It was a sunny day’s early morning. One of those days when you have everything planned out in order to get out of the door on perfect timing to avoid the regular traffic jams and get to your appointment #likeaboss. Everything was going accordingly with the plan and I was pretty proud of my time management skills display… Until I put on my lovely blouse just to discover it had very visible white deodorant marks.
“Oh, cr*p!” My perfect outfit was ruined.
Or wasn’t it?
Here are my home-made styling solutions for tackling pesky stains that mess up with our time and our lovely clothes.
Deodorant. Use a clean DRY sponge to rub the stains away. Rub the stains as if you were scrapping the deodorant’s residues with it, doing it first on the outside of the top. You can use any kind of sponge mostly, including those that come inside over-the-counter pill containers. You can use the garment immediately after cleaning it this way.
Tip for avoiding further damage to your garment: If the stain requires some rubbing or scrubbing, always try and go with the grain of the fabric. This way you will minimize breakage of the fibers.
Tea and coffee. One kind of stains too common to skip. Get the garment soaking ASAP in a mix of 1/3 cup of white vinegar and 2/3 of water. Wash the garment according to the label’s instructions.
Makeup. It’s a classic, as makeup is easily transferred onto clothing. The treatment for these kinds of stains demand time but it is that or kiss goodbye to that white shirt you (or that other person) love. You will need shaving cream, cold water, hot water, and laundry detergent.
- Add shaving cream to the makeup stain, rub it in and leave the foam to sit for 5-10 minutes. Rise it off under cold water.
- Repeat the process adding shaving cream to the stain and letting it all sit for 5-10 minutes. This time rise it off under hot water.
- Afterwards, add to a laundry load and wash according to the label’s instructions.
Food, oil and/or grease. I had to use this trick on set when oil was poured over the actress’ top and I had not a backup (in my defense, it was a second-hand find, there was no way I could have found, but whatever). Lucky I had baby powder and dish soap available!
- Treat the garment as quickly as possible by sprinkling baby powder to the stain. Leave it 10 minutes. Scrub the powder in with a toothbrush or any kind of brush and shake off the excess.
- Add a little clear liquid dish soap onto the food stain and rub that in too (note: if you don’t have clear dish soap but the garment is light-colored, dissolve it first with a bit of water so it doesn’t color stain your garment).
- Rise the garment with cool water before washing as normal.
Wine. For this kind of stain, you will need salt, dish soap and a bit more time. Follow the same methods as above but instead of using baby powder, use salt. Let the salt soak up the stain for longer -20 minutes will do the trick-. You can even shake off the excess and add a fresh batch of salt about halfway through. Then follow the steps 2 and 3 above.
Ink stains. Denatured alcohol (even from hand-sanitizers) or methylated spirits (a form of ethanol) have an intense smell but it is actually a lot less toxic than many other cleaning products. Using a little on ink stain can help fade it much more than just a regular wash. Please note: ink stains might not be fully removed ever, especially on light-colored fabric, but this process should at least fade them.
- Place the stained part of the fabric over the mouth of a jar or bottle with the stained side facing down into the container. Then either hold taut pulling the fabric firmly or secure with a hair or rubber band.
- Slowly drip the alcohol onto the stain soaking it. The ink should drop into the container as it is being removed. Continue this process for as long as possible until the stains have faded.
- Rise thoroughly avoiding rubbing the stain with other parts of the garment and wash it following the label’s instructions.