4 Surefire Ways to Treat Common Stains

1. Lipstick:

  • Washables: Apply an oil solvent; let dry. Remove residue. Treat with liquid soap and a little water. Rub to form suds; rinse. Use an eyedropper with diluted ammonia to bleach any remaining color. Rinse with cool water.
  • Non-washables: Same as for washables, but use diluted white vinegar instead of ammonia to bleach, then rinse.

2. Red Wine:

  • Washables: Blot with an absorbent cloth, then saturate with club soda or cold water. Later, if there’s still a stain, apply a paste of three parts of baking soda to one part water. Let dry, then vacuum or brush off.
  • Non-washables: Apply an oil solvent, allow to dry, then remove residue with a dry cloth. Use an eye-dropper filled with diluted white vinegar to bleach any remaining color. Flush garment with cool water.

3. Wax:

  • Washables: Place item in freezer for 20 minutes, then scrape off all the wax you can. Stretch fabric over a bow. From a height of one foot, pour boiling water over it.
  • Non-washables: Freeze the wax by putting the item in the freezer for 20 minutes, then scrape off all you can. Clean any remaining residue with an oil solvent.

4. Oil-based salad dressing:

  • Washables: Shake on an absorbent(like corn starch) to soak up the oil. Pick off excess and rinse with cool water. Apply a combination solvent(like Spray ‘n Wash) and let sit for 15 minutes. Wash as usual.
  • Non-washables: Shake on an absorbent. Pick off any excess and let dry. Follow with an application of oil solvent. Let dry and scrape off any remaining residue.

Taken from the Real Simple Magazines January 2009 issue.

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