water. Rub detergent into stain, rinse. If traces of the stain remain, use a pretreat product and wash in warm water, or wash in hot water with chlorine bleach (if safe for fabric).

Copier Toner
Shake off loose powder. Brush stain with toothbrush to remove remaining powder. Sponge stain with soapy water. If stain remains, apply a pretreat product and wash in hot water (if sale for fabric).

Crayon
Treat the same as candle wax or place face down on paper towel and spray with WD-40. Rinse. Wash in hot water if safe for fabric) using soap (not a detergent) and 1-2 cups baking
soda. If stains remain, professional dry-cleaning may be necessary.

Deodorants and Anti-Perspirants
Some of these products contain substances that can change the color of some dyes. The color can sometimes be restored if the area is sponged with ammonia then rinsed. To remove stains, apply white vinegar. Rub and rinse. If stains remain, rub detergent into stain and wash with hot water and chlorine bleach (if safe for fabric).

Dye
Treat with a commercial dye remover (Rit, Putnam) or, if safe for fabric, bleach with chlorine bleach.

Egg, Gravy
If dried, scrape off excess. Soak in cold water. Rub detergent into damp stain and, if safe for fabric, wash in hot water and chlorine bleach.

Eye and Face Make-up

Tap on the stain with a spoon to loosen it. Rub dampened slain with bar soap, dishwashing liquid or detergent. If stain remains, soak in water and detergent. Apply a pretreat product and wash as usual.

Fabric Softener

Dampen stain and rub with bar soap. Wash as usual.

Felt-Tip Marker

Rub detergent into damp stain. Apply a pretreat product. If safe for fabric, wash in hot water and chlorine bleach.

Fruit Juices

Soak in cold water. Wash in hot water with chlorine bleach ( if safe for fabric).

Grass

Place face down on paper towel and sponge with rubbing alcohol (if safe for fabric). Rinse. Apply a pretreat product and wash. If slain remains, wash in hot water with chlorine bleach (if safe for fabric).

Grease, Oil

Place face down on paper towel and sponge with a pretreat product. Dampen stain with water and rub with bar soap or detergent. Wash in hot water (if safe for fabric).

Ink

Saturate the stain with hair spray or place the fabric face down on paper towel and sponge with rubbing alcohol (refer to WARNING on previous page). Rinse. If traces of the stain remain, rub detergent into the dampened stain and wash. Some ink may be impossible to remove.

Iodine

Rinse from the backside of the stain with cold water. Then soak in a commercial color remover (Rit, Putnam, etc.) or rub in a paste of water and starch. Let stand for 15 30 minutes and wash.

Jam, Jelly

Scrape off excess. Rinse with cold water. Rub dampened stain with detergent. Apply a pretreat product and launder with an enzyme soaking product. If stain remains, sponge with a mild bleach, such as water and white vinegar mix (equal parts) and wash again.

Ketchup, Tomato-Based Products

Scrape off excess. Soak in cold water 30 minutes. Rub detergent into the stain and, if safe for fabric, wash in hot water and chlorine bleach.

Lipstick

Rub dampened stain with bar soap and wash.

Lotion (Hand, Body, Suntan)

Scrape off excess. Blot stain with paper towel. Rub colors hand dishwashing liquid into stain and let stand several minutes. Rinse.  Apply a pretreat product and wash in hot water (if safe for fabric.)

Mildew

Treat promptly. Mildew damages fabric and sometimes cannot be removed. Wash with chlorine bleach. For items that cannot be washed with chlorine bleach, soak in an all fabric bleach, then wash.

Milk and Milk Products

Soak in cold water. Wash in hot water and chlorine bleach (if safe for fabric). Apply a pretreat product, if a stain is noticeable. Rewash.

Mud

Let dry. Scrape off excess. Soak in solution of one quart warm water, half teaspoon liquid hand dishwashing detergent and one tablespoon vinegar for 15 minutes. Rinse. Wash in hot or warm water with enzyme product.

Mustard

Rinse with cold water. Rub dampened stain with bar soap.  Apply a pretreat product. Wash in hot water and chlorine  bleach (if safe for fabric).

Nail Polish

Place face down on paper towel. Sponge with nail polish remover (non-oily) until stain disappears. Wash. Do not use nail polish remover on Acetate or Arnel fabrics.

Paint

Water-based – Treat by rinsing fabric in cool water while stains are still wet. Wash. To soften dried paint, apply soapy water or an acrylic paint and varnish remover. Rinse and then wash.

Oil-based – Pretreat with a solvent recommended on the paint container. If not available, use mineral spirits. Rinse.  Pretreat with a stain remover or detergent. Rinse and wash. Be sure to thoroughly rinse to remove all solvents to prevent a possible explosion in washer.

Perspiration

Rub dampened stain with detergent. Wash in hot water and chlorine bleach (if safe for fabric). If the fabric is discolored,  you can try to restore it by treating fresh stains with ammonia  or old stains with vinegar.

Rust

Apply a mild bleach such as lemon juice or a commercial rust remover (Whink, Rit, Rover, etc.) Follow manufacturer’s directions. Wash as usual.

Salad Dressing, Mayonnaise

Scrape off excess. Apply a pretreat product. Rub stain with an  enzyme soaking product and wash with hot water (if safe for  fabric.). Do not leave washer unattended as remaining residue may cause fabric to catch on fire.

Scorching

Wash using hot water and chlorine bleach (if safe for fabric).  Fabrics can be damaged by being scorched. If this has happened, you may not be able to remove the marks.

Shoe Polish

Rub dampened stain with detergent. Wash in hot water and chlorine bleach if safe for fabric.

Soft Drinks

Rinse stain with cold water immediately. Wash in warm water and chlorine bleach, if safe for fabric.

Soy Sauce

Rinse with cold water. Apply a pretreat product. Wash as usual.

Tobacco

Dampen stain and rub with bar soap. Rinse. If necessary, soak in an all-fabric bleach solution. If stain remains, wash with  chlorine bleach (if safe for fabric).

Toothpaste

Scrape off excess. Blot stain with enzyme soaking product and cold water. Rinse. Wash as usual.

Urine

Rinse with cold water. Soak with an enzyme soaking product.  Wash in hot water with chlorine bleach (if safe for fabric). If the color of the fabric has changed, sponging the area with ammonia may restore the color.

Vomit

Soak in a solution of one quart warm water, half teaspoon liquid hand dishwashing detergent, and one tablespoon  ammonia (if safe for fabric).  Soak 15 minutes. Use sponge to loosen stain. Blot with toweling. Wash in hot water (if safe for  fabric) with an enzyme product.

Wine

Treat immediately. Rinse with cold water or club soda. Rub dampened stain with detergent and let stand several minutes.