Homegrown stain busters - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Homegrown stain busters

© iStockphoto.com/TommL © iStockphoto.com/TommL

By Gail Belsky

It only takes a second: You bump into one of your dinner guests, and her wine splatters onto your tablecloth. You overfill your mug with coffee and spill some on your pants. Your puppy doesn't make it outside in time and … you know the rest. Too often, we assume these stains are permanent -- and we're wrong.

It may take a while, but almost all stains can be removed from fabric, according to textile experts at Cornell University who tested home remedies for 250 stains. The key ingredients in these treatments include:

  • Cool or lukewarm water
  • Detergent solution (1 teaspoon mild dishwashing liquid detergent and 1 cup warm water)
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Ammonia
  • Bleach solution (1 teaspoon bleach and 1 tablespoon water)
  • White-vinegar solution (2/3 cup water and 1/3 cup vinegar)
  • Laundry detergent that contains enzymes (check the label)

The main rules of thumb for stain removal:

  1. Test a small patch first
  2. Blot, don't rub
  3. Use cool or lukewarm water, not hot

Here's how to treat some of the most common spills, splashes and splotches:

Black Coffee, Tea, Fruit Juice, Wine

Sponge with water. With an absorbent cloth or paper towel, apply detergent solution. Cover with another towel, moistened with solution. Flush with water, and apply rubbing alcohol. Cover with another towel soaked with alcohol. Change towels as they start to pick up stain. Take another towel, and moisten the stain with enzyme detergent. Cover with a towel soaked in the detergent, and let stand 30 minutes. Flush with water. Apply bleach solution with a medicine dropper (don't use on wool, silk or spandex) for no more than two minutes, then flush.

(You may have to repeat). Apply vinegar solution, and flush again.

Dairy, Ketchup, Gravy, Sauces, Salad Dressing

Sponge with dry-cleaning solvent (sold in supermarkets, drug stores or hardware stores), keeping an absorbent cloth or paper towel underneath. Cover with another towel dampened with dry spotter (mix one part coconut or mineral oil to eight parts dry-cleaning solvent). Change towels as they pick up stain. Flush with dry-cleaning solvent, and let dry. Using a medicine dropper, apply detergent mixed with a few drops of ammonia. Flush with water. Apply bleach solution with a medicine dropper (don't use on wool, silk or spandex) for no more than two minutes, and flush with water. (You may need to repeat.) Apply vinegar solution and flush with water.

Blood, Vomit

Blot up as much stain as possible, and place an absorbent cloth or paper towel underneath. Place another towel moist with enzyme detergent over stain for 30 minutes. Flush with water. Flush with ammonia solution (1 tablespoon ammonia and 1/2 cup of water). Flush with water, and blot. Flush with vinegar solution.  Flush with water, and blot. If stain isn't completely removed, use a medicine dropper to bleach with hydrogen peroxide (3 percent). Add a drop of ammonia, and flush with water.

If your home remedy doesn't work, you may have to pay for a professional cleaning job. But more often than not, you can remove stains on your own -- for a lot less.

Copyright (c) 2010 Studio One Networks. All rights reserved.
*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.
Powered by WorldNow

Fox 28

58096 County Road 7, South
Elkhart, IN 46517

Switchboard: 574.679.9758
News Phone: 574.679.4545
Station Fax: 574.294.1267
Email: fox28news@fox28.com

All content ©Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WSJV. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service and Mobile Privacy Policy & Terms of Service.

Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Administrative Assistant Heather Stewart at (574) 343-5310. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at fccinfo@fcc.gov.