I'm kind of a klutz, and in addition to making my partner laugh, my high level of clumsiness often leaves me researching the best methods for removing stains. Lipstick, mustard, coffee … I'm like a magnet for stains. Maybe you have the same problem, maybe you have an accident prone partner, or maybe your kids are always spilling things on their clothes, the carpet, or your clothes. Whatever your messes, I'm sure a few of these marvelous methods for removing stains will work for you!
I look for lots of methods for removing stains somehow related to makeup. Foundation, mascara, lipstick (wait for it!) – I get makeup all over my clothes. My worst sin, however, is getting foundation on the collars and necklines of my clothes. Do you have that problem too? Next time it happens, smear a little shaving cream onto your stain, then just wipe with a washcloth. It even works for liquid foundation!
Unbelievably, you can actually use wine to eradicate wine stains. Here's how it works: if you spill red wine on your clothes or your gorgeous tablecloth, soak the item in some white wine. After that, make a paste of baking soda and smear it over the stain, then give it a few hours to set. After that, you can wash your garment or linen, and voila! Au revoir, red wine.
Oil stains are the worst, but there are several ways to remove the stains. One method involves coating a stain using baby powder, after which you let it set through the night. You'll find that, by the next day, the stain has disappeared – though if it hasn't, just try the baby powder trick again. You can also use liquid dawn on oil and grease stains; Dawn's kind of a miracle worker that way.
Suede is a lovely material, but it's prone to dirt and scuffs. Fortunately there's a way to take care of that problem while putting all your stale bread to good use. Just cut the crusts off your old bread, make sure it's totally stale, and very gently “buff” it over the stains on your suede items. If you're dealing with scuffs, you can remove them using either a nail file or a simple pencil eraser.
Ink stains are unsightly and annoying, and if you're a writer or a sketcher or a jotter who's never without a pen, you've probably experienced these little annoyances many times. Don't give your clothing up for a loss, though. With cotton clothing, a little bit of rubbing alcohol, dabbed on gently, should take care of the problem. If you're dealing with polyester or with a blend, spray the stain with plenty of hair spray, then use a dry rag or cloth to pat it dry. No matter the material, wash after doing your stain treatment, and your clothing should come out good as new.
Sweat stains aren't just annoying, they're pretty gross. They happen to the best of us, but they're hard to get out, especially on white or light colored clothing. To deal with all that alkalinity, you need something acidic. What works best? Lemons! Spray your sweat stains with lemon juice – or, if they're particularly bad, you can dab the lemon juice right on them. After that, just wash as normal, and goodbye sweat stains!
I promised you a lipstick trick, didn't I? Whether you get your favorite lip stain on your collar or anywhere else, turn to another item in your beauty arsenal: hair spray. Liberally spray that pesky stain and then wash your clothing normally. When it comes out, it will be flawless – even if you've been vamping it up with a red lip!
Tea and coffee stains are some of the worst. Those dark beverages create glaring stains, and they're often hard to remove – or, rather, they used to be hard to remove. Now you've got a great trick: take a sponge, dip it in warm water, and gently dab at the stain, then blot it with a little glycerin and wash as usual. (Bonus points to anyone who caught the reference here, by the way.)
You know that you have to use cold water on blood stains, never hot water, but that's not the only method you can use. To completely eradicate a fresh blood stain, you should soak it for 20-30 minutes in very cold water, but add a little, tiny bit of ammonia. That should take care of everything. For stains that are already set in, you should actually use warm water to blot the stain. Then – get this – get yourself some unseasoned meat tenderizer and sprinkle enough over the now-damp stain to create a paste. Cover the stain with a napkin or a piece of paper towel and leave it overnight. The following day, rinse it off using a mix of cold water and, again, a small amount of ammonia, then wash your garment. Just seriously make sure the tenderizer is unseasoned!
Next time you get caught with a stubborn stain that seems to resist all your best tricks, try one of these methods instead. And by all means, if you have a time-tested technique to remove makeup, food, or beverage stains, please share it! How do you keep even the worst stains from setting?
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