How to remove six common household stains

Home and store-bought remedies that work wonders

Published: August 13, 2015 01:00 PM

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Before you toss a shirt soiled with wine, gravy, or mustard into the washer, make sure you make every effort to remove the stain first. It's good to plan ahead for such mishaps and to keep dishwashing liquid, nail-polish remover, Fels-Naptha and other cleaning agents on hand. In addition to the items that you toss in the wash, most of these remedies will work on carpets and furniture, too.

Juice

Blot with solution of 1 teaspoon dishwashing liquid (like Ivory) in 1 cup warm water. Red-dye remover works on red fruit punch.

Gum

Dab with extra-strength Bengay, heat with hair dryer, scrape with press-to-seal bag. Blot with detergent solution and rinse.

Gravy

Pretreat with a paste of Fels-Naptha soap, then wash. Repeat if necessary. Don’t put item in the dryer until the stain is gone.

Mustard

Apply repeated applications of detergent solution to remove solids. When stain is reduced, rinse and dry in bright sunlight.

Lipstick

Blot with acetone-based nail-polish remover, followed by the detergent solution, and rinse.

Wine

Blot with water. If stain remains, try detergent solution. 3 percent hydrogen peroxide is effective on red wine.

Tide Ultra Free & Gentle

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