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Stain Removal Secrets


Ellen Shapiro
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No scientific proof, but club soda has usually worked for me, but only if you apply it as soon as the stain happens. Baking soda, rubbed into a spot(especially red wine) works. My Consumer reports book "How to Clean Practically Anything", states that the best way to clean a red wine stain is with salt. -"Sponge stain with cool water. Spread fabric over bowl, pour salt on stain, then pour boiling water through fabric from a height of 12 inches. If garment is fragile, pour salt on stain, moisten with water, let stand then scrape off and rinse."

They say Petroleum jelly is useful for removal of bacon grease, motor oil, suntain lotion or other oil related stains. Glycerin for ink . And a variety of combination solvents or oil solvents for most other stains. There's a whole list of them!

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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I make a paste of liquid detergent (Whisk seems the best for this) and powdered detergent and pre treat the stain. Do not use soap with built in bleach. Then I put it in our front loader washer and voila! If unsuccessful, do not dry the item but rather try another paste combo.

What disease did cured ham actually have?

Megan sandwich: White bread, Miracle Whip and Italian submarine dressing. {Megan is 4 y.o.}

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we were told to use Gojo (mechanics soap) on our chef whites in culinary school. It worked like a charm on any stain, but if you got it on any color, like the blue embroidery, it would bleach it out. So, for anything that's all white, try that. It worked on red wine, tomato, a smear of parsley juice from chopping, everything.

The other thing that's guaranteed is just to not get any stains on your clothes at all. :biggrin:

"Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut." -Ernest Hemingway

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There are really two phases of stain treatment one of which is kind of like emergency first aid (what you do immediately upon staining the garment to get the patient stabilized) and the other of which is the removal (what you do to treat the garment in surgery aka the washing machine or dry cleaner). The problem is if you mess up in the first-aid stage you can ruin your chances of success later on.

Ellen Shapiro

www.byellen.com

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If you eat a lot of food you eventually wind up with some of it on your shirt. What to do?

It's all a matter of spin. Stains need not be dreaded. Do what I did. Start a web site where grease stains are awarded as badges of honor and show a picture of your stained shirt on the home page. Make a stained shirt your trademark. People will expect you to wear one. which is good because I have a hard time making it through a typical day sans stains.

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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I just got back into the habit of wearing an apron while cooking. Got tired of wiping my hands on my apron and then realizing I wasn't wearing one. :sad:

Of course, I have two little kids, so not having stains on my clothes is an impssible dream for now. I use Oxyclean and it really does work. I pretreat, then put some in with the laundry detergent. It's the only cleaning product that reliably gets spitup out of my son's laundry, blueberry stains out of my daughter's, and red wine out of my good white tablecloth.

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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  • 3 weeks later...

OXY-CLEAN! Yes, I shouted. Oxy-clean has changed my life. I use it on all whites (underwear, lingerie, dishtowels, towels, sheets) as well as antique linens and mid-tone colors. Yesterday I used it (in solution) to remove a scorch from a very expensive white shirt. You know the kind: you have ironed the entire bleeping shirt when, ZAP, somehow you burn one edge or corner. I used a Q-tip to dab the solution on the scorch, and it simply disappeared. I did not bother to rinse out the solution since it was a very small spot. I have NEVER so far injured any garment using this product.

eGullet member #80.

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What is the name of that book by that woman dubbed "The Queen of Clean" ?? I've seen it, can picture it but need to buy it one of these days. My mother swears by it and she's a stain removal junkie. I hand over my toughies for her reference book expertise and they always work. It is sort of satisfying to see success right before your eyes on what you thought was a hopeless effort.

Edited by beans (log)
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oxyclean never seemed to work for me unless I could do a laundry right after the stain happened. this was near impossible at culinary school.

once I got pen on my dining room vest and the teacher said use club soda, and I tried in vain, even though it was right after the accident. that spot never did come out.

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PBS stations in the NYC/NJ/Philly area are doing their early summer beg-a-thons right now. On NYC's Channel 13 this a.m., they were re-playing a series called "Haley's Hints," in which a guy named Graham Haley shows you, amongst other things, how to get all sorts of stains out of all sorts of materials. The info's in his book, Haley's Cleaning Hints. You can get it from Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/096...8411615-4959846

Edited to correct url, with Thanks to Rachel.

Edited by rozrapp (log)
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once I got pen on my dining room vest and the teacher said use club soda, and I tried in vain, even though it was right after the accident.  that spot never did come out.

Hair spray gets out ink. Really. Saturate with hair spray (I use a pump action basic hairspray) and then scrub with a little detergent. I once bought a white cotton dress. Actually, it was when I was a kid and my mom bought me a white cotton dress. Anyway, she paid with a check and the sales girl accidentally stamped the dress instead of the back of the check. I really liked the dress and it fit perfectly, etc., so she insisted we take it home and try using hairspray and if it didn't work they'd take it back. It worked perfectly and has many other times since. Unless you're talking Sharpie permanent marker, I'm not sure about that one.

To get out regular everyday food stains (mostly out of Jason's shirts :raz:), I use Shout Gel. The one with the scrubby brush on top. Shout spray doesn't work nearly as well, neither does Spray & Wash or its Stain Stick. Scrub in the the gel and let it sit for a few minutes (or days) before loading in the washer. Oh, and I love my Whirlpool Duet front loading machine. Compared to a top loader it does more clothes per wash (no churn stick in the center means larger capacity), less detergent, a lot less water, cleaner clothes with less wear, it spins faster too, so less drier time, although the wash cycles are longer. Used to be that wet clothes from the washer were waiting for the drier to complete its hour or more cycle, now the drier is finished before the washer.

Question about Oxyclean: I saw it in a store today, and couldn't find any instructions about using it in a front loading machine. It says to dissolve it before use or add to the washer before the clothes, which is not possible with front loader. Anyone know the answer?

Rozrapp - your link seems broken, here is a fixed version: Haley's Cleaning Hints

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Question about Oxyclean: I saw it in a store today, and couldn't find any instructions about using it in a front loading machine. It says to dissolve it before use or add to the washer before the clothes, which is not possible with front loader. Anyone know the answer?

Could one of you folks that use this product post the 800 number and/or website that is on the label? There are too many results for websites selling the products for a google search to be of any use. Thanks.

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Hairspray for ink.  Always.

Aqua Net is best for this, I've found.

For food/grease stains, I often wet the item with lukewarm water, smear with Dawn dishwashing detergent, put in a plastic bag and stick in the fridge. Why, you ask, put in the fridge? Well, it is often not very convenient to wash the item right away, and fridging prevents mildew. And, it seems as tho if you give the Dawn some time to work, it does an even better job of stain removal. I've never used Spray & Wash or any of those things simply because I never think to buy them, but always have Dawn around.

Reminds me of how my grandmother would take the stuff that needed ironing off the line when still damp, put in plastic and put in the freezer or fridge if she wasn't going to iron right away. She usually had a shelf full of frozen "ironing in waiting."

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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I really like a product called Zout. It says that it can get out stains that have set as well as new stains. It really works well, much better than plain detergent or spray and wash. I was able to get ink stains out of my leather couch with it.

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How about those guys that flick their ties over their shoulder when eating lunch or dinner... :laugh: I would rather splatter my Armani ties with grease and pay the $7.00 to get it dry-cleaned than look like a complete goofus while eating lunch in a restaurant... :smile:

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Could one of you folks that use this product post the 800 number and/or website that is on the label? There are too many results for websites selling the products for a google search to be of any use. Thanks.

Thought I could help you out here but my tub of Oxyclean was made in Canada and I am betting the number will not work from the US. You can try it though: 1-888-202-0888. There is no website given.

My daughter's table linen was badly stained with turmeric which I did not notice when I laundered it. It was washed and dried in the automatic dryer and I found the stains as I folded. So, with nothing to lose, I dumped it in hot water with Oxyclean and VOILA - the stains came out! I am a believer!

Anna N

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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  • 1 year later...

There's a new product in SC Johnson's Shout Line: Shout Action Foamer.* "Tough on Greasy Stains!" It was on sale this week at ShopRite (in NJ), 2 20-oz aerolsol cans for $4 (regular price, $3 each). I needed to get some Shout Gel** so I figured I'd try the new product. Now, I don't like the regular Shout in a hand pump spray bottle (or Spray & Wash for that matter), they don't work very well. But I'm a sucker for foaming action! Just did a couple loads of wash and it did a very good job. Out of the washer, it appears to have removed all the stains I sprayed (they're still in the dryer).

The only caveat of this product is that the instructions specifically state to "not allow [the product] to dry before laundering." I assumed it may bleach the sprayed area, but I called the "Stain Professionals!" and the customer service rep said it's just because there are additional enzymes in this product, and she said that if you do spray it in advance and it dries, just remoisten it before washing. But, Shout Ultra Gel, specifically states you may treat stains ... up to a week before washing."

* I found out when I called it's actually not new, it used to be called "Shout Aerosal" but they recently renamed it.

**Here are two posts where I wax rhapsodic about Shout Gel: Link 1 and Link 2 (which contains advice on getting out ink stains.

FYI: Shout Website, Stain Hotline: 1-800-991-SHOUT (7468)

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if any of you are dealing with antique or vintage linens, i would strongly advise you not to use salt as a remover, and to proceed with caution with others.

salt eats away at fibers as if it were acid. this is ok for modern, non-heirloom type materials, but disasterious for grandmother's banquet-sized battenburg tablecloth.

using salt on silk is also extremely risky. you may or may not get the stain out while leaving the material intact, but you will certainly shorten the lifespan of the fabric.

also, in the '20s, rayon became widely used in table linens, sometimes on its own, sometimes blended with linen or cotton. if you use some cleaners on antique rayon (i've forgotten which these are, but could look them up), you will risk winding up with shredded antique linens.

another also...i've used oxyclean on some antique/vintage linens with varying results. it's kind of harsh. on some pieces it cleaned things nicely, which is good for an initial (NOT ongoing cleaning), but on others it ate away at the fibers, leaving gaping holes in antique/vintage linens.

cheers :)

hc

Edited by halloweencat (log)
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Trader Joe's has Oxo Brite which I think is basically the same thing as Oxyclean. It's saved me more than once.

I've gotten back into the habit of wearing an apron. It always seemed like a pain until one day I clicked on a link at Jacques Pepin's web site on How to Tie an Apron and Kitchen Towel and realized I was an idiot. I had been tying the thing in back and didn't realize that if you bring both ends around and tie in front, you can hang your kitchen towel there. Finally, a place to put it other than the oven handle where it kept falling off. :blink:

Edited by esvoboda (log)
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