Removing Tough Stains: How to Pre-Soak Laundry with Borax
Sometimes, the toughest stains just won’t budge no matter how many times you try to wash them. So to ensure the best clean for your clothes use a pre-soak to show that grime who’s boss!
For most normal wear, a normal laundry cycle with Borax as a laundry booster is plenty to get your clothes looking and feeling clean again.
But when your clothes are stained, a wash cycle is often not enough. Pre-soaking a stain allows the soap (or in this case, Borax) to slowly break down the stain. Followed by a normal wash cycle, a simple pre-soak with Borax can help remove a fair number of stains.
When Should I Pre-Soak?
Pre-soaking your clothes in 20 Mule Team Borax is especially effective at helping to break down common, tough stains, such as:
- Tomato sauce
What You’ll Need
One of the best things about pre-soaking is that you can use it on a single garment or a whole load of laundry. Just adjust the amount of water and Borax, as needed.
- 20 Mule Team Borax (½ cup for every gallon of water)
- Warm water
- A tub or bucket
How to Pre-Soak Your Laundry
- 1. Rinse the clothes
To make the pre-soak as effective as possible, rinse your stained clothes in warm water first.
- 2. Fill the bucket/tub with warm water
Using warm water helps the Borax dissolve the stains more easily. Just remember that the more clothes and the more water you use, the more Borax you’ll need to add.
- 3. Mix in the Borax
Add ½ cup of Borax for every gallon of water that you used to fill the bucket. Stir the water gently to dissolve the Borax into the water.
- 4. Add the clothes to the bucket
Add your clothes to the bucket, making sure that they are submerged in the water. You want the whole garment to be wet with the Borax and water mixture.
- 5. Let clothes soak for 30 minutes
Leave the laundry items to soak for about 30 minutes in the solution. For tougher stains, soak for 45 minutes to an hour.
- 6. Wash clothes as normal
Once the clothes have soaked, take them out and wash them as you normally would and follow the care instructions on each garment’s label.
- 7. Check before drying
Before putting your clothes into the dryer, check each garment to ensure that the stains have been removed. Drying clothes can set the stains and make them nearly impossible to remove. If the stain persists, try another pre-soak and wash cycle.
Bonus: Use Borax as a Spot-Treatment
If you just have a small stain on one piece of clothing, you can use a small amount of Borax and water to do a “mini-soak” before you wash.
- 1. Mix Borax solution
Using dedicated spoons for your Borax, mix 1 tablespoon of Borax with 2 tablespoons of water.
- 2. Spread solution on stain
Wear gloves or use a dedicated spoon to spread the mixture across the garment and on the stain.
- 3. Let it soak
Let the solution sit on the clothing for 30 minutes.
- 4. Wash as normal
After 30 minutes, simply rinse and then wash as usual.