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Ask Dr. Laundry

Ask Dr. Laundry

Removing Pitching from Clothing

By Dr. Laundry September 28, 2010

Q. Five days ago I got some pitch from a blue spruce tree on my exercise clothes. The clothes are black, and made from polyester and some spandex. Can you suggest a treatment?

A. This can be a very challenging stain to get out. Try treating the stains directly with De-Solv-It or Goo Gone, which you can find at hardware stores. I wouldn’t expect a problem with your polyester/spandex clothes, but I would still first test for colorfastness (apply a drop to a hidden part of the garments, rinse, and blot dry). If there is no color change, spray or rub a little into the pitch and then wash with detergent in the hottest water allowed (check the care label). Allow to air dry, and then check for success. You may need to repeat the treatment to remove the stains fully, increasing the length of time you pretreat the stains. Good luck and let me know how it goes.