Hit that spot!

February 28, 1993|By Elizabeth Large

Here's advice on how to treat some common stains on washable fabrics, drawn from "Heloise from A to Z," "Singer Clothing Care & Repair" and "Professor Barndt's Stain Removal Guide."

Sometimes removing a spot or stain takes several tries using different methods. There are no guarantees. Proceed carefully, read care labels and when in doubt, dry clean.

Ballpoint: Hair spray or rubbing alcohol may help. Don't apply directly to spot; blot with a soaked cloth.

Blood: Treat as quickly as possible with cold water. Try enzyme pre-soak on stubborn stains, or soak in weak ammonia solution (1 tablespoon ammonia to 1 cup water).

Fruit: Soak in cold water. Try rubbing detergent into stain. Apply white vinegar or hydrogen peroxide for stubborn stains. Soap sets fruit stains.

Grass: Use pre-wash stain remover. Or sponge with rubbing alcohol solution (1 part alcohol, 2 parts water). Or rub detergent into spot, rinsing carefully.

Grease, oil: Treat with pre-wash liquid. Or apply absorbent such as talcum powder, cornstarch. Use dry-cleaning solvent, such as K2r, following directions closely.

Mildew: Wash in hottest possible water. For whites, use chlorine bleach solution.

Nail polish: If safe for fabric type, use acetone.

Paint: For oil-based paint: turpentine or cleaning fluid. Water-based paint: pre-wash or detergent.

Red wine: Try salt, then boiling water. Or oxygen bleach. Or vinegar diluted with water. Or soak with enzyme detergent in hottest water possible.

Rust: Use commercial rust remover as directed. For whites, try lemon juice and non-iodized salt. Chlorine bleach sets rust spots.

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