Mystery Stains? Pre-soaking Can Help

When you don’t know where your stain is coming from.

Pre-soaking stained or dingy laundry items can help restore your favourite things—be it a shirt or a child’s blankey—to their former bright glory.

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When you immerse washable fabric in detergent and water, you give the cleanser and all its modern-day bells and whistles (the brighteners, the special crud-fighting enzymes, and the sudsy stuff) time to soak into the fabric and lift stains.

For a basic pre-soak, fill a sink, tub, or washing machine with enough water to cover your item, using the warmest water allowed on the fabric care label. If you are not sure where your stain is coming from, start with a cold soak, and if you see it’s not helping, add warm water. Add a measured full dose of your favourite Ariel Automatic Power Gel (use its pre-treat cap: the fins of the cap really spread the liquid on the stain, and rub the cleaning agents gently deeper into the fibres). Stir the water until the detergent is completely dissolved. Add your item. Pre-soak for 30 minutes, then wash as usual. (Always check the manufacturer’s label for laundry care instructions.