Leaving the nest and striking out on their own, students will face one of the biggest challenges of their young lives: doing their own laundry. No longer will their clothes magically vanish from the hamper only to reappear clean, pressed, and neatly folded. Instead, they’ll have to batten down the hatches and figure out the difference between a rinse and spin cycle, where the detergent goes, and just what, exactly, are delicates.
To help ease the transition, here are tips on how to remove some of the most common stains college students will run into.
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There are all manner of things that could cause a young student to perspire: a test they forgot to study for, running late for class or simply staring at a dwindling bank account.
You’ll need: Vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide
Do: Soak the shirt in vinegar water for around 20 minutes. Remove and dry until damp. Mix the baking soda and hydrogen peroxide together and apply to stains. Let it sit for half an hour before putting it through a wash.
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Most people have their first embrace with this caffeinated temptress at college, where a lack of sleep is the norm and a liquid boost is imperative.
You’ll need: Boiling water, laundry detergent, sponge
Do: Stretch the item until taut, then pour boiling water through the stain. Repeat until it is removed. If the coffee had milk in it, use a sponge and rub it with laundry detergent first. After the stain is removed, run the garment through the wash.
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Whether it’s from doodling on a notepad or taking fastidious notes, there’s a good chance pen ink will find itself in some unwanted places.
You’ll need: Rubbing alcohol, cotton swabs, paper towel
Do: Quickly press a paper towel against the stain before it dries. The paper towel will absorb some of the ink. Then apply rubbing oil to a cotton swab and dab at the stain. Repeat until stain has been removed before running the garment through the wash.
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There will undoubtedly be a kegger or two attended during a student’s time at college, and spills and splashes from beer pong are inevitable.
You’ll need: Liquid laundry detergent
Do: Soak the garment in cold water for about half an hour. Remove and rub liquid laundry detergent directly into the stain and let sit for 10 minutes. Wash the garment and repeat steps if necessary.
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When you’re on a budget, pub food is a culinary delight and chicken wings are a basic food group. Unfortunately, saucy finger foods tend to leave stains.
You’ll need: Dish detergent, vinegar
Do: For this two-step process, first soak the garment in warm water with dish detergent, which will help remove the stain. Rinse the garment and then pour vinegar on the spot to remove any oily remains. Run the garment through the washing machine and it will be good as new.