Whether it’s a lazy morning or you’re rushing to get out of the house, only to realize you still need to brush your teeth. In both circumstances, it’s not unusual to drop a bit of toothpaste on your shirt. Of course, the first solution that comes to your mind is to change into something new.
Although it’s a quick way to tackle the situation, it will inevitably leave permanent stains on the clothes if not treated immediately. This is why we bring you all the possible ways you can efficiently clean your shirt in no time.
Read on to find out!
Table of Contents
What Makes the Toothpaste Stains Permanent?
Toothpaste stains may seem easy to remove with just a damp towel. That, however, is not the case. Water alone cannot eliminate them, and they start to reappear only after a couple of minutes.
This is due to the fact that most toothpaste contains titanium hydroxide, which gives them a white color. This ingredient doesn’t whiten the teeth; rather, the paste and leaves a residue behind when dropped on your shirt.
Hence, it is advisable never to put your shirt in the laundry basket if a blop of toothpaste falls on your shirt since the bleaching agents demand immediate action. Follow the step-by-step instructions below and make this process a piece of cake for yourself.
Spot Cleaning Method
The second you notice toothpaste on your shirt, take immediate action in getting rid of it. Here’s what you need to do:
Step # 1: Remove Excess Toothpaste from Your Shirt
The first step is to scrape off the excess toothpaste out of your shirt before using water or chemicals for further treatment. You can use either a spoon or a knife for this purpose.
The former is preferable as the fabric of your clothes is less prone to damage, especially if they’re made of fine material. However, if you only have a knife or other sharp tool at hand, make sure to scrape gently, so you don’t end up with a shirt having holes.
The goal here is to remove the toothpaste from just the surface level, as rubbing it too hard may cause it to set deeper into the fabric. You need to perform this step fast as the bleaching agents present in the toothpaste can erode the color of your shirt.
Step # 2: Check the Manufacturer’s Tag
If you want to clean off the toothpaste stain perfectly, the basic method involves water. This is why you need to first read the manufacturer’s tag on the inside seam of your shirt to find out if the fabric can be directly washed with water.
If the label says dry clean only, avoid using water, or it will further intensify the stain and leave a permanent spot. You’ll need to take the shirt to a nearby dry cleaner or use products specifically made for such garments.
Step # 3: Use Soft Cloth Soaked In Warm Water
Take a piece of a soft cloth and dampen it with warm water and rub it gently over the stain to loosen it a bit. Next, take a cup of water and add a few drops of laundry detergent to it. You can also mix stain remover as an alternative.
This time, dip the soft cloth in the solution you just prepared and scrub the stained area. Apply pressure so that the stain releases itself out of the garment. Remember not to use heat to dry the spot as it can set the stain deeper. Finally, blot the area using clean water to rinse the shirt and let it air dry.
This method is useful in getting light toothpaste stains out of shirts. However, if it fails to provide you with satisfactory results, you’ll need to do a thorough cleaning.
Machine Wash Method
If the previous technique did not completely remove the stain and your garment is machine washable, use the steps below to remove the tougher toothpaste stains quickly. Remember to use a laundry pre-wash stain remover on the garment before following this method.
Step # 1: Soak the Shirt in Warm Water
Place the garment in the sink and pour warm water over it, working your way from the back to the front of the stain. Alternatively, fill a container halfway with warm water and soak your clothing in it. To speed up the process, lightly massage the stain with your fingertips.
The slightly higher temperature of the water will aid in the removal of the stain from the cloth fibers. Make sure to remove the majority of the stains before the fabric dries.
Step # 2: Add Detergernet or A Dish Soap
If the stain is really stubborn, mix a few drops of detergent into very hot water and soak your clothing in it for several hours. After that, hang your clothes to air dry. If there are still any stains visible, repeat the process.
If you want to use dish soap, first scrape off as much toothpaste as possible. Then drop some dish wash on the stained area and let it sit for about 10 minutes. You can also mix a cup of water and a teaspoon of dish soap and use a soft cloth to rub the stain off. After that, wash the shirt in a usual manner.
If you somehow stained your carpet as well, watch this video to effortlessly clean it.
For ‘Dry Clean Only’ Shirt
As stated earlier, you can find this piece of information by checking the manufacturer’s label on your shirt. If you have accidentally dropped toothpaste on a fabric meant for dry clean only, don’t fret. Simply follow the instructions below and get the toothpaste stain out of such a shirt.
Step # 1: Scrape Off Excess Toothpaste
Lay down your shirt on a flat surface like a table, grab a butter knife and start scraping off the toothpaste from your shirt. This will only eliminate the surface-level toothpaste while most of it would have penetrated through the shirt and formed a stain.
Step # 2: Prepare A Solution
Take one cup of warm water and add one teaspoon of detergent to it. Stir the solution to dilute it completely. You can add more detergent if required, depending on the area of your shirt covered in the stain.
Step # 3: Wipe Off the Stain
This process slightly differs if the fabric of your shirt allows dry cleaning only. Take two pieces of cloth soft in the material. Wet one with regular clean water and dip the other one in the solution you prepared earlier. Now, rub each cloth over the stain in turns so that the fabric doesn’t get ruined.
When done, leave the shirt on the table and let it air dry. Applying heat or throwing the shirt in the dryer will make the stain permanent.
How To Get Rid Of Dried Toothpaste Stains
All the previously mentioned methods are more effective if the toothpaste stain is fresh. In an unideal solution, you probably notice it later in the day or have no time for instant cleaning. Since the product is capable of leaving behind hard residue stains, you’ll need a few more products to intensify the removal action.
Step # 1: Remove Excess Toothpaste
To treat the stain directly, you need to scrape off the hardened toothpaste from the shirt. Using a knife would be a smart selection here since the toothpaste is dried and will require more force to remove.
Step # 2: Use Rubbing Alcohol
Take a sponge and pour a little rubbing alcohol on top of it. Blot the stain from its center in an outward direction. Remember rubbing the sponge on the fabric or pressing it down too hard will worsen the stain.
Step # 3: Soak the Shirt In A Cleaning Solution
Take one-fourth of a cup of warm water. Add one tablespoon of white vinegar and a half teaspoon of dish soap with mild properties. Take the stained shirt and dip it in the solution for about 15 to 20 minutes.
Step # 4: Prepare Another Solution
When you take out your shirt after the stated time, and the stain is still there, it’s time for you to prepare a second solution. Combine one tablespoon of presoak commercial product and a quarter cup of warm water. This time, soak the shirt in it for almost 30 minutes.
If you have difficulty removing the stain, you can use a prewash stain remover to ease up the process.
More Methods For Effective Treatment Using Household Products
For more stubborn stains, mix together some detergent, olive oil, and water. Put them in a bottle for better dilution. Remember not to use too much olive oil as it can ruin the fabric material. Next, pour the mixture over the toothpaste stain and clean it off after a couple of minutes. Dont forget to wash the shirt afterward.
Lemon juice can be a great stain fighter that too with a unique fragrance. Cut the lemon in half and scrub it over the stain for a few minutes. For tougher stains, sprinkle a pinch of salt on the stained area, then rub it with lemon. Rinse it with cool water once done.
Pure baking soda solution is used to clean off toothpaste from carpets or rugs. But when using it for a stained shirt, combine it with lemon juice, then wait for the fizzing to stop. Then mix both the ingredients until you achieve a pasty texture. Rub it over the stain for excellent cleaning.
This is it! You’ve made it to the end of our guide on ways to get toothpaste out of shirt. Here are some tips that will help you with effective cleaning:
- Always try a bit of cleaning solution to a part of the fabric before applying directly to the stain to ensure that it’s safe for the material.
- For extra stubborn toothpaste stains, add chlorine bleach for white and oxygen bleach for colors to the laundry.
- Try to use fingers or spoons for the scraping process to prevent ruining the garment.
If you have further questions, leave them in the comment section below.