Removing stains in clothing before the stains are set by heat in the dryer is suggested by most experts. There are many web sites with directions on how to remove stains but I prefer the web sites that aren’t associated with one specific brand of cleaner.The University of Illinois Extension’s Stain Removal has very good step-by-step instructions for treating and removing almost every stain.
Confused about the difference and origins of soaps and detergents? The American Cleaning Institute has an easy to read and understand web site that starts with the history of soaps and detergents to chemistry, safety, products and ingredients as well as soaps and detergent manufacturing. I highly recommend this informative web site!
Now that the stains are pre-treated and the detergent selected it is time for the washing machine to take over. In the Evolution of the Washing Machine the author suggests that sailors put their dirty clothes in a bag and drug the bag behind the ship. The water was forced through the bag and the clothes and when the clothes were clean, although smelling like algae, they were hung out to dry.
Thankfully we don’t have to pound our clothes on rocks or rub them with sand to clean them, we just put them in the washer and dryer. How fortunate we all are!