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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Smarty Stain Fighting Tips

By Ashley H, Charlotte Smarty Pants

Two bored twins and a tube of butt paste produces a challenging mess to clean to say the least. Stains, the bane of my existence and something I battle weekly with 3-year-old twins. Totally feel like I’m channeling Lady Macbeth in my laundry room on any given day shouting “Out damn’d spot! Out I say!” This is not uncommon since nearly 60% of women decide against buying certain articles of clothing based on care label and fear of ruining the garmet.

I did a little research online and found some great tips that I thought are worth sharing.

What a hoot, there’s actually a “Dr. Laundry” at Clorox and there’s even a Dr. Laundry Stain Hotline (877-STAIN-411) you can call to get your stain fighting tips and solution. A few good tips from Dr. Laundry…

For cold beverage stains like iced tea, coffee or soft drinks:
-Immediately blot off excess
-Rinse with cold water from the back (you don’t want to push stains all the way thru your material if you can help it)
-Do not use bar soap as it may set the stain

For condiment stains with intense color like BBQ sauce, mustard, ketchup, salsa and relishes:
-Treat stains while fresh or you risk not getting it out
-Quickly blot or wipe up excess
-Rinse with cold water from back

Suntan lotion
-Blot up excess with paper towel or cloth, try not to rub hard to avoid pushing stain further into fiber
-Pre-treat with good liquid laundry or dishwashing detergent, rub into stain and wait 5-10 minutes

Another website ( had this to offer for stain solutions:
-Keep the following cleaning products and tools on hand: white vinegar, club soda, clear dish detergent, WD-40, a rubbery fingernail brush, bleach, lemon juice, baking soda, large bag of white cloths for blotting, large package of sponges for most stain fighting jobs.
-Test first for colorfastness.
-Avoid heat. This will only set the stain, always start with clean cold water.
-Be familiar with your fabric so you make sure the solution is safe to apply to item.
-Act quickly, don’t wait for stains to set in.
-Be persistent.

For red wine I’ve had good luck with my bottle of Wine Away available for purchase at Total Wine stores. Some stains I can get out, if I catch them early, with Shout. Other tougher stains I sometime have to soak for hours (and sometimes days) in Oxi Clean (though I never did get all that butt paste out of my twins clothes and tossed them after days of trying). S0, be it diaper ointment shellacked all over curious twins, to grass stains, blood, markers and red wine…what have you found thru trial & error are your best tips on fighting stains?!


Kelly G. said...

My mother-in-law got wine out of her white tablecloth by draping the stain over an open sink and pouring water on it from a kettle at a height of about four feet. Worked like a charm. Good thing, since I was the one who spilled;

Summer said...

You can get sharpie marker (in case say your toddler is interested in graffitti) with denatured alcohol on a cottonball. Works like a charm on a myriad of surfaces, it did a fairly good job on our microfiber sofa too, with only slight discoloration.

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