You’ve just spilled salad dressing on your favorite pants. Not only is dry cleaning expensive, but you’ve also resolved to live “greener” in 2009. A few simple strategies can help you remove stains naturally.
Time matters. The longer stains sit, the harder they are to remove. But give any stain remover at least 15 to 30 minutes to work.
Blot first. Using a damp towel or cloth and your knuckles, gently but firmly press the towel onto the spill. Avoid rubbing, it can push the stain deeper into the surface and can cause fabric to become fuzzy. Then put a small amount of liquid hand soap on the stain and allow it to air dry. Don’t use the restroom hand dryer, since heat tends to set stains.
Choosing the right product for certain stains is key. Here are a few tips
- Chalk or talcum powder can soak up oil on clothing and porous surfaces. Natural orange cleaners also work well.
- A 50/50 solution of hydrogen peroxide and water in a squirt bottle is useful for tackling red wine stains, red jello or ice pops, and even blood. Spray, allow 30 minutes and rinse with a quarter cup of vinegar in two cups of water.
- Dab liquid dish soap on coffee or mustard stains and allow to sit for several hours. Foaming shaving cream (not shaving gel) also may work.