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Delicate Stains

Your Stain Guide Solution

Treating a stain on your delicate garment can seem intimidating, but taking care of items like intimates or a vintage blouse doesn’t have to be a chore. Whether you opt to hand or machine wash, read on for our expert tips to gently cleanse delicates at home.

What you'll need to treat stains on delicate items:

  • A stain treatment for delicate fabrics
  • Wash basin or sink
  • A gentle wash solution like Delicate Wash

Step One

Start by carefully reading your garment's tag. You'll notice that some delicate garments will have tags that say "handwash" or "dry clean." While this wording doesn't rule out your machine, it does mean you'll have to take extra care when machine washing your delicate garments. We recommend against attempting to handwash "dry clean only" tagged items, as this usually means the garment is simply not designed to be submerged in water. If your tag says “dry clean only,” obey the label and take it to the pros.

Step Two

Test it out! If your tag reads "dry clean" or you're unsure about washability, always test the garment before washing at home by following our guide.

Step Three

Next, apply your stain remover. We recommend using a gentle formula appropriate for delicate fabrics. Work it into the fabric using a Stain Brush dampened with cool water. Gently scrub, using circular motions. Avoid scrubbing over any embellishment, like sequins or fine lace. For older, tougher stains, soak before washing. Fill a sink or wash basin with cool water, add Delicate Wash, then let it soak for no longer than 30 minutes.

Step Four

For added cleaning power after soaking, pour tepid water from a height onto the affected area, using your faucet. The force of the pouring water will help to work the stain. Apply more stain treatment, then proceed with laundering.

  • Launder according to your garment's instructions. When washing stained delicates, it's important to use a gentle detergent like Delicate Wash. This formula is specially designed to provide a gentle clean for items that require a little more care like lingerie, undergarments, sleepwear and evening wear.
  • Hand Wash: Soak your delicate item in cool water for up to 30 minutes. Rinse it well after soaking. Never wring or twist delicates - instead, press down on the fabric to get the water out. If the pressing down method doesn’t feel like it’s getting the job done, just lay your delicate item on a clean towel and roll it up like a sleeping bag to help absorb the moisture faster. 
  • Machine Wash: Turn each of your delicate items inside out and make sure all zippers are zipped and closures are fastened. Put your delicates in a protective Mesh Bag and add Delicate Wash to your machine's dispenser. Select your machine’s gentle or delicate cycle, with the lowest spin speed and a cold water temperature to avoid damage.

Never put delicates in the dryer, instead hang them to dry. If hanging your delicates isn’t a viable option, you can lay them flat on a towel to dry. Flip your item halfway through to speed up drying. Lastly, to get that enviable pressed and polished look, finish with a quick steam.

Take Note: Our recommended stain treatment methods are based on textile science, and solely intended for use with The Laundress products. We cannot guarantee the success of products from other brands. Always test delicates and items tagged "dry clean" for color bleeding and water reactions before laundering. Kindly note that not all garments may perform and react as science would predict.

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