Let’s get real for a second about your laundry. Even if you do it obsessively every single week, you know you aren’t totally getting rid of those stains on your underwear. We’re talking about the stains that almost every woman has at some point from a super heavy period day (or one of those days when you mistakenly think it’s over, but it’s not). And it doesn’t even have to be blood. Vaginal discharge can totally ruin your favorite undies, because even the best fabrics can go from gloriously white to just dingy enough that you hope no one gets *too close.*
Don’t be embarrassed — it’s all natural. Vaginal discharge contains protein, amino acids, and carbohydrates, but its acid level can have a color changing effect on your undies (kind of like how your armpit sweat can stain your tees).
Depending on your vaginal pH and the time of the month, the acid levels in your vaginal discharge vary, as does its ability to wreck havoc on that adorable pink thong you just bought.
Even if you really hate doing laundry, there are ways to salvage your favorite undies. Most stain removal tricks work best immediately after you spot them, but stains that have set in can get a little trickier. We’re here to help you out, though, because we’ve all been there.
Here are five ways to get the stains off your undies, whether you decide to go nuclear or try some all-natural methods.
1Give them the great rinse
This is a tough one, because let’s face it — we can all get a little lazy sometimes. But the best way to prevent a stain is to rinse out your underwear right after wearing them. For a blood stain, running them under cold water (hot water will make the stain set) will get out much of the blood and then you can treat it later when you wash them.
This also helps for discharge, especially if the mucus has already started to get crusty. (We know, we hate that word, too.) You can work this into your routine if you take your undies off before a shower and bring them in with you for a quick rinse off. This is good for your bras, too, BTW.
2Use an enzymatic spray
Because your discharge — and blood — is made of proteins, any enzymatic spray is your best bet to remove the stains. Like OxiClean or Resolve. Just tossing in a scoop of one of these into the wash isn’t going to do *anything,* which is why using a spray is better since you can really target the spot. You can do this after you rinse your undies out or just before you throw them in the hamper. Let the stain remover do its work while you collect quarters for the laundromat.
If you have a bunch of underwear with the same problem, you can also use an enzymatic cleaner in some hot water and soak them for a while before washing them, too.
3Make your own stain remover paste
If you’re into the all natural way to remove stains (or don’t want to spend a few bucks on a product), you can use an aspirin or some baking soda to make a paste. Just crush up an aspirin or mix in a spoonful of baking soda with some water to make a grainy paste. Put it on the stain and let it sit out for a few hours or overnight and then toss it in the washer.
4Use a fresh lemon
On lighter fabrics, using lemon juice or hydrogen peroxide on the stain is another way to go. Just put it directly on the spot, and let it sit for at least a half an hour before laundering as normal. Beware — this will discolor darker colors, so test it on a spot or skip altogether if you have a garment you care about.
5Grab some salt from the kitchen
You can actually rub table salt into your stains and let it sit before washing, too. (This also works for oil stains.) If you’re traveling and want to treat a stain in a pinch, some contact solution (since it’s saline) will also work to help lighten the stain before the wash. Crazy, right?
It takes a little extra effort, but at the end of the day, saving your favorite pair of undies from nasty looking stains is totally worth it.