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How to remove stubborn stains

The red wine glass tipped over at dinner? The shirt is covered with grease splatters from cooking? There are many types of stains that the washing machine can't reliably remove. That's why it's important to pre-treat tough stains before you throw the garment in the laundry drum.

1. The faster, the better

If you wash out the stains immediately, you have a better chance of getting the textiles completely clean again. Waiting for a long time will cause the stains to bind with the fibers and stick to the garment. Therefore, even if it is tedious, you should treat fresh stains quickly.

2. Protect your clothes

Vigorous rubbing may help to remove stains from the fabric. However, it puts a lot of strain on the fibers and makes your clothes not look nice sooner. Rubbing isn't really necessary for fresh stains: put some water on the stain and gently blot it away with an absorbent cloth.

3. From the outside to the inside

When you treat a stain before washing it, you should work from the edge to the inside. This will prevent the stain from growing unintentionally.

4. Soak with Washo

Especially old stains are difficult to wash out of the fabric. In this case, soak the garment overnight in water after pretreating it with bile soap. To increase the effect, depending on the amount of water, you can tear a half or a whole Washo and let it dissolve in the water.

5. Miracle cure bile soap

Bile soap is a quick and easy remedy for stains. The natural product consists of bovine gall and curd soap, which allows environmentally friendly washing. Dampen fabric, gently rub the soap over the stain, let it soak in for a bit and rinse. You can find them in the drugstore, but also in retail stores - make sure that the soap does not contain palm oil. If you want to avoid animal ingredients, you can alternatively use a vegetable curd soap.

But why does bile soap work so well against many types of stains? Bovine bile contains enzymes that are normally needed during digestion and therefore easily remove stains that contain fat, protein or dyes. However, bile soap is not suitable for delicate textiles.

6. Stay away from bleaching agents and universal stain removers.

Chemical bleach destroys deposits in the fabric, but it is harmful to nature. Due to halogen compounds that are difficult to degrade, bleach in detergents (as well as in other cleaning products) can pollute wastewater severely.

Universal stain removers are also not a good choice. According to Stiftung Warentest, they usually work no better than a heavy-duty detergent.