I'll Never Go Back to Bleach After Learning This Stain Removing Tip

Yes, it involves baking soda.

I say the same mini prayer every time I put on any white piece of clothing: "Please, no spills today." Usually, my clothes escape meals unscathed. But occasionally, pizza or pasta sauce makes their way onto my white jeans, and I rush home to begin the stain-removing process.

Bleach had been my go-to stain remover, until this past week when mysterious stains appeared all over my white jeans. The culprit was dye from other light garments in the wash load that bled onto my pristine white jeans – rookie mistake.

Removing stain from white shirt measuring determent by hand
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I washed them in a bleach cycle and soaked them in a bleach-water mixture overnight with no success. This stain was determined to become a permanent tie-dye feature on my white jeans.

After a quick search on the internet for "DIY stain removing tips," I decided to try a new stain-removing method: An equal-part vinegar and baking soda paste.

I should have known that baking soda would somehow be involved. At this point I'm wondering if there's anything baking soda can't do.

Turns out that baking soda is extremely absorbent, so it's a great tool to have on hand for stubborn oil, grease, and other stuck-on stains. Baking soda is also a deodorizer, so go ahead and sprinkle it into the sweaty gym clothes wash – no judgement here. The acetic acid in vinegar acts as a disinfectant and reacts with the baking soda to lift stains. This combination is also great for brightening whites.

With a little bit of scrubbing and leaving the paste to set for 30 minutes, I was able to almost remove the stains completely from my white jeans. I then left the jeans to soak again overnight in a tub with water and equal parts vinegar and detergent.

After doing a quick rinse cycle and letting my jeans air dry, the stains were completely gone, and I was convinced to permanently replace bleach with baking soda and vinegar in my clothes washing routine.

And don't worry, I learned my lesson on mixing loads. Whites will stay strictly separated from even the lightest of garments that could potentially turn my whites into a new tie-dye masterpiece.

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