We might not be experiencing the pain of a yellow mustard spill at a Mets game or boozy date nights involving Cabernet, but quarantine stains hit differently. Our first world problems seem magnified in lockdown. Something as small as spilled coffee on your favorite sweats to kitchen mishaps from a TikTok recipe can reveal just how close we are to a mental breakdown. To help calm you down, we spoke to industry-loved experts to tackle your scariest stains: Gwen Whiting and Lindsey Boyd, the co-founders of The Laundress (a collection of eco-friendly detergents and fabric care specifically designed to be gentle on your favorite designer delicates), and Zachary Pozniak, VP of Operations at the renowned, high-end, luxury dry cleaning company, Jeeves New York. Pozniak is also the face behind the addictive Tiktok account, @cleanfreakz, which lays out 60-second tips on how to clean everything from a Docs to a Prada puffer jacket. We asked them for their expertise on general laundry dos and don’ts, plus detailed step-by-step instructions on how to reverse makeup, grease, and food stains, below. DO read the garment labelHere’s a golden rule of thumb: if the item says dry clean only, then dry clean only. Pozniak does not recommend trying to lift stains on these items yourself, so trust the professionals to do the dirty work for you. If it can be washed at home, then proceed with caution and care. DON’T panic when you get a stain.
The moment a stain hits your favorite designer garment, it happens so fast you swear it went down in slow-motion. The key is not to panic. “The most common mistake we see people do is using paper napkins, club soda, or whatever’s around to attempt to remove the stain, which, for the most part, only makes it worse,” says Boyd. “It’s better to wait and treat it at home, where you can use the proper products and tools and have time to treat the affected area. Any frantic attempts can end up making a bigger mess, leaving you with traces of paper lint on the item and an even larger stain.”DO dab (not wipe)
“Avoid using paper towels, napkins, or tissue” says Whiting. The Laundress created the Lint-Free Cleaning Cloth as an easy “go-to” cloth for removing stains. Instead of spreading the stain in by rubbing, use a dabbing motion pulling up, which lifts the stain. For your tool,…