Super Saves for Stained Clothing

Wash out make-up spills with baking soda

If you’ve spilled liquid foundation onto a blouse, go to the kitchen and get some baking soda. Sprinkle the powder onto the stain until it’s completely covered and press it gently into the fabric. Wet a nailbrush or a toothbrush and lightly brush the spot. If any make-up remains, repeat the process until all traces have disappeared.

Foundation shaker #2: Bread

Blot up liquid foundation make-up spills on washable fabrics using a piece of fresh white bread kneaded into a ball. The bread treatment should also erase pencil marks on wool and washable clothing. Resist the temptation to use a pencil rubber to erase pencil marks; in most cases it will only make them look worse.

Lipstick smear remover #1: Petroleum jelly

Dabbing petroleum jelly onto lipstick marks before washing a garment is a removal method used by stain specialists. If it’s good enough for pros, it should be good enough for you.

Lipstick smear remover #2: Bread

Tear out the doughy center of white bread and knead it into a ball, then blot the smear repeatedly with the dough until the stain lifts from the fabric. Now wash the garment. The dough ball is also safe to use on lipstick marks on dry-clean only wool clothing.

Soak out tomato sauce stains

You have to be brave to eat pasta while wearing a white shirt without a napkin tucked into the front collar. For an effective tomato-sauce spot eradicator, combine 1/2 cup (125ml) 3 per cent hydrogen peroxide and 3 cups (750ml) water in a bowl or clean sink. Soak the stain in the solution for 30 minutes before washing the shirt.

Shaving cream tomato-sauce remover

Take a can of non-gel shaving cream and spray it onto the stain, rub it in gently and let it dry before washing as normal.

Milk an ink stain

To get rid of a nasty ink blot on a shirt, put 2-3 tablespoons cornstarch into a bowl and then stir into full-fat milk until you have made a thick paste. Cover the stain with the paste and let it sit for 3-4 hours. Then brush off the paste and wash the shirt. Another paste to try is 2 tablespoons cream of tartar mixed with 2 tablespoons lemon juice.

Remove red wine stains

Although the wine tasted terrific, the drops left on your pants don’t look all that great the next morning. Soda water is a common antidote for red wine stains, but if that doesn’t work, try one of these treatments:

  • Borax
    Dissolve 1 tablespoon borax in 2 cups (500ml) warm water. Submerge the stained part of the garment in the solution and soak for 1 minute, then put the item in the washing machine.
  • Liquid hand soap and vinegar
    Dilute liquid hand soap and gently scrub it into the stain; rinse gently with water, then apply a drop of white vinegar. Pat dry and rinse again with water.
  • Salt and boiling water
    Pour a generous amount of salt onto a still-wet stain and see if the salt turns pink as it soaks up the wine. If it doesn’t, pour boiling water over the salt. In either case, wash the stained garment as soon as possible.
  • Baking soda
    Heap baking soda on the stain and let it sit for an hour or more to absorb the stain. Then shake off the baking soda and wash the garment.

Prevent perspiration stains

Spread baby powder or talcum powder along the collar and underarms of soiled clothing and press gently with a warm iron. The powder should absorb the sweat and make it easier for the rest to come out in the wash.

Pop out bloodstains

It can all-too-easily happen: you’re near the end of a bike ride when your front wheel hits a pothole, sending you and the bike clattering to the ground. Hopefully, all that’s hurt is your pride and a bleeding elbow, which manages to leave bloodstains all over your clothes. It seems ridiculous, but soaking bloodstains overnight in cola removes them. Try it, it may sound insane, but it actually works!

A toast to club soda

The most successful way to get rid of stains is to treat them before they dry and become set in the fabric. If you spill food onto your clothes at a dinner party or in a restaurant, ask for a glass of club soda and a lint-free cloth napkin. Retire to the bathroom with the soda water and apply as much as you can. Wait 1 minute, then blot the stain gently with the towel.

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