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Tips For Removing 6 Common Household Stains

By Charles Hopkins Published 04/24/2006 | Home Improvement
Day to day life will expose your clothing to many potentially clothes ruining substances. Some of these stains will be relatively easy to remove, while others will take multiple steps to remove. For all these potential solutions for removing stains, be sure to test a small hidden area to make sure the fabric will not be adversely affected.

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Removing Red Wine Stains

It is, unfortunately, very easy to end up with a wine stain on your favorite attire if your arm is jostled while holding a glass of wine.

One highly recommended way of removing a red wine stain is with the following "recipe":

One Part Hydrogen Peroxide
One Part Dawn Dish Washing Liquid

Spray or dab onto the stain, let sit, and then launder as you usually would.

Be sure to test a small hidden area first as hydrogen peroxide can bleach out the color of some garments.

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Removing a Lipstick Stain

Whether the lipstick was transferred while dressing for work or during a great date, the result can be a bit distressing. Removal of this type of stain is possible though.

One recommended way to remove a lipstick stain is to use rubbing alcohol. Dab at the stain with a white cloth wet with rubbing alcohol. Be sure to just dab at the stain as rubbing has a tendency to actually ground the stain in.

The next step is to use your finger and gently rub the lipstick stain with dish washing detergent. If the stain has been there for a while, you may want to try using a commercial stain stick as the next step in the removal of this type of stain.

Finally, wash the garment as you usually would.

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Removing Dried Glue from Clothing

If the glue is a water soluble glue like Elmers or most wood glues, soaking the garment in cool water will help remove the glue.

For waterproof glues, using rubbing alcohol will help remove the dried in mess.

You can remove finger nail glue by using acetone based fingernail polish. Be sure to test the fabric first in an inconspicuous area first as some materials do not react well to acetone.

Hold a white absorbent towel behind the stain and saturate the area where the dried glue is. The cloth will absorb most of the acetone and the rest will quickly evaporate.

For all these glue removing solutions, be sure to wash the garment as you normally would do after the stain removal is finished.

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Removing a Tomato Based Stain from Fabric

Tomato based stains are probably one of the most common stains to be found in a household with children.

The protocol for removing tomato based stains is as follows:

Rinse the fabric from the back side of the fabric to help force the tomato back out of the fabric.

Gently rub liquid detergent into the stained area. If the fabric is white or colorfast, you can apply a gentle bleaching product like hydrogen peroxide or white vinegar to the stain and then rinse well.

You may have to repeat these steps several times until the stain is gone or just about gone.

Apply a commercial stain removing treatment to the spot and let sit for the recommend time on the label.

Wash the garment as you normally would and check to see if the stain is still visible before you decide to dry it. Drying the garment before the stain is fully gone could result in a stain which is next to impossible to remove.

If the stain is still visible, repeat the steps above until the desirable result is achieved.

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Removing Ball Point Pen Marks on Fabric

As simple as this sounds, the feedback has been extremely favorable for using milk to remove ballpoint pen marks on fabric.

Soak par of a dish towel with milk and then rub across the spot where the ball point pen is. Repeat until the ballpoint pen marks are gone.

Wash the garment as you normally would.

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Removing Blood Stains from Fabric

The best way to remove blood stains from fabric is with hydrogen peroxide. The bleaching action helps to release the stain. Be sure to test for colorfastness before using on colored fabrics or dilute the hydrogen peroxide with a bit of water and apply with a cotton swab. Rinsing immediate will help prevent too much of the bleaching action on colored material.

The hydrogen peroxide will work on both fresh blood stains as well as dried in ones. The dried blood stains may be a bit more difficult to remove but it is still possible to regain the original look of your garment.