How many moms have put their little angel in a new outfit, only to have them drop something messy on themselves? You might be able to get the stain out if it can be treated immediately. But what happens if you can’t get to the stain right away? Are there natural ways to remove stains once they’ve begun to set in?
What about the friend that drops a dark liquid onto a light-colored carpet? Will the same tricks work to remove the stain from the carpet, as well?
To begin with, be prepared to give whatever product you use a chance to work. You cannot expect a product, any product, to work immediately. Once you put a product on the stain, give it at least 15 to 30 minutes to work into the stain before trying to remove it.
Removing stains begins with quickly addressing the problem. Begin by blotting the fabric with a damp cloth to remove as much of the spill as possible. It’s important to blot the fabric, rather than rubbing, to prevent substance from going deeper into the fabric.
Next, do not use heat on the stain until you have removed as much, if not all, of the stain from the fabric. Using heat, especially from a dryer, will set the stain and make it impossible to remove.
For those times that you’re away from home and you, or your child, drop some food down your front, hurry to the closest bathroom. Clean the majority of the food off but do not rub. Gently dab a little bit of soap onto the spot. Again, do not rub, no matter how much you’re tempted to do so. Let the soap set and then launder as usual when you get home.
If you’ve spilled red wine, dripped a cherry Popsicle® in your lap, or had some other red food stain your clothes, immediately remove the majority of it. Do not rub the spot. Get a clean cloth and blot cold water onto the spot until you can get home to treat it properly. When you get home, make a solution of half hydrogen peroxide and half cool water. Take the garment off and soak it for 30 minutes. This treatment may take more than one time to completely remove the stain.
To brighten your whites without bleach, add one-half to one cup of hydrogen peroxide and your detergent to the washer prior to adding the clothes. Let the washer fill up and then turn it off to allow the clothes to soak for 30 minutes. After the clothes have soaked for 30 minutes, run the load as usual. For additional freshness, add one-quarter cup of baking soda to the final rinse.
Stains can happen to anyone, at any time, and in any place. Don’t let them ruin your day. Remove the source of the stain, blot with cool water and soap, and then deal with it when you get home. And, if you have a tendency to drop things, you might also want to carry a spare change of clothes, just in case.