Learn How to Get Rid of Liquid or Powder Detergent Stains on Shirts or Other Laundry
Detergent is supposed to help remove stains, but sometimes it leaves a mark (or two) of its own. If a washing machine is overloaded or detergent is not properly dispensed, it won’t properly dissolve in water – meaning it ends up on your clothes instead.
Laundry detergent stains are annoying, but they don’t have to be permanent. Use our guide to learn how to help remove detergent stains from clothes.
1) How to get liquid laundry detergent stains out of clothes
Liquid laundry detergent stains can show up if your detergent wasn’t properly rinsed away. Fortunately, it’s fairly easy to remove these types of stains.
Step 1: Start by mixing 1 cup of vinegar into 1 quart of water in a sink or laundry tub.
Step 2: Place the soiled item in the tub;
Step 3: Once it’s wet, rub the stained portion of the garment against itself to loosen the detergent.
Step 4: Let the garment soak up to one hour, and then run it in the washing machine separately or with only a few clothes.
Tip: Don’t overstuff the machine – your soiled garment needs room to tumble and agitate so the detergent can work its way out of the fabric. After the item is done in the washing machine, pull it out and take a look. If the stain is still there, repeat the steps above. Don’t dry your shirt until all of the detergent is gone – heat can set the stain.
2) How to remove powdered detergent/hard water stains from clothes
If you have hard water and use powdered detergent, you may notice stains on your dark clothes. That’s because powdered detergents don’t always dissolve in hard water, which can leave streaks. (You may not notice these streaks on light or white clothes.) To avoid this issue, be sure to completely dissolve powdered detergents in your top loading washing machine’s wash water before adding clothes.
If you have a front-load washer, you may wish to switch to liquid detergents or dissolve powdered detergent in water before adding it to the machine. Powdered detergent/hard water stains can be removed from clothes by using the same soaking method for liquid detergents described above.
4) How to remove fabric softener stains
Fabric softeners help keep fabrics soft and supple, but they can leave their own stains if they come in direct contact with clothes. If you see or feel a waxy residue on your clothes after they’ve been washed, fabric softener may be to blame. To remove these stains, first scrub the area using a bar of laundry soap and a soft bristle cleaning brush.
This will loosen the stain and help to work it out of the fibers. After removing as much as you can by hand, place the item in your next regular load of laundry. Repeat this process as often as necessary until the stain is removed.
3) How to remove laundry detergent residue
While powdered laundry detergents may not leave stains on light or white clothes, they can sometimes leave a residue that can make clothes stiff. The best course of action in this case is to switch to a liquid detergent, or alternate between powder and liquid to help keep residue from building up over time. If you do not wish to use liquid detergents, you can add a laundry water softener to help the powder fully dissolve and rinse away more easily.
Need other Stain Removal Guides?
As an expert laundry brand, we host a handful of stain removal guides that can help you get the toughest stains out of your laundry. Check them out below:
Why you should be using HE detergent in your washing machine
You might have heard the term “high-efficiency” a lot lately and you might have seen HE detergent in the grocery store and wondered if you should be using it in your washing machine.
How to get dried paint out of clothes
Life is messy, hands get dirty and at some point, someone is going to splatter their shirt or jeans with paint.
How to prevent pilling on clothes
You’ve seen them on your sweaters, your workout clothes, even your favourite pair of pants – those small, firm balls of lint frequently referred to as “pills.”
Want more answers to your kitchen and laundry questions?