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hot or cold water for removing stains


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#1 III

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Posted 19 August 2005 - 09:35 AM

What water temp do people use when cleaning stains on carpets, fabric, or even your household laundry? I've heard, not from this site, that hot will clean the best, but others say that hot will set the stain and to use cold. Any thoughts?

#2 chml17l

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Posted 19 August 2005 - 10:15 AM

Avoid using hot water on stains of unknown origin. Hot water can set protein stains like milk, egg, or blood.

#3 III

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Posted 19 August 2005 - 10:37 AM

Ah, so your'e saying it depends on the stain? What about stains like blueberry, strawberry, or even pizza sauce? Hot or cold?

Also, since you're a chemist, maybe you could get technical and explain why hot water sets certain stains?

#4 chml17l

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Posted 20 August 2005 - 03:17 PM

My original advice on protein based stains is more of a "Hints from Heloise" tip rather than me trying to be Mr. Wizard. :grinno:

If you really want to me to take a crack at the scientifc reasoning behind that--Many chemical reactions proceed better when the ingredients are heated. If such a reaction can occur between the staining agent and the fabric, heat may cause the stain agent (or new compounds from the reaction between them) to form materials that bind more tightly to the fibers in the cloth.

There is no hard and fast rule for other stains that I know of regarding water temperature. If you aren't sure about what type of stain you are dealing with, especially if you are unsure if the fabric is colorfast, it is safest to proceed from cool to warm to hot and not the other way around.

Generally, oil or grease based stains are best removed with the hottest water that the fabric can withstand.

Here is a link that lists methods to remove everything from blood to grass and more-- stain removal guide

#5 III

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Posted 21 August 2005 - 05:05 AM

Thanks for the link and the info.

#6 G35stilez

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Posted 21 August 2005 - 05:32 AM

I usually go with very warm water to remove stains. The warmer temperature acts as a catalyst to removing stains.


If you use products when removing like Folex, a solid APC, and Hi-Temp's Protein Stain Remover, it pretty much covers all angles of stain types. I haven't had a problem yet.
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