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Dr. Laundry’s Tips for Treating Valentine’s Day Stains

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Candlelight dinners…box of chocolates…bright red roses… ahhh… Valentine’d Day. While it might be a harsh reminder that some people don’t have someone special to share the day with, for others it’s a day of romance and surprises. Like Surprise! You just spilled red wine on your favorite blouse or Surprise! The dark chocolate bon bon from your heart shaped box of chocolates just melted on to your skirt.

In case you have any holiday mishap, don’t let it spoil your special day. Instead refer to these handy tips, compliments of Dr. Laundry.

Chocolate

For regular chocolate, you want to attack the greasy portion first, but with milk chocolate, the protein portion should be attacked first. After these have been tackled, we hit it with bleach to help get the color out. While chocolate is a difficult stain to remove-the task is not impossible. 

Regular Chocolate
First, pretreat with a good liquid detergent to help solubilize/dissolve those emulsifiers. Rub into the stain and wait 5-10 minutes.

  • White Item: Now, rub it gently with Clorox® Bleach Pen™ Gel immediately before laundering. Then wash immediately in hot water with detergent and 3/4 cup Clorox® Regular-Bleach (or ½ cup Clorox® Concentrated Regular Bleach).
  • Colored/Patterned Item: Now, rub it gently with Clorox2® Stain Fighter & Color Booster immediately before laundering. Then wash immediately in warm water with detergent and Clorox2®.

Milk Chocolate
Here, you want to presoak the fabric in cold water and liquid detergent for about 30 minutes to help loosen the protein part of the stain.

  • White Item: Now, rub it gently with Clorox® Bleach Pen™ Gel immediately before laundering. Then wash immediately in hot water with detergent and 3/4 cup Clorox® Regular-Bleach (or ½ cup Clorox® Concentrated Regular Bleach).
  • Colored/Patterned Item: Now, rub it gently with Clorox2® Stain Fighter & Color Booster immediately before laundering. Then wash immediately in warm water with detergent and Clorox2®.

Don’t forget, like any other stain, be sure to inspect the item before you put it in the dryer. If the chocolate stain remains after your initial washing, repeat the steps above prior to drying item.  

Red Wine

While tannins help develop complexity to the flavor of the wine, they also add difficulty to stain removal. Here are some easy tips for saving your tablecloth or T-shirt:

First and foremost, quickly blot the spot as soon as possible after the stain occurs with a paper towel or cloth to absorb excess red wine. I like using club soda to bubble up the stain and help prevent it from setting. To help bubble off the stain, I recommend you pour the club soda from the back of the stain. Treating the stain immediately also greatly increases your odds that the stain it will be successfully removed. Bonus tip: Do NOT rub bar soap on a red wine stain. It may set the stain.

  • White Item: Now, rub it gently with Clorox® Bleach Pen™ Gel immediately before laundering. Then wash immediately in hot water with detergent and 3/4 cup Clorox® Regular-Bleach (or ½ cup Clorox® Concentrated Regular Bleach).
  • Colored/Patterned Item: Now, rub it gently with Clorox2® Stain Fighter & Color Booster and wait 3-5 minutes for it to start working. Then wash immediately in warm water with detergent and Clorox2®.

As always, before you toss the item into the dryer, check to ensure that the stain has been fully removed. If the stain remains, repeat the appropriate process above until the stain is gone. If you dry a stained item, the stain may be set into the fiber making subsequent removal much more difficult.

Lipstick
Lipstick is a combination stain of a greasy/oil part and dye, and you have to treat the oil portion of the stain first. Here’s the process:

  1. Pre-treat the stain with liquid dish washing detergent on a damp cloth. From the back of the item, push the liquid through the stain to help separate it from the fabric. Remember to dab, not rub, as rubbing can force the stain into the fibers.
  2. While pushing the stain from the back of the fabric, put a dry cloth under the front of the item and continue to blot the lipstick away from the fabric. Keep changing to a clean part of dry towel to prevent re-staining the item.
  • White Item: Wash immediately after in the hottest water recommended on the care label using detergent and ¾ cup Clorox® Regular Bleach (or ½ cup Clorox® Concentrated Regular Bleach)

  • Colored/Patterned Item: Apply Clorox 2® Stain Fighter & Color Booster and rub into stain. Wash immediately in the warmest water recommended on the care label using detergent and Clorox 2®.

Finally, inspect the item. If any stain remains, repeat the steps above prior to drying the item.

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Kimberly

*I was not compensated for this post. I posted this for the benefit of my site readers.

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About Kimberly

Kimberly Vetrano resides in the suburbs of New York City with her family, five cats, dog, a tank full of fish and snails. She is also a freelance writer and photographer.