(NC) The basics of laundry seem straightforward, but sometimes it fees like stain removal requires an advanced degree. Check out these easy tips.

GRASS
These stains contain a pigment that sticks to clothing fibres. The secret is to act fast, soaking the stain in cold water as soon as possible. Once the garment is really soaked with water, use a cleaning agent like white vinegar or rubbing alcohol to treat the stain.

RED WINE
With a wine stain, it’s all about the dab – rubbing the stain can set it further. Dabbing complete, apply salt liberally to the stained area, let it dry and then wash with cold water and a mix of detergent and baking soda.

LIPSTICK
Kiss away lipstick stains by pre-treating with a solvent-based stain removal product (or a bit of liquid detergent). Allow the stain remover to work for at least 15 minutes and then wash the garment in the hottest water possible for the fabric – be sure to read the care label.

SAUCES
Can’t eat pasta without spilling tomato sauce on your top? Simply apply dish detergent to the stain and rub with an ice cube. Once the stain has faded, blot it with a clean cloth soaked with vinegar and wash as usual.

OIL AND GREASE
Start by covering the stain in baby powder or cornstarch as quickly as possible – the powder will soak up much of the grease or oil. After about 30 minutes, dust off any excess powder and give the garment a wash on the hottest water-setting possible for the fabric.

Still feeling stymied by stains? Modern laundry appliances are making it easier than ever to tackle tough ones with pre-determined settings. GE Appliances’ new washers, for example, come with a Stain Removal Guide feature: simply push a button based on the stain you’re treating and the machine will automatically adjust the water temperature, spin speed, wash action and soak time. Learn more at geappliances.ca.

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