Five Things That Can Stain Your Clothes

We all know that bleach can permanently discolor our clothes. But you might be surprised to find out that there are five commonly used household items that can either stain or discolor your favorite garments.


[picapp align=”left” wrap=”true” link=”term=deodorant&iid=5289708″ src=”5/f/2/7/Antiperspirant_assorted_6e7e.jpg?adImageId=7967748&imageId=5289708″ width=”156″ height=”200″ /] 1. Antiperspirant / Deodorant – They may keep you smelling fresh all day, however the ingredients (like aluminum) aren’t fabric friendly. Antiperspirants / deodorants can chemically react with the fabric itself, or any dyes used to color the fabric and leave white or yellow spots. To prevent those spots from becoming stains, have the garment cleaned as soon as possible and ask your dry cleaner to “pre-spot” the underarms. In addition, here are some tips to prevent antiperspirant / deodorant stains in the first place:

-Try an anti-stain formula antiperspirant / deodorant.
-Apply antiperspirant / deodorant before you dress, and wait until it’s completely dry before putting on your clothing.

[picapp align=”right” wrap=”true” link=”term=perfume&iid=5247072″ src=”4/2/d/f/Close_up_of_fd8e.jpg?adImageId=7967936&imageId=5247072″ width=”175″ height=”175″ /] 2. Perfume / Cologne – Another culprit that keeps you “scent”-sational but is not fabric friendly.  Perfumes & colognes often have a high alcohol content.  The alcohol evaporates quickly when applied, leaving the oil scent base.  However, if the perfume / cologne comes in contact with your clothing before it’s dry, a chemical reaction can occur with the dyes used to color the fabric, leaving faded or discolored spots.  On white clothing, the perfume / cologne can leave yellow or brown spots caused by acidic oxidation. (Think of biting into an apple and leaving it sit for a few minutes).   The best way to prevent staining caused by perfumes or colognes is to apply them before  getting dressed and waiting until they are completely dry.

[picapp align=”left” wrap=”true” link=”term=toothpaste&iid=5250564″ src=”d/6/d/9/Closeup_of_a_40ea.jpg?adImageId=7968020&imageId=5250564″ width=”58″ height=”58″ /] 3. Tooth Whitening Products – The ingredients in toothpastes, mouth rinses, and whitening strips that whiten your teeth will also leave discolored spots if they come in contact with your favorite clothes.

4. Hairspray – Just like perfumes & colognes, hairsprays often have a high amount of alcohol as an ingredient, causing discoloration or yellow stains when coming in contact with clothing.  Keep in mind that the chemical reaction can occur and be”invisible.”  The damage may already be done and will show up when the garment is cleaned (the dye washes away, or heat makes the stain visible).

[picapp align=”right” wrap=”true” link=”term=soda&iid=5190229″ src=”4/7/4/3/closeup_of_soda_f3b3.jpg?adImageId=7968062&imageId=5190229″ width=”175″ height=”175″ /] 5. Sugar – Almost everything we eat or drink has some kind of (naturally occurring or processed) sugar in it. When exposed to heat, sugar caramelizes and turns a wonderful golden brown.  That’s great for desserts, but not for clothes.   When sugar comes in contact with clothing it often remains “invisible.”  Left untreated, sugar will turn into a nice brown stain.   To prevent this, have your clothes cleaned as soon as possible after coming in contact with any foods or drinks, and remember to ask your dry cleaner to “pre-spot” soiled areas, even if they are “invisible.”

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