How to Remove Stains From a White Shirt

Everyone has one, a nice white crisp shirt that you dread getting stained. White shirts are easily stained by food and sweat. Timing is important for removing stains from a white shirt; the sooner you can get it in the wash, the better your chances. Be careful, however, to apply the appropriate remedy based on the type of stain you're dealing with.

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White shirts should be pretreated before washing to remove stains.

Step 1

Pretreat your stained white shirt. Before putting your white shirt in the washing machine pretreat the stained area. Try using some laundry detergent or a stain remover directly on the stained area. This is a particularly good technique for those nasty yellow stains that form in the armpit area.

Step 2

Include some diluted bleach or 1/4 cup of baking soda in the wash when you are trying to remove a white shirt stain. Don't use bleach, however, if the stain is related to perspiration because bleach just tends to darken such stains.

Step 3

Pretreat wine stains with a stain remover and let the shirt soak for 30 minutes before you put it in the washing machine. Wine stains are notoriously hard to remove. It you get a wine stain on your shirt, try to soak up as much of the wine as possible by blotting the area when the stain happens. You can also try using soda water or white wine directly on the white shirt stain just after you have blotted it up.

Step 4

Use the appropriate stain remover for the stain. Different stain removers may be better for different stains. Take a look at the bottle to see if your stain remover is geared to the stain you're dealing with. After choosing the correct stain remover, use the pretreament steps outlined previously to remove the stain from your white shirt.

Step 5

Be careful with delicate fabrics when trying to remove a stain. If your white shirt is made with fabrics such as silk or wool, take it straight to a dry cleaner and tell the employee what kind of stain it is. Washing these items in a washing machine may cause too much damage to your garment.