University Of Illinois Extensions’ Stain Solutions

May 12, 2011

I was reading the Wall Street Journal’s article on underarm sweat stains and came across this excerpt

The University of Illinois Extension Stain Solutions department recommends a daunting regimen to treat a yellow underarm stain. It urges scraping off any excess material with a blunt kitchen knife, soaking the garment for 15 minutes in a quart of lukewarm water, half a teaspoon of dishwashing detergent and one tablespoon ammonia, gently rubbing from the back to loosen the stain, soaking another 15 minutes, then rinsing. 

If it doesn’t go away, soak the stain in a laundry detergent that contains enzymes for at least half an hour, then put in the washing machine. An older stain should be soaked for several hours. Then launder. If the stain remains stubborn, use chlorine beach, if safe, on white shirts and oxygen bleach on colors.

It seems like good advice to keep on hand, in addition to Jesse’s recommendation of vinegar and OxyClean, given that temperatures are about to rise. 

More importantly, I Googled around and found the University of Illinois Extensions’ stain solutions website. I’m not sure it’s a “department,” in the academic sense, but it does seem incredibly comprehensive and useful. Click here to see an index to every kind of stain solution you can imagine. You can also click here to read their general suggestions, as well as here to read a list of products you might want to have on hand in order to deal with stains. 

This might be a good thing to bookmark, and then refer to when you need it. Lord knows I prostrate in front of my washer every time my clothes get stained. It’ll probably be good to employ something a bit more scientific in the future.