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How to Remove Insect Stains From Clothes

Insect pest invasion in our homes is a problem most of us have to contend with. From cockroaches, termites, and ants, these uninvited guests seek to invade every imaginable corner of our homes. But probably the worst happens when they find their way into closets, beds, and couches, leaving unsightly stains in their wake. Honestly, it’s a terrible experience. If you have had insect stain problems, we will share some tips on removing them, frequently asked questions, and more.

To remove insect stains:

  1. Add ½ of white vinegar to one gallon of cool water.
  2. Stir gently to create a well-mixed solution.
  3. Soak your clothing in a basin for one hour, submerging it fully.
  4. Gently rub the fabric against itself to loosen the stain before washing with the regular detergent, rinse and dry.

Removing Insect Stains From Clothes

Successfully removing insect stains from your clothes is a multipronged approach, as it is dependent on several factors. That includes the clothing fabric, whether washable, the insect stain type, and freshness of the stain, among others. 

Remember that most insect stains are mainly stool, body secretion, or blood stains. All these stains can mostly be removed by any cleaning agent with strong enzymes. 

Cleaning Washable Fresh Insect Stains

Before starting to wash, you need to determine the amount of water to use based on, among others, the severity of the stain, the fabric type, and the quantity of the wash load. For example, wooly clothes will require a larger amount of water and a cleaning agent solution. 

First, fill one gallon of water in a basin and add your favorite enzyme-based stain removers. Enzyme-based detergents are specially designed to fight tough types of stains, including protein-based ones. 

Popular examples in the market include Biokleen Bac-out Enzyme stain remover and Rocco & Roxie stain and odor eliminator. Measure one cup of your favorite stain remover, add it to the water, and stir gently. 

Next, deep the garment ensures its fully submerged in the solution for faster soaking, and wait for 1 hour. After that add the appropriate measure of your detergent to the machine, wash the normal wash cycle, rinse and dry. 

Like most stubborn stains, be sure to check if they have been completely eliminated, as one wash cycle might not be enough. If there are some stains left, you might want to repeat the process to avoid the stain setting on the fabric.

Cleaning Washable Dried Insect Stain

As the stain stays on the garment, the harder it gets to clean as it becomes ingrained into the clothes fiber. So, the easiest time to wash stains is immediately after you spot them. For the dried stains, start by brushing off the excess dried material. 

Next, pour one gallon of water into a basin and add one teaspoon of enzyme stain remover, and one tablespoon of ammonia, before soaking for one hour. This duration can be longer depending on the stubbornness of the stain and its age. 

Therefore, the more stubborn the stain, the longer the soaking duration. Another factor to consider is the type of fabric. In general, cotton is easier to stain and harder to wash compared to, say, wool or synthetics. After soaking, you can add your favorite detergent and do a normal wash and rinse.

Non-washable Fresh Insect Stains

Cleaning insect stains from non-washable clothes requires a different approach, as standard stain removers require clothes to be soaked in water. Unfortunately, that method is unworkable for suits, leather jackets, and some hats, among others. 

To clean insect stains in these items, use cold water in a spray bottle to gently spray on the stain to soften it. Then with a clean piece of clothing, wipe out the stain repeatedly until it is cleaned out. The next step is to use a dry towel and mildly rub on the stain several times until it dries out.

Cleaning Old Insect Stains on Non-Washable Clothes

Using an old toothbrush, scrape off the excess matter on the surface until it’s clear. Be careful with some garments when removing the excess dirt to avoid damaging the clothing fabric. 

You might especially want to be delicate with scraping on wool, as its fiber is easily entangled in the brush bristles. Also, avoid using rough-textured bristle brushes, as they may wear out the garment fiber.

Next, make a solution of 1 tablespoonful of dishwashing liquid detergent in ½ a liter of cold water in a bowl. Using a toothbrush, clean up the stain by dipping it into the bowl, gently shaking off the excess detergent solution, and scrubbing on the stain while rubbing off with a towel. 

Do this several times until the stain is bletted off. If the stain still persists, you can use 3% hydrogen to clear the remainder of the stain. But since hydrogen peroxide has bleaching properties, you need to be sure the clothing is colorfast. So put a few drops of hydrogen peroxide, and wait for 20 minutes before wiping off repeatedly with a dry clean piece of clothing.

Next, you can check out my guide on how to remove blood stains from clothes, or how to stop them from getting moldy.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Insects Leave Brown Stains on Clothes?

Seeing brown or tan spots on sheets, pillowcases, and mattresses, is a sure sign of bed bugs or lice infestation. The higher the concentration, the higher the infestation on the stained area. The stains can sometimes be reddish in color resulting from the blood of crushed bed bugs. Other sources of stains are secretions and feces.

Do Cockroaches Stain Clothes?

Cockroaches are attracted to sweat and other body secretions such as fecal and urine matters. Once in the closet or in a pile of clothes, they not only defecate on them but chew them too. Also, be careful with cockroach stains as they not only taint clothes but are carriers of germs too. For that reason, be sure to add some disinfectants when washing their stains.

Which Insects Stain Clothes?

There are several types of bugs that stain clothes in the closet. These include bedbugs, body lice, cockroaches, crickets, cloth moths, and termites, among others. Infestation of clothes with insects creates stubborn stains and should be washed immediately.

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