Face it: Makeup and white clothing aren’t the best combination. If you didn’t take extra care when putting on your cozy hoodie, it’s likely that smears of your foundation and mascara are sitting on your favorite sweatshirt. Don’t just throw your hoodie straight in the wash cycle and hope for the best. It may sound boring, but it's essential to treat those stains properly, to pre-wash, to restore your hoodie back to its wonderfully white best.
Pre-treat the stain with a spot-treatment stain remover. It's essential to stick to products designed for clothes. Upholstery spot cleaners, for instance, can be too harsh. Sure, it may be tempting to reach for the carpet stain remover in sheer desperation, but you could end up doing more harm than good.
Leave the product on the fabric for the amount of time stated on the bottle, to penetrate the stain. Allow the product to fully soak the stain so that it is easier to remove when it comes to blotting it with a cloth.
Blot the stain with a clean white cloth. Don’t fall into the trap of trying to remove that pesky foundation or lipstick stain with frantic rubbing. The rubbing motion will actually encourage the stain to settle deeper into the fibers of the fabric rather than removing it. Use gentle blotting to lift off the stain.
Launder your hoodie. Put your white sweatshirt through a warm (not hot) wash cycle to remove the rest of the stain. Don’t throw your other laundry into the same cycle. Washing your hoodie on its own will ensure particles of the stain don’t fall onto other garments.
Inspect the stain post-wash. If traces of the stain are still visible, put the garment through another wash cycle. Don’t let your hoodie dry before rewashing. Once dry, the stain can become settled and harder to shift.
Always test any strong stain-removing product on a small section on an inside hem to check that it won’t damage your clothing.
Read the label before putting clothes through a wash cycle. Stick to the temperature guidelines if you don’t want to shrink your favorite sweatshirt. It may be stain-free, but it’s no good if it comes out doll-sized.
If your white sweatshirt is dry-clean only, don’t try to remove that stain yourself. Take it to the dry cleaners within 24 to 48 hours and let a professional take care of it.