Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight


Window into the Charedi World | Mordecai Plaut, director

















Home and Family
Guide to Stain Removal
by Nechama Berg

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 necessary. Launder.

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 treatment.

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 dry.

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 more times.

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 fibers.

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 wax.

Milk on washable ink. This will compound the stain with a protein stain.

White vinegar may weaken cotton, rayon etc. and cause color change. Test on hidden seam allowance.


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