Have you ever had to throw out a favorite white shirt because it just wouldn’t get clean? We’ve got good news: now you don't have to! Adding a dash of Everclear® Grain Alcohol to the wash can help disinfect and deodorize your clothes while also brightening those faded whites.
Now, I know what you might be thinking: alcohol, really? Turns out that grain alcohol, known as ethanol, is an excellent stain fighter! When added to your laundry routine, it lifts discoloration, breaks down dirt, and freshens musty odors.
3 Ways To Revive Your Favorite White Clothes
Most of us have a love/hate relationship with laundry. Not only is it an all-day task, what with sorting, washing, and drying. But when it’s all over, you’ve got to fold everything and put it all away.
I’m exhausted just thinking about it.
Whenever possible, I like to lighten the laundry load when I can—and that means keeping my whites bright and spotless up front in order to save time in the laundry room later. So go ahead and stash a bottle of Everclear in the laundry room to help extend the life of your wardrobe and keep clothes looking fresh and clean.
—Use Everclear before washing to help keep stains from clinging to fabric, so you don’t have to run clothes through multiple cycles.
—And when dabbed directly onto fabric, Everclear makes an excellent spot treatment to dissolve tough stains.
—Everclear makes stain whiteners more effective so spritz on ugly pit stains to keep whites looking bright and smelling fresh.
Keep in mind that some fabrics don't do well with alcohol. Use these treatments with sturdier fibers like cotton, linen, and hemp. Delicate or synthetic materials like acetate, rayon, wool, and silk are best avoided.
1. Brightening + Disinfecting Soak
Rinsing in plain water is the key to removing stains [source]. And Everclear is a surfactant [source] that helps water penetrate the fabric and draw out the stain before washing. So the best way to use Everclear in the wash is by adding it to a pre-treat soak.
How To Do A Pre-Wash Soak
1. Fill a sink or large bowl with cool water and add ½ cup Everclear.
2. Place your white clothing in the solution, making sure they're fully submerged. (Just keep in mind that grain alcohol can be rough on delicate fabrics.)
3. Let them soak anywhere from 30 minutes to overnight, depending on how dingy the items are.
4. Rinse the items with cold water to remove any remaining solution.
5. Wash the items in your washing machine as you normally would, and then dry the items according to their care label instructions.
2. One-Ingredient Stain Spot Treatment
Stain removers typically work by dissolving the stains in clothing so they can be whisked away when washed in water and detergent. No surprise, grain alcohol is a solvent for lots of water-based and oil-based stains [source] so it’s amazing at melting away ink, grease, grass, permanent marker, or makeup marks.
How To Spot Treat with Everclear
1. Blot the stain with a clean cloth to remove as much of the stain as possible. Do not rub the stain, as this can damage the fabric or make the stain worse.
2. Dab a bit of grain alcohol directly on the stain and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. Check to see if the stain is gone by blotting it with a clean, damp cloth to remove the alcohol.
3. If the stain is still visible, repeat until it's gone.
4. If needed, rub the stain with a 2:1 baking soda and water paste to help lift the stain from between the fibers.
5. When you're done, rinse the area with cold water and launder the item as you normally would, following the care label instructions.
3. Pit Stain Pre-Treatment
White shirts are stain magnets, aren't they? The buildup of sweat, deodorant, and dirt causes tough pit stains that are hard to hide.
Everclear not only dissolves the stains causing discoloration but it also improves the effectiveness of other whitening ingredients, which is why it’s commonly used in teeth whitening products [source]!
Best of all, grain alcohol has antibacterial properties that help kill germs [source] and deodorize lingering scents, no matter where they are.
How To Treat Pit Stains with Everclear
1. Combine ¼ cup Everclear and ¾ cup 3% hydrogen peroxide in an 8 oz spray bottle (use a dark bottle or the peroxide will lose its effectiveness).
2. When you take off your white shirt, lightly spritz the sweat stain before tossing the item in your laundry basket. The pre-treatment will work as it sits, making the stain easier to remove in the wash.
3. Spritz any leftover spray to get rid of germs and odors on your gym bag, shoes, workout gear, or any other light-colored fabrics that could use a little freshening up.
More Laundry Hacks
Everclear not only eliminates stains, but it’s also perfect for removing odors.
Deal with mildew in laundry
Add ½ cup of Everclear to your washing machine as the tank fills to eliminate any funky mildew odors. Pause the machine and let your clothes soak for 20 minutes then resume the wash cycle.
Remove odors from fabric
Whether you’ve been hanging out by a campfire or you’re simply between weekly washings, grain alcohol really shines as a fabric odor remover. Combine 1 cup Everclear with ½ cup water and spray on clothes. As it evaporates, it removes the musty odors from the fabric.
What else can you clean with Everclear?
A bottle of Everclear is one of the most versatile DIY cleaning ingredients—it cleans and refreshes just about every room in the house! Use it to keep floors gleaming, no vinegar needed. Or whip up this sweet-smelling lemon basil glass cleaner to clean glass surfaces and windows.
This post was created in partnership with Everclear® Grain Alcohol. You can find Everclear at your local retailer or online via Cask Cartel, Caskers, or Drizly. You can also search Everclear’s product locator page online.5