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Ask Dr. Laundry

Ask Dr. Laundry

Aging Stains: Your Questions

By Dr. Laundry January 23, 2007

I received the following question from Dianne, a reader. Check out my response for handling your own stains:

“We’ve got a new puppy in the house and last week she jumped on me as I was sitting down with coffee. Of course the coffee went everywhere, but mostly on my white 45% Modal shirt. The shirt was promptly stuffed into the laundry bin and forgotten about so it sat for about a week before it was washed. To make matters worse, I forgot to check to see if the stain came out before I dried it! Now I’ve got a stain (very faint) on this white shirt, do you have any tips or pointers about how to get it out? This is also my first time dealing with this fabric, so I’m not sure what it can and can’t handle. Please help!”

Don’t you just love puppies! They bring so much happiness, yet, when you least expect it, there’s a mess to clean up.

I had to do a little research on the Modal fabric as I was not familiar with it. It’s made from beech tree bark and is supposed to make the item lighter and softer on your skin.

To address your problem, you should try something a little stronger to get the faint spot out. My recommendation would be either the Clorox Bleach Pen or our new Clorox UltimateCare Premium bleach. They have lower bleach levels than Clorox Regular-Bleach and they are thicker, easier to control for spot pre-treating. Simply apply a small amount, wait 1-2 minutes and then wash in the warmest water recommended for the item.

It was also nice to notice that you recognized a couple of things you had done incorrectly. Rather than immediately dealing with the problem, placing it in the hamper and allowing the coffee stain to dry out probably made it much more difficult to remove. Also not checking at the end of the wash cycle for complete removal, and then drying may have set the stain.

Anyway, give the stain another try with the Bleach Pen or UltimateCare and let me know if they work.

Good luck and thanks for posting your problem.