Friday, January 9, 2009

Out Damn Spot, Out!

After my incident with last night's Shepard's Pie I started thinking about stains, and the various ways to get them out of clothes, carpet and other materials. During my search on the web, I found these helpful hints from the Queen of Clean, Heloise!

Ball-Point Ink Stain

Rubbing Alcohol: "Ink formulations, fabrics, and hairspray ingredients have changed today. To get rid of the ballpoint ink from clothing you launder, place the garment on a towel stain-side down. Lightly dampen a cloth with rubbing alcohol and gently dab (do not rub) the stain." ~ Heloise

Candle Wax on Carpet

Ice and Metal Pan: "Put ice cubes into a metal pan. Place it right on top of the candle wax until the wax is frozen solid. With a small hammer, hit the wax to break it up. Pick up the pieces. Then apply dry-cleaning solvent on a clean cloth to remove any leftover residue. " ~Heloise


"Generally, lipstick can be removed from washable clothing with isopropyl rubbing alcohol. Use two hand towels; put one down and place the lipstick stain face down on it. Dab the back of the stain with the other towel, which has been dipped into the alcohol. Repeat until stain is gone. If there’s any residue, use a pre-spotter or stain remover before laundering and let air dry to be sure the stain is gone. Lipsticks today have newer formulas, such as long-lasting or those with a lot of gloss. Several treatments may be needed to remove these stains."~ Heloise


"For clothes that you launder, soaking the bloodstained garment in cold water for about 30 minutes will usually remove it. However, if stains are visible, mix a bit of water with unseasoned meat tenderizer (which breaks down the protein in the blood) and apply to the area. If the garment can’t be laundered at home, take it to the dry cleaner right away and identify the stain. Let the professionals save the clothing. " ~ Heloise

Mystery Stain

"Suddenly you notice a stain, but it really isn’t a mystery because it probably was there when the garment was put away or actually laundered, but did not come out totally. These stains frequently are from a light-colored liquid, such as a clear soft drink or white wine that contains sugar. If you’ve tried all of the normal spot-and-stain removers without success, give this a try: If the garment is white or light colored, use three-percent hydrogen peroxide on a cotton swab to dab at the stain. Allow it to set for several hours because it acts as a milder, slower bleaching agent."~Heloise

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