Stain Removal Secrets from a Costume Designer

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You don’t get to be an Emmy Award-winning costume designer without learning to think quickly on your feet. Here are Birgit Mueller’s in-a-pinch fixes for stained clothing.

For Oil Stains

For Oil Stains
Sprinkle the spot with baby powder, let the powder absorb the oil, then brush the powder off.

Remedy a Dribble

Remedy a Dribble
To clean up a dribble of solid food, makeup, or lipstick, wipe with a piece of velvet. Keep a handkerchief-size square of velvet in your purse for emergencies.

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For Stained White Shirts

For Stained White Shirts
Use a piece of white chalk to cover a stain on a white shirt.

To Remove Ink Stains

To Remove Ink Stains
Spray the spot with hair spray, then launder.

For Red Wine Stains

For Red Wine Stains
Blot the stain with gin, then launder.

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Get Rid of Sweat Odors

Get Rid of Sweat Odors
Mix 1 ounce (30 ml) vodka with 2 ounces (60 ml) water in a squirt bottle and spray it onto the armpits. “We used to use that trick on movie sites in the desert,” Mueller says. See also: 5 Tricks of the Trade to Make Your Clothing Last Longer Do You Really Need to Dry Clean? 5 Best Baking Soda and Vinegar Cleaning Solutions

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