It’s often said that “the only thing you can get in a hurry is trouble.” You are pressed for time and are a few steps and a toothbrush away from leaving. Suddenly, a glob of toothpaste falls on your shirt. It would have been easy to change your clothes, right? But what if it’s your only remaining uniform? How do you remove the annoying toothpaste stain to look decent for work?
Even if you managed to blot away the stain with a damp cloth, sometimes it still leaves a mark. You need to act fast if you want to avoid possible permanent staining on your clothing.
About Toothpaste Stains
Aside from the visible glob, you can also get toothpaste stain while brushing your teeth vigorously. The little spatters of excess toothpaste you leave on your shirt may seem trivial. But, when you don’t act fast, they can be as nasty as the chunk of toothpaste that fell on your shirt.
There are two chemicals present in most toothpaste that can cause stains on clothes.
- Titanium dioxide – This chemical does nothing to whiten your teeth. However, it’s responsible for the white color of toothpaste. Titanium dioxide provides a bright, white pigment. Consumer and industrial products in the market typically use this chemical. Hence, titanium dioxide is that white mark you can immediately see once you rub toothpaste off the fabric. Although it doesn’t act like bleach, it can leave your clothes looking unkempt.
- Hydrogen peroxide – This chemical is present in most whitening toothpaste. Hydrogen peroxide contains bleaching properties. This is the chemical that makes your teeth white. You should remove the toothpaste stain immediately to avoid fabric discoloration.
Can a Simple Wash Get Rid of Toothpaste Stains from Clothes?
If you just got speckles or toothpaste dots on your clothes, you can blot the stain with a damp cloth to remove the marks. If you are in a hurry and don’t want to be bothered, you can just change into new clothes.
Toothpaste stains usually lift off during washing. The detergent and water in the wash can rub off stains efficiently. After rinsing the clothes, it’s best to check if the garment still has toothpaste marks before using the dryer. Doing so makes sure that you don’t permanently set the stains using the heat from the machine. It’s best to air dry the garment unless you are sure that there are no stains left.
How To Spot Clean Toothpaste Stains from Clothes
If you need to use the stained shirt and don’t have the time to wash it in the washing machine, you can try spot cleaning first to lift off the stain.
1. Scrape off the residue
Before you try to wet the stained area with water or apply a stain remover, it’s best to scrape off as much of the toothpaste off the cloth.
You can use a small knife or edge of a spoon to remove the excess toothpaste from the clothing. Scrape the toothpaste gently by lifting the gel up and off the garment. Be extra careful when you are using a knife as you don’t want to tear the garment. Avoid wiping or scraping it sideways so you don’t spread the stain over a larger area on the clothing. You want to gently rub off the toothpaste and not embed it deeper onto the fabric. If you don’t have a knife or spoon on hand, you can try using your fingers to remove the toothpaste.
2. Check the fabric care tag
It’s a good practice to check the clothing care tag before using any stain removal method. Most stain removals involve using water and detergent. However, some clothes can get water spots when wet. This is especially true for dry-clean-only garments. In that case, you can scrape off the toothpaste gently from the clothes and take them to the dry cleaner. Don’t forget to point out the stained area to the staff at the shop.
3. Use a stain remover of your choice to get rid of toothpaste stains
Here are some laundry and cupboard staples you can use if you need to remove toothpaste stains in a pinch.
Liquid Laundry Detergent
Liquid laundry detergent can quickly remove stains caused by toothpaste. Mix a few drops of liquid detergent on a cup of water to make a spot cleaner. Dip a clean cloth onto the laundry detergent solution and dab it gently on the stained surface to lift off the remaining toothpaste.
Dish soap can scrub off persistent toothpaste stains. To use dish soap as a stain remover, you can mix a teaspoon of dish soap with a cup of water. Take a clean white cloth and dip it into the solution. Rub the soapy water on top of the stain and let it sit for about 10 minutes.
Commercial Stain Remover
Most commercial stain removers can get rid of toothpaste stain. Use the product by carefully following the package instructions.
White vinegar is an efficient stain remover and deodorizer. You can use white vinegar to get rid of toothpaste stains. Just mix half a cup of vinegar with a cup of water. Blot the area with the solution using a clean article of clothing. Let it sit on the garment for about a minute to make sure no stain remains.
Lemon is a natural stain remover. Cut a lemon in half and use it to remove toothpaste stains. Rub the pulpy side gently onto the mark for a minute to let the juice soak.
4. Check for stains that persist
Check if there are still white stains on your clothing. Scrub continuously if the toothpaste stain persists. Alternatively, you can wash the garment in the washing machine using regular detergent to eliminate any remaining stains.
5. Allow the stained area to air dry
You can air-dry the fabric after you’ve rinsed off the stain remover. Air drying is best after treating stains. It’s best to avoid drying clothes with the dryer as the heat from the machine can set marks that might remain on the fabric after wash.
Getting toothpaste stains on clothing is annoying, especially when you are in a rush. Good thing it’s easy to remove using household items and by following the instructions above. If you need more laundry and ironing tips, don’t forget to follow us on social media to get you updated on our new posts.
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