Friday, August 10, 2012

Summer Stain Busters

Summer Stain Busters:
Earlier this Summer I shared some tips for removing Common Cookout Stains.  Today, I shared a few more on-air so here is a recap.  I haven't tried these yet, but I did find them on Good Housekeeping which I consider reliable.  I'll be trying them along with you.  Let me know how they work if you try them before I do.

Berry Stains: Berries can leave hard-to-remove stains on fabric. To deal, immediately sponge the spot with cool water. Later, stretch the stained cloth over a bowl or pot in the sink. Hold a kettle of boiling water at least 12 inches above the fabric and pour the water through the stain. The mark should disappear. If not, sponge it with rubbing alcohol before tossing the item in the machine to wash.  

Grass Stains: Super common, and super difficult to remove.  Your best line of defense is an enzyme-based liquid laundry detergent like Arm & Hammer, because the enzymes target protein-based stains. Rub a little of the detergent into the stain. Wash the items in the hottest water that's safe for the fabric and use chlorine bleach if the garment label says you can.

Sap Stains: I've only actually gotten sap on my clothing once at Christmas when my family picked out a real Christmas tree.  So this one is probably more Christmas appropriate, but here's what you do.  First, pre-treat the stain and wash the clothing in the warmest water with the type of bleach that's safe for the fabric. Before you toss the item in the dryer, make sure all the sap's been removed. Heat from the dryer could soften any sap that's still there and transfer it to other items in the load. If any sap remains, sponge the stain with rubbing alcohol and wash again.

Pollen Stains: The worst thing you can do when this happens is to dab the stain with water. Even brushing them off with your hand can push the powder deeper into the fabric. Instead, carefully shake the material (bend over, if you have to) so the loose particles fall off. If any are still clinging, gently blot them with a piece of tape or use a handheld vacuum cleaner to coax them out of the fabric. If you still see a yellow stain, place it face down on a piece of paper towel, dab the stain from the back with a dry-cleaning fluid and frequently rotate the paper towel to a clean area as it absorbs the stain. Treat the stain with a laundry pre-spotter and wash in the hottest water and type of bleach that is safe for the garment, or take the item to the dry cleaner.

Salsa Stains:  Place a layer of paper towels over the stain. Working from the inside of the fabric, flush the area with cold water to transfer some of the salsa to the towel. Once you're home, pre-treat with a liquid laundry detergent to break up the stain. Let sit for several minutes, then rinse well. Sponge the stain with white vinegar and rinse. Pre-treat again and wash. The same technique works for ketchup smears.

Guacamole Stains: Simply scrape off the excess guacamole, and flush the stain with cold running water. Then wash the item in the hottest water safe for the material with all-fabric bleach.

Butter Stains:  Butter is greasy and difficult to remove.  Sprinkle sugar on the stain and pat it in to absorb the grease. Let it sit for a few minutes, then brush the sugar off. When you get home, treat the area with a stain remover, and wash in the hottest water possible. You can also use this approach for any mayonnaise-based foods, like potato salad or coleslaw.

Salad Dressing Stains: Act fast with this one! Immediately sop up any excess dressing with a dry napkin, or scrape it off with a clean spoon. Another trick: Grab a packet of sugar and sprinkle it on to soak up the blob (shake off the grains before you leave the table). No matter what the fabric, when you get home, sponge the stain with a dry cleaning solvent. Take dry clean-only garments to the shop ASAP. For washables, apply pre-wash stain treatment and launder as usual.

Grease Stains:  If a bit of grease dripped from a burger onto your clothes, blot the stain with a small piece of the bun. When you get home, rub the stain with a grease-cutting liquid dishwashing soap, like Dawn, and launder in the warmest water possible.

Tea Stains:  The good news is that iced tea won't set into the fabric as quickly as hot tea. Simply take an ice cube and rub it over the stain. Then pat the area with dry paper napkins. When you get home, treat the stain with a laundry pre-treater or some liquid laundry detergent and wash as usual, adding a little bleach if appropriate for the fabric.

Baked Beans Stains: Scoop off as much of the baked beans as possible with a clean spoon. Flush the stain with cold water for the time being. When you get home, pre-treat with a pre-wash stain remover and launder as usual.

Ice Cream Stains: If little drips get on your little one’s clothes, pre-treat or soak the fabric using a laundry detergent that contains enzymes for at least 30 minutes and launder.

Sunscreen Stains:  It's inevitable that this summer staple is going to end up on your beach towel, bathing suit, or shorts. When that happens, remove as much of the excess sunscreen as you can by dousing the fabric with sand. Sand will cause the lotion to clump, making it easier to roll it off without pressing it into the fibers. After you get home, apply a pre-wash remover wash the stained items in the hottest water that's safe for the fabric.

Sweat Stains: Discoloration (i.e. pit stains) is caused when sweat and antiperspirant build up on fabric. First, rinse stains for 15 seconds with cool water to dilute trapped salts and acid. Work in some enzyme-containing liquid laundry detergent; let it sit for 15 minutes. Wash in the hottest water that is safe for the fabric, with fabric-safe bleach. 

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