Part IV - Unique Stains
Chewing gum: apply ice to harden gum. Crack or scrape off
excess. Spray with pretreatment aerosol product and rub with
heavy duty liquid detergent. Rinse with hot water. Repeat if
Deodorants: apply liquid detergent, wash in warm water. Will
not always remove.
Nail polish: use nail polish remover or acetone except for
acetate, triacetate or modacrylic fibers: they will dissolve.
Take these to dry cleaners.
Lead pencil; use art gum eraser but avoid hard rubbing. For
delicate fabrics use spot treatment (see previous issues).
For durable fabrics, spray with aerosol product, rub in heavy-
duty liquid detergent and rinse in warm water.
Mildew; this growing organism must have warmth, darkness and
moisture to survive. Mildew eats cellulosic fibers, causing
permanent damage. To remove: shake or brush item outdoors.
Pretreat darkest stains with heavy duty liquid detergent.
Launder in hot water with heavy duty detergent. Bleach as
safe for fabric.
Latex paint: treat while wet. Soak in cold water and wash
with heavy duty detergent. For oil-based paint, treat
immediately with thinner (turpentine) or alcohol with spot
Pesticide; if full strength liquid concentrate spills,
discard immediately since laundering does not reduce it to a
safe level. If spray is dilute, wash separately with hot
water and heavy duty detergent, lots of water and line
Rust can only be removed with rust remover, but they contain
hydrofluoric acid which is toxic and can burn the skin.
Lemon juice and salt are readily available and sometimes
helpful. Sprinkle salt, squeeze lemon juice and spread in
sun. Caution: this may bleach the garment.
Smoke, soot; shake off excess outdoors. Launder using heavy
duty detergent, one cup of water conditioner and 1/2 cup of
all-fabric bleach. Air dry. If smell persists, launder 2-3
Spot Removers to be Avoided
Dishwasher detergents: these are intended for closed
dishwashers with very hot water. They are highly alkaline and
can irritate your skin and may fade colors and damage
Hair spray on ball point ink: this may leave a gummy residue
and may affect color. Alcohol, however, may remove ink.
Ironing candle wax between blotting paper will only drive
stain deeper into the fabric. It may also permanently set the
Milk on washable ink. This will compound the stain with a
White vinegar may weaken cotton, rayon etc. and cause color
change. Test on hidden seam allowance.