The Two Most Difficult Types of Stains According to Consumer Reports

At Red Hanger Cleaners, we've had been working with Wasatch Front families and professionals to dry clean and perform wash-and-fold services for over 40 years! We are fairly certain that we've seen every possible type of stain there is, and we're glad to share our experience.

Before trying to tackle tough stains, especially on potentially sensitive fabrics, it's always best to educate yourself to avoid making the situation worse. This month: we tackle the two most difficult stains to get out, according to Consumer Reports Magazine. Remember, if you need a personalized answer clothing or fabric care answer, please contact us and we'd be happy to help! 

The World's Most Difficult Stain #1: Hot Chocolate with milk

salt lake city chocolate stain help salt lake city

a perfect storm of bad ingredients 

Hot chocolate not only contains a highly-pigmented liquid (chocolate), it contains protein in the form of milk (and maybe cream or marshmallows if it's extra-fancy. Not to mention, it's hot! The added heat helps the stain set to your carpet or favorite shirt in no time. Here's what needs to be considered and why this stain was considered the most difficult after Consumer Reports performed hundreds of stain tests! 

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    First of all, don't burn yourself! Immediately remove any piece of clothing that has contact with you (or your child's) skin. 
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    Now, it's time to get cold water on the stain- ASAP! The warmth opens the pores of fabrics and allows stains to penetrate more deeply. 
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    Next, try to get rid of the pigment (and sugars) by gently blotting up as much as you can with paper towels or a clean cloth. Take care not to press the stain more deeply into the fabric- be gentle! 
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    Wash the soiled cloth with cool, soapy water. Rinse several times. 
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    Now, you have to get rid of the second part of the problem: the fat and protein in the milk, which makes it not only bind more tightly to most fabrics, but will lead to an extremely unpleasant smell if left untreated. Blot the area with a diluted de-greasing agent like citrasolve, making sure to test in an inconspicuous spot first. 
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    After these two steps have been taken, re-evalutate the situation in the context of the type of fabric involved. If there is still a stain, you may need to try hydrogen peroxide, and if that fails, bleach may be your only other alternative. If it's synthetic, silk, your Grandmother's lace tablecloth, other delicate fabrics, please call us for help first before you ruin a family heirloom!

The Worl'ds Most difficult stain #2: baby poop

For environmental, health, or economic reasons, many families are going back to cloth diapers. We've covered this in a previous post, but it's worth revisiting, now that Consumer Reports has weighed in on the matter and we have so many young families in our community.  

help with cloth diapers SLC

Hold your nose, follow these steps to clean cloth diapers, and you'll be fine!

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    Remember to wear gloves or wash your hands thoroughly with soap and hot water--sing "happy birthday" to yourself twice while scrubbing-- after dealing with any fluid like blood, vomit, urine, or feces! Dry your hands thoroughly when finished washing. Don't forget to wash your hands again before preparing food. 
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    To get rid of the "solids", most families prefer the "dunk and swirl" method. Place the soiled part of the diaper under the toilet's waterline and flush. This should pull off most of the solids. Braver parents may reserve a special spatula to be used for this purpose alone. 
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    For dirty diapers or other tough stains that you will be laundering, always take advantage of the "prewash" or "pretreat" setting on your washing machine. This can help with tougher stains for the same reason as the hot chocolate trick above-- or similar stains like blood or vomit. 
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    Now, wash (separately, we probably don't need to say) the diapers in hot water with an oxygen-based cleaner or color-safe bleach. If the cloth is white, add bleach according to directions. 

If you have an extra-serious stain mishap, especially with tough-to-deal-with fabrics, Red Hanger Cleaners can probably help! Don't lose hope; contact us today and we may be able to help. We have locations open six days a week including free scheduled pickup and dropoff services all across the Wasatch front for your convenience. Additionally, we always have a monthly special; visit the page for extra savings.

  • Always take advantage of the prewash or pretreat option on your laundry machine! This can help with tougher stains for the same reason as hot chocolate above. Use cold water as a pre-wash treatment before laundering your diapers.