Sunlight Can Remove Stubborn Stains

by Charlotte Wood
(last updated February 7, 2022)

Some stains are just impossible to get out of your clothes. I have some small stains from ages ago that just won't come out. I just can't really think about it because it's frustrating. So is there a way to remove stubborn stains that show no promise of coming out? There are a few tricks of the trade you could test out and there is one final solution to try if all else fails.

Try the sun. It may seem like a more primitive way of approaching stain removal, but it's definitely worth a try. This won't really have a chance at working however if you go in cold. You need to have tried other methods first before attempting this one. Try everything you can think of: baking soda, vinegar, bleach (if the garment is okay with that), spot remover, generic stain treatments, brand name stain treatments, specialized stain treatments—anything to prep the garment for the sun approach. You want to make sure that you really can't remove the stain with traditional methods before you go for this particular option.

If this really is your last resort then here's how you should go about it. Put some high powered stain remover on the stain and then set in a place where the sun will directly hit it for an extended period of time. In theory the sun is going to "activate" the stain remover, the light and heat urging the chemicals to act and therefore taking out the stain. It's a long shot, but one worth trying if all else fails.

Something else you can try while using the sun tactic is to attack stubborn stains from behind. When you're trying to remove a stain, avoid working it deeper into the fabric. Here's how. Place the item, stained side down, on a white cloth or paper towel. Apply the stain remover and push the stain out from the back. With a particularly resistant spot, you may have to replace the cloth or towel several times.

This sun remedy is a little less conventional and may or may not work—I give no promises. However with those beloved pieces of clothing, it's always worth trying anything before you give up. Stubborn stains don't have to be impossible and if sun does the trick, then so be it!

Author Bio

Charlotte Wood

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