Quick fixes for stained clothing

When you spill something on your favourite top (or new top, or one that is work-appropriate and well fitting) you don't always think quickly on your feet. You're sure someone told you a trick about something, but what was it? Here are some quick notes for in-a-pinch fixes for stained clothing: they'll help you out when you're not thinking clearly.

Quick fixes for stained clothing

1. Types of stains

  • For an oil stain: sprinkle the spot with baby powder, let the powder absorb the oil, then brush the powder off.
  • 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.
  • For a stain on a white shirt: use a piece of white chalk to cover the mark temporarily.
  • To remove an ink stain: spray the spot with hair spray, then launder.
  • To remove a red wine stain: blot it with gin, then launder.
  • To remove the odour of sweat from a shirt: mix 30 millilitres (one ounce) vodka with 60 millilitres (two ounces) water in a squirt bottle and spray it onto the armpits. You'll be suprised at how well it works.

2. Quick care tips for suits

Dry-clean your suits less frequently. Your dry cleaner won't tell you this, but most people bring their suits in to be cleaned way too often. People will complain, "My suit looks like hell after only one season." But when you ask them how often they dry-clean their suits, the answer is inevitably, "Every two or three times I wear it." That cleaning schedule is just too frequent! Don't fall into this trap.

  • If your suit is just a little wrinkled, use a steamer on it to relax the fabric — or have the dry cleaner press it for you. If you get a spot on your suit, try removing it with a disposable fabric-cleaning wipe before you take it to the dry cleaner. Try to dry-clean your suit only once per season.
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