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Ask Dr. Laundry

Ask Dr. Laundry

Red Clay Stains

By Dr. Laundry January 15, 2009

Q. My dog jumped on the bed leaving a large spot with red clay dirt stains on the sheets. Help!

A. Red clay is a nasty stain to remove. I assume it is dried out by now, so here’s your best shot:

Your best bet would be an extended presoak (1 hour to overnight) in a good powder detergent followed by a hot water wash with detergent and 3/4 cup Clorox® Regular-Bleach1. The powder detergent has ingredients called builders, which help extract fine particulate materials like clay. The red clay may not be totally removed with this or any approach. I know this since they use red clay to dye tourist t-shirts in Hawaii, which with repeated washing still have the red/rust color.