Ask UfYH: We All Know You’re Talking About Semen

Q:  I got a “love stain” on my favorite comforter. Is there anything that gets these stains out?

A: This is P-Mag. We can say “semen.” It’s fine. 

(Unless it’s not semen. I don’t want to assume anything about anyone’s sex life. If it’s another kind of sex-related bodily fluid, that’s fine, too, because we’re going to treat them the same way.) The most important two things to know about cleaning semen and other bodily fluid stains are: 1) deal with them sooner rather than later, and 2) don’t use hot water! Why no hot water? Well, semen and other bodily fluid-based stains are protein-based. Using hot water will essentially “cook” the stain, setting it into the fabric. So will throwing it in the dryer if the stain’s still there. So, when you notice that you’ve gotten any kind of bodily fluid stains on your bedding, here’s what to do:

  • Rinse the fabric with cool water until none of the actual semen/blood/whatever remains. Blot out as much moisture as you can.
  • Using an enzyme-based cleaner like Nature’s Miracle or Simple Solution (more commonly used for pet mess stains, but protein stains are protein stains), saturate the area of the stain and let it air dry. Once dry, rinse with cool water.
  • If the stain remains, you can try soaking it in cool water and OxiClean. Just be aware that sometimes OxiClean can pull color out of fabric.
  • For more serious stains, you can dab on some hydrogen peroxide, but this WILL bleach out the color, so it generally only works on white fabric (but is great for mattresses).
  • Don’t use bleach. Bleach turns protein stains yellow.
  • Most importantly, don’t put the bedding in the dryer until the stain is removed to your satisfaction. Once heat hits it, it’s pretty much set there for good, and the best you can hope for is to lighten it up a bit.

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[E] Rachel

I punctuate sentences with Oxford commas, and I punctuate disagreements with changesocks. Proud curmudgeon. Get off my lawn.

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