There’s no doubt your children will do some damage to their clothing every now and then, especially during holiday time. Before you toss out that new outfit, turn to your pantry. There are some simple, effective ways to get rid of even the toughest of stains using chemical-free, good old-fashioned natural items.
Stains with Colours
The hardest type of stain to remove is the coloured food stains. Drinks with red dye, for example, cause an instant and long term problem. Here’s what you can do.
~ Dab fresh squeezed lemon juice on them to remove the colouring.
~ Use white vinegar to clean up the stain.
~ Blot the stain rather than scrubbing it. This allows the cloth you are using to absorb the liquid.
~ You can also pour salt onto a red stain. It will absorb the colouring and dry out the stained material (this works well on carpeting, too.)
Greasy stains can be just as hard to clean up, but turn to your pantry and they’ll be gone in an instant:
~ Pre-treat the fabric with a mixture of 4 tablespoons of baking soda and four tablespoons of water.) Create a paste-like consistency. Allow to sit for 30 minutes. Then, launder as normal, adding two tablespoons of baking soda to the wash.
~ Use eucalyptus oil. A few drops right on the grease stain will help. Rub it into the stain and then wash out.
Another type of worrisome stain is wax – from candles or crayons.
~ Place a paper bag over the wax stain. Then, use a warm iron over the top of it. This slight heat will melt the wax just enough to allow you to remove it. It will lift off the clothing and onto the brown paper.
Sticky Substances Like Gum
If your child has gum stuck in his or her clothing, you may think it is a hopeless mess. However, it may be possible to clean it up.
~ Scratch off as much of the substance as possible
~ Use an ice cube to freeze the rest of the material to make it easier to rub off
~ Use a citrus-based cleaner (even just a mild detergent with added lemon) to wash it off
~ Rinse well and don’t dry until all of the substance is removed
If you happened to purchase the non-washable paints and your child is now wearing them, consider a few tips to help you.
~ If it is a water-based paint, simply launder as normal with a pre-treatment of baking soda paste (as described previously.)
~ For latex-based paints, soak in cold water. Then rub off anything that will come off this way. You can use a small amount of turpentine on the area (if it is not likely to bleed).