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How to remove fabric softener stains from your clothes

Liquid fabric softener makes clothing feel soft and helps to prevent static cling. But when fabric softener is spilt on clothes it can leave greasy stains on the fabric. It's best to wash and remove fabric softener stains as quickly as possible so the oils in the fabric softener don't have time to soak into the fibres of the fabric, leaving a dark, discoloured stain.

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  1. Dampen the fabric-softener-stained area of the clothing with cool water. Rub a mild bar of white soap against the fabric softener stains to create soap suds. Allow the white bar soap suds to sit on the fabric softener stains for 15 minutes.

  2. Wet a sponge with plain water and scrub the soapy fabric softener stains, working from the exterior of the stain toward the middle.

  3. Flush the site of the fabric softener stains with warm water until the soap suds are gone. Treat any remaining fabric softener stains with a few drops of liquid washing powder. Rub the detergent into the fabric and allow it to sit for a few minutes.

  4. Wash the clothing in the hottest water allowed according to the garment's care label. Add 1 cup white vinegar to the wash cycle, along with the liquid washing powder. White vinegar is a natural degreaser and will remove any remaining grease residue.

  5. Check the clothes before putting them in the dryer to make sure all of the fabric softener stain has been removed, as the heat from the dryer will set the stains.

  6. Tip

    Remove severe fabric softener stains by soaking the clothes in undiluted white vinegar for 30 minutes before beginning this stain removal process.

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Things You'll Need

  • White bar soap
  • Liquid washing powder
  • 1 cup white vinegar

About the Author

Mary Ylisela

Mary Ylisela is a former teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and mathematics. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education. Prior to teaching, Ylisela worked as a certified fitness instructor and a small-business owner.

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