Common Stains and How to Remove Them

August 2, 2013

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Did your toddler spill grape juice on the front of their shirt? Did yellow mustard migrate from your hot dog to your favorite slacks? How about that ballpoint pen that decided to leak on your shirt? The 1995 Old Farmer’s Almanac Hearth and Home Companion has the guidance you’ll need to remove those stains!

Common Stains and How to Remove Them

Stain: Beverages (alcoholic and soft drinks) and Perfumes
Removal: Sponge in cool water and glycerine. Soak 30 minutes. Sponge with alcohol if safe for fabric.

Stain: Blood, Carbon Paper (regular), or Pencil (lead)
Removal: Sponge with cool water. Soak 30 minutes. Rub liquid detergent into area, rinse. If stain remains, apply a few drops of ammonia and repeat detergent treatment. Lead pencil may be removed from some fabrics with a soft eraser.

Stain: Candy (nonchocolate), Coffee and Tea (no cream), Egg, Vegetables and Catsup
Removal: Sponge stain with cold water. Soak for 30 minutes.

Stain: Chocolate, Cosmetics, Gravy and Sauces, Grease, Oil, Wax, Mayonnaise, Milk, Cream, Butter, Smoke, Soot, or Vomit
Removal: Soak stain in cold water for 30 minutes. Work detergent into stain. Rinse and dry. If stain remains, sponge with a grease solvent and dry. Repeat if necessary.

Stain: Fingernail polish
Removal: Sponge with nail-polish remover. Rinse.

Stain: Fruit, Berries, and Juices
Removal: Sponge immediately with cool water. If safe for fabric, pour boiling water through stain. Work detergent into stain; rinse. 

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