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Testing 3 Ways To Remove Old Laundry Stains After Drying (1 Worked Best)

I tested 3 popular ways to remove old laundry stains. And after months of washing and drying at a high temperature, I was able to remove those set in laundry stains.

Here’s a quick look at the 3 different tests and the results. Including the easy steps I used to get rid of tough stains on my hand towels.

Be sure to watch the short video too so that you can get a good look at how great this laundry stain remover recipe worked on my grungy towels. Let’s get to that first test item!

Image of a tough laundry stain for a post about ways to remove old laundry stains with a DIY laundry stripping recipe.
My hand towels have had these tough stains for a year or two. Washing them never removed them. But one of these 3 laundry stain recipes worked!

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Can Vinegar Remove Laundry Stains?

I soaked a hand towel with old set in laundry stains in 2 cups of vinegar and 2 gallons of hot water. After soaking the laundry stains in vinegar and hot water for 3 hours, the stain hadn’t really changed at all.

It’s possible that vinegar can remove certain types of laundry stains. Different types of stains react differently to different stain removers.

So, maybe vinegar is worth a try on grass stains, wine, lipstick, or something else. But, for my stains, vinegar and hot water was a big fail.

Using vinegar to remove laundry stains.

Can OxiClean Versatile Remove Old Laundry Stains?

I tested OxiClean Versatile on the old stains on my hand towels. I mixed the OxiClean with about 2 gallons of hot water and let the stained towels soak for 3 hours.

Using OxiClean Versatile to remove old laundry stains.

The OxiClean Versatile worked better than the Vinegar and water mix. I’d say it lightened the old laundry stains by about 50%. But, it wasn’t able to remove my old set in stains completely.

Maybe leaving it overnight would have helped. I LOVE OxiClean Odor Blasters when left overnight to Get The Sweat Smell Out Of Shirts And Gym Clothes. So, if you have it already, it’s worth a try.

Using OxiClean White Revive to whiten yellow pillows in a washing machine.
OxiClean White Revive is also my favorite product To Make Yellow Pillows White Again. It even works pretty well to whiten and Clean Marble Shower Grout.

Can Laundry Stripping Remove Laundry Stains?

There are tons of different recipes online for laundry stripping. Laundry stripping is meant to be a way to remove built up detergents, oils, and laundry softeners trapped in towels, sheets, and clothing.

But, laundry stripping can remove laundry stains if you use the recipe and steps I used for this test. My recipe uses Tide, Washing Soda, and Borax in hot water. I go over the steps in the next 2 sections.

Using washing soda with Borax and Tide to remove set in laundry stains after drying.
I used 3 sinks for these tests. The sink with this laundry stripping recipe worked best, by far!

Testing Ways To Remove Old Laundry Stains After Drying

If any of the written steps to remove old laundry stains after drying aren’t clear, watch this quick video to see how I do it. Sometimes seeing things done help me understand things better.

3 Ways To Remove Laundry Stains After Drying - Does Laundry Stripping Work On Old Laundry Stains???

Easy Recipe To Remove Old Laundry Stains

Laundry Stripping Recipe

Quick Tip: For large items, like bedding or multiple items you can use a tub. Just double or triple the hot water and cleaners, as needed.

Steps To Remove Set In Laundry Stains

  1. Fill a sink with about 2 gallons of hot water. Use the hottest water you can get. Then mix in the 1/3 cup of Borax, 1/3 cup of Tide, and 1/3 cup of Washing Soda.
  2. Give it a good stir to help dissolve everything, then drop in the stained laundry and stir it up a bit, to get the cleaning liquid into the fabric.
  3. Let that soak anywhere from 3 hours to overnight, depending on the stain. If you pull it out after 3 hours and still see a stain, let it soak overnight.
  4. When it’s done soaking, wear dish gloves to agitate your laundry for a few minutes. Really get that liquid moving through your stain and the fabric to loosen up any stain particles
  5. Then remove your laundry from the laundry stain removing recipe and pop it in your washing machine. Wash that laundry with the normal amount of laundry detergent.
  6. Once the washing machine finishes, check your laundry to see how the stains turned out before drying. If your stains are gone, dry as normal.
  7. If you still see some of the stains, but feel like you have seen improvement, you can repeat the process with a new hot water and the same laundry stain removing mix.
Image of a tough laundry stain for a post about ways to remove old laundry stains with a DIY laundry stripping recipe.
Don’t forget to save or share how to remove tough laundry stains.

That’s it! That’s how to remove old laundry stains after drying!

More DIY Projects For You


Looking for more easy Home Improvement Projects? Here’s how I clean and whiten my grout when it starts looking too grungy.

How to Whiten Grout with a quick and easy DIY Grout Renew.

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Drop the paint brush, guys. There's an easier way to get rig of ugly water stains. Here's How to Remove Water Stain from Ceiling Without Painting! How to Safely Use Bleach to Remove Brown Water Stains or Water Rings on drywall, plaster, or ceiling tiles.

Or this post on the 16 Great Ways to Repurpose an Open Formal Living Room.

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Feeling inspired? Now you know how to remove old laundry stains after drying. Have fun and let me know if you have questions.