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Most of us have messed around with antifreeze at some point in our lives. Perhaps we’re running regular maintenance on our cars. Or, perhaps we’re refilling a radiator.
Whatever the case, it’s all fun and games until we spill the stuff on our clothes!
If that happens, you’ve not only got a nasty smell on your garments but you’ve also got a rather toxic stain.
The good news is that you can get rid of antifreeze stains on your clothing with a bit of laundry soap, water, and bleach.
Related article: Best Eco Friendly Laundry Detergent
What Is Antifreeze?
First things first: what is antifreeze, anyway?
Antifreeze is a type of coolant used by car owners to prevent damage to the engine when the engine cools and the water turns to ice.
It’s made out of a mixture of alcohol, buffering agents and dye.
Like any motor oil, radiator fluid and transmission fluid, antifreeze can leak from an engine or escape from the container. And, it leaves a big mess when it does!
When accidents such as spills or splashes happen, it can leave car fluid stains on your clothing. That’s because, as we mentioned previously, manufacturers add dye to the mixture.
Does Antifreeze Come Out of Clothes?
So, can you even get antifreeze out of your clothes?
The short answer is yes.
Although the stain might look bad, you can actually get the stuff out of your clothes pretty easily.
Just remember that when removing an antifreeze stain, there are two things that are essential: acting fast and rinsing.
You need to take quick action when you have antifreeze on your clothes to help avoid health issues and make sure the stain doesn’t set.
And, you need to make sure you run the fabric under water. Rinsing out the fabric helps you get the worst of the coolant out before you start the cleaning process.
How to Get Antifreeze Out of Clothes in 8 Simple Steps
Getting antifreeze out of your clothes might seem impossible. But, with the right tools, it’s actually pretty easy.
Let’s take a look at eight easy steps for getting antifreeze out of your clothes:
- Place the stained piece of clothing in a bucket or washing tub. Lay the clothing out flat and make sure that the stain is facing down, not towards you.
- Next, pour the hottest water that you can (be sure to read the label first as not all fibers can withstand heat) over the stained area.
- Work a few drops of liquid laundry detergent onto the antifreeze stain. Gently rub at the stain to help push the liquid detergent deep into the fibers of the clothing
- Rinse out the fabric. Once again, you want to use the hottest water that you can on the fabric. This helps ensure that no residue from the laundry detergent is still on the clothing.
- If you’re still struggling with the stain, mix 1 part bleach with 2 parts water and apply the solution to the stain. Alternatively, you can spray a pre-treatment product on the stain. Just make sure that if you do so, the product contains bleach.
- Let the bleach (Oxi Booster should work well too) solution sit on the stain for 10 minutes.
- Place your garment in the washing machine. Make sure you use a hot setting (if possible) and add both laundry detergent and a bit of bleach.
- Remove the clothes and check to see if there are any stains left. If there are, repeat these steps. If not, dry the clothing as you normally would.
Remember, you can always repeat the process as many times as you need. Usually, you should only have to repeat it one to two times.
Tips for Removing Antifreeze Stains
Before we wrap up, let’s talk about a couple of tips for removing antifreeze stains. That way, you can make sure your clothes look as good as new!
For one thing, remember to clean the antifreeze up as soon as you notice the spill. This helps to prevent stains from setting and becoming hard to remove.
Secondly, DO NOT put stained clothing in the dryer. The heat will permanently set the stain, leaving your clothes damaged!
Thirdly, you should always take dry-clean-only fabrics to a dry cleaner and explain the type of stain.
So there you have it! A couple of quick steps to help you get antifreeze out of your clothing in no time at all.
As long as you’re careful, your garments will come out as good as new!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you wash away antifreeze?
If you find an antifreeze stain on a normal item, you can get the fluid out of the clothes with a bit of bleach, laundry soap, and water. Just make sure to check that the stain is completely gone before putting the clothing in the dryer.
Can you dry clean clothes with antifreeze stains?
If you’ve got antifreeze on dry-clean only clothes, you’ve got to be extra careful. That’s because heat can cause these kinds of spots to set, leaving permanent stains.
In the event that this happens, take the garment to the dry cleaners immediately and tell them it is surely an antifreeze stain. They’ll know what to do!
What will absorb antifreeze?
You can use paper towels to wipe away the excess liquid from an antifreeze stain. Or, you can use an absorbent such as litter, sand, and baking soda. All of them work wonders!
Does spilled antifreeze evaporate?
No, it doesn’t evaporate. As a result, you’ll need to use other methods to clean up a spill. It’s also important to note that antifreeze spills can become really dangerous, since the chemical itself is extremely toxic. Even the simple fact of inhaling it can be dangerous, so it’s important to absorb it up ASAP.