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Protein stains
Laundry Room | Stains and Fabric Care

Protein Stains – 3 Easy Hacks for Dealing with Protein Stains

March 16, 2022

Got a protein stain? Wondering what the heck is a protein stain? Just desperately trying to get rid of a nasty blood or vomit stain and haven’t found anything that works?

You’re in the right place.

In the #cleaningarmy, we don’t like the nasty, but we also don’t shy away from it. Keep reading to learn how to roll up your sleeves and get rid of protein stains. (Including a simple and cheap little hack that flat-out WORKS.)

What is a Protein Stain?

So here we are. You used to spend your nights and weekends Googling the best happy hour specials. Now your Google search history contains phrases like “how to remove baby puke from a sweater” or “how to clean milk out of a sofa.” 

No judgment…been there.

But what is a protein stain anyway? It’s basically anything that came from a human or animal. We’re talking nosebleeds on your good towels, baby puke on sleepers, and ALL the pants during potty training. 

No crying over spilled milk in the #cleaningarmy, because we’ve got all the tricks up our sleeves to clean that sh*t up – literally.

(Note: There are a lot of good stain removers on the market like Tide Rescue, but we love a good, cheap hack that WORKS. So that’s what we’re giving you in this article.)

Cheap and Easy Ways to Remove Protein Stains

REMEMBER: Treat stains quickly so they can’t set in and NO HEAT until you know the stain is gone. 

Our go-to recipe for protein stains can be used on all of the above, except for blood and sweat (keep reading if that is the case). The trick here is to use an enzyme based cleaner. 

  • Mix 1 tsp of OxiClean® OR Powdered Tide® to 1 tbsp water. Scrub the mixture into the stain, and let sit overnight. Wash in COLD water and check that the stain has lifted before putting it in the dryer or the heat will set the stain. Repeat these steps if it has not lifted.

Sweat stains on the armpits of your shirt are caused by the minerals in sweat (salt) mixing with the ingredients in deodorant (usually aluminum). These stains can be very stubborn and may need to be treated a couple of times before they lift. 

  • Mix together 1 tsp each of each blue Dawn® dish soap, hydrogen peroxide, and baking soda to form a paste. Scrub into the stain and let sit overnight, then rinse and wash using powdered Tide®. Again, check that the stain has lifted before drying, and repeat if necessary.

NOTE: Hydrogen peroxide is a mild bleaching agent so always test this recipe on a small spot first, taking care with colored clothes. You can leave out the peroxide if the clothing is colored or dark.

Now for nosebleeds, cuts, etc, the plan of action is super simple. First of all, act quickly as blood stains can set very fast. 

  • Pour COLD water over the stain to remove as much of the stain as you can, and then pour hydrogen peroxide directly onto the stain to help lift it some more. Then wash using our favorite powdered Tide®. Check that the stain has lifted before drying as usual. (Again, see the note above above about hydrogen peroxide.)

Don’t be Stain-timidated

When your head is already spinning from a puking infant, pooping child, or bleeding nose, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by a stain. But hopefully these simple (and CHEAP) methods show you that protein stain removal doesn’t have to be rocket science. 

With these tools under your belt, you won’t stress when stains inevitably happen. Just take them in stride and remember everything we’ve taught you. Perhaps having our hard copy laundry handbook on hand will help relieve some of the stress that occurs when stains do happen.

Best of luck, you’ve got this!

For a list of our favorite products, click here.

– Becky @ GoCleanCo

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