No matter how neat and careful we try to be, stains can still splatter into our lives. In the case that your coffee-covered white blouse is dry-clean only, blot off as much as you can and get the garment to the cleaners as soon as possible. You can try your hand at stain removal on clothes and fabrics that are machine-washable. As a general rule of thumb, do not blot stains with terry cloth or dark-color fabrics. Also be mindful not to put stained clothing into the drier as the heat will set the stain. In addition to stain-removing sprays and laundry detergents, you can also use household items to remove tough spots. Here are four common stains and ways to get rid of them:
The problem: Grass stains
The solution: Rubbing alcohol
Get rid of those stubborn grass stains by using rubbing alcohol as a pre-wash. Create a mixture of two teaspoons of water and one teaspoon of rubbing alcohol. You should rub the mixture on the stain until it is saturated and then wash the garment as you normally would. You can also try using straight rubbing alcohol. This method may cause colors to bleed into each other or alter. Do not use ammonia on grass stains, and never use rubbing alcohol on wool or silk.
The problem: Red wine on the carpet
The solution: Dishwashing detergent and white vinegar
Blot — not rub — as much of the wine off of the carpet as possible. Mix 1 tablespoon of liquid hand dish-washing detergent, 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and 2 cups of warm water. Sponge the stain using a white cloth and the mixture, blotting frequently with a dry cloth. Once the stain is gone, sponge the area with cold water and then blot it dry.
The problem: New artwork on your upholstery
The solution: Dishwashing detergent, white vinegar and rubbing alcohol
Perhaps your little one has taken his artistic enthusiasm from the kitchen table to the back of a living room chair. To remove felt-tip marker stains from upholstery, mix 1 tablespoon of liquid hand dish-washing detergent, 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and 2 cups of cool water. Sponge the stain with the mixture on a white cloth. Let it set for 30 minutes, continuing to blot every 5 minutes with more solution. Flush with cool water and blot the area dry. Use rubbing alcohol to sponge the stain and then blot it dry again. Sponge it with cold water and blot it dry for the final time.
The problem: Grease on your shirt or in your kitchen
The solution: Baby powder, cornstarch or baking soda
Blot the stain with a paper towel to remove as much of the oil or grease from the fabric as possible. Make sure not to rub it further into the fabric. Put baby powder on the area to draw out the oil or grease. Brush off the powder after a few minutes. You can also try sprinkling some cornstarch or baking soda onto the spot.