Learn to cope with common stains

Stains come in a variety of shapes, sizes and types. Here are a few common stains and how to deal with them.

Learn to cope with common stains

Stain solutions

  • Treat sweat stains with a vinegar-water mix (25 millilitres of vinegar to 45 millilitres of water or two tablespoons of vinegar to three tablespoons of water) or a make a simple ammonia solution with equal part ammonia and water.
  • Remove tough lipstick stains by dabbing them with eucalyptus oil and leaving it to soak in before laundering. Boil white table napkins, handkerchiefs or washcloths marred by lipstick stains.
  • Rub tar stains with lard before washing the item. For an extra boost, add 25 millilitres (two tablespoons) of baking soda to the laundry detergent. Oil, tar and grass stains can also be treated with a few drops of eucalyptus oil.
  • Clean up glue immediately. For clear glue spills, try cologne or oil-free nail polish remover; in other cases, turpentine, rubbing alcohol or lighter fluid may do the trick.
  • Scratch off wax spots, then place a paper towel under and over the spot and iron until all excess wax is absorbed by the paper. If necessary, replace the paper towel. Remove any remaining stain from coloured wax by dabbing it with rubbing alcohol, always rubbing from the outside in.
  • Treat freshgrass stainswith ammonia, but first test the sensitivity of the fabric on an inconspicuous place, such as an inside seam. Another option: apply a halved potato to the grass stain to allow the starch to dissolve the stain, then launder as usual. Soak older grass stains on white fabrics with a mixture of one part egg white and one part glycerin before washing.
  • Rinse offburn markson washable fabrics with cold water, sprinkle with salt and dry them in the sun. Treat burns marks on delicate fabrics carefully with diluted vinegar.
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