After a run in with a spitting espresso machine at work, I discovered the best stain remover for white cotton clothing! And it doesn't require bleach - which I find can be hard on my clothes and the air I'm breathing!
Step 1: A White Shirt's Nemesis...
Coffee. A great way to start a day, unless you end up wearing it instead of drinking it! It's a super staining substance. If this happens to you, here's what to do...
Step 2: Act Fast!
As quickly as you can after the staining occurs, remove your article of clothing and turn it inside out.
Step 3: Run Cold Water
The reason you turn the item inside out is so that your not pushing the stain even further into the fibers when you rinse it. If you can manage to do this step while the stain is still wet, it will do a great job of removing a lot of the staining.
Step 4: The Stain Fighting Warriors
Grab a big bowl or plastic tub, distilled white vinegar, and laundry detergent.
Step 5: Spot Clean
Lay out your garment. Pour or squeeze a dab of laundry detergent onto each stained area and give them all a gentle rub, working in the detergent.
Step 6: Soap & Vinegar
Fill your container with water and mix in 2 cups of vinegar and 1/2 cap or one packet of laundry detergent.
Give it a good swish.
Then add your stained garment and make sure it is completely submerged.
Soak it for 3 hours, giving it the occasional stir.
Step 7: Wash It
After the 3 hours are up, remove it from the soak bath and gently squeeze as much of the vinegar mixture out as you can.
Throw it into your washing machine (you can add it in with other whites) and wash with cold water.
Lay flat to dry. THIS IS IMPORTANT! If you put it in the dryer, any remaining staining will get heat set into the fabric and will be nearly impossible to remove.
Once dry you can inspect it to see if it needs one more round in the washer. When this staining occurred, I waited until my coffee stains were dry before I took action, so my shirt needed two machine washings. But now it is back to it's old sparkly white self!
Step 8: Ta Da!
All clean and back in action!
If you have other tips on good ways of removing stains from whites, please be sure to share them in the comment section!