What Is the Best Way to Remove Set-in Stains From White T-Shirts?

Chlorine bleach, oxygen bleach, stain treatment and laundry detergent can be used to remove set in stains on white t-shirts in about an hour, plus the time it takes to wash and dry a load of laundry. Cotton shirts may require pre-soaking to completely remove stains.

  1. Choose a pre-treatment

    Chlorine bleach is a general cleaner that removes most stains from white clothing. Sweat and other organic stains may also be treated using oxygen bleach. Oxygen bleach or stain treatment is recommended for white t-shirts that feature colored graphics.

  2. Pre-treat the stain

    Dissolve 1 tablespoon of oxygen bleach in enough hot water to immerse the t-shirt and allow the shirt to soak for up to 1 hour. Difficult to remove stains may require soaking the shirt in oxygen bleach for several additional hours. Shirts with colored graphics may be pre-treated with oxygen bleach, stain remover products or with laundry detergent poured directly onto the stain.

  3. Wash the shirt

    Wash the white t-shirt in hot water and 1/2 to a full cup of chlorine bleach or 2 tablespoons of oxygen bleach and regular laundry detergent.

  4. Dry as usual

    After the stain has been removed, dry the shirt as recommended on the care label.