How to Get Rid of Unknown Dried Laundry Stains

As adults, we are able to identify most of the stains on our clothes. We dribbled coffee on our favorite work shirt. We stepped in a mud puddle that was deeper than we anticipated and stained the cuffs of our jeans. We leaned against a freshly painted wall at our apartment complex. However, as parents, we are often left to “scratch and sniff” the stains on our children's clothes to try to identify the substances. When we ask our son or daughter what they spilled on his or her sweatshirt, we are greeted with a shrug and an “I dunno.” Try the following tips to conquer your household's mystery laundry stains.

Fill the sink, tub or clean basin with warm water. Add 1 cup of mild laundry detergent.

Let soak for anywhere from a couple of hours to overnight. To determine how long you should soak your clothing, check the stain after two hours, and if it hasn't lifted at all, soak overnight.

Rinse stained garment well after soaking. If the stain is gone, launder as usual. If the stain is still visible, proceed to step 4.

Make a baking soda paste with 6 tablespoons of baking soda and ½ cup warm water. Use your fingers to cover the stain with the paste. Leave on for one hour.

Rinse away the baking soda paste. Apply vinegar directly to the stain and rinse. Wash as usual in washer.

If the stain is still present, try soaking it again in the detergent solution overnight.