I’ve hunted around for “chemical free” solutions, I’m hoping to receive solutions from all of you so that we can help each other out. Of course, I cannot guarantee any results, so let me begin with what I’ve found…
Alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, wine. Washable Fabrics: on a fresh stain, sponge with cold water. On a stain that has dried, soak in cold water. Then wash in warm water using soap or detergent. Dry clean only fabrics: On a fresh stain, sprinkle immediately with cornstarch until the liquid is absorbed. On a dry stain, sponge with cold water.
Red wine: “though many people recommend soaking the napkin in milk before washing it, I have found that pouring white wine over the red wine stain is even better. If you do not have any white wine, try rinsing the napkin with vinegar or rubbing the stain gently with concentrated detergent. Then wash the napkin in the hottest water that will be safe for the fabric.”
Another option for red wine: sprinkle salt on the wine and rinse with club soda. In restaurants, we used this one on our customers.
White wine: Dab the spot with cold water.
Milk, cream, ice cream, butter: Washable fabrics – soak immediately in cold water, then rinse thoroughly. Launder. Dry clean fabrics – Sprinkle immediately with cornstarch. Allow the napkin to dry thoroughly, then brush the powder away.
Chocolate, coffee, tea: Washable fabrics – sponge with cleaning fluid. Let the napkin dry, then launder using bleach if possible. Dry clean fabrics: At the dry cleaner’s, specify the source of the stain.
Another option for Chocolate: Flush with cold water from the back of the fabric to flush it out/push the stain out. OR, sprinkle cornstarch on the stain and leave it for there for at least 15 minutes.
Lipstick and other cosmetics: Washable fabrics – Rub the stain with detergent dissolved in lukewarm water, then launder. Dry clean fabrics: Use a greasy stain solvent, then dry clean.
Another option for lipstick: Dab the area with a little petroleum jelly, then apply a few drops of white vinegar. Rinse it all with cool water. Baking soda also works.
Another option for eye-make up removal: Mix 1 tbsp of liquid dishwashing detergent with 2 cups cool water. Using a clean white cloth, sponge the stain with the detergent solution, blotting until the liquid is absorb.
Chewing gum: Washable fabrics – rub with an ice-cube, then scrape off with a blunt knife. Dry clean fabrics – follow the instructions for washable fabrics.
Option to bleach, for your whites: add 4 oz of baking soda to 4 oz bleach (vs 8 oz of bleach) to add performance to your detergent and reduce the bleach odor.
To boost detergent performance and whitening: add 4 oz of baking soda to the laundry load. For heavily soiled fabrics, try soaking them in baking soda first. This will aid in stain and odor removal.
Oil and grease stains: to help break down this type of stain add 4 oz of baking soda to your wash.
Yellowed napkins: soak the napkins overnight in a solution of 12 parts warm water and 1 part white distilled vinegar. Wash them in the morning.
Mildew: Washable fabrics – launder, then dry in the sunlight. Dry clean fabrics – dry clean, then air in the sunlight.
Bloodstains: it is important to treat the stains as-soon-as-possible while fresh, as after 24 hours it’s nearly impossible. Treat the stain before it sets by pouring full strength white distilled vinegar on the spot. Let it soak for 5-10 minutes, then blot well with a cloth or towel. Repeat if necessary, then wash immediately.
Dried-in stains: older, dried-in stains will often come out in the wash after being pre-treated with a solution of 3 tablespoons white distilled vinegar and 2 tablespoons liquid detergent in l liter of warm water. Rub the solution into the stain, then blot it dry before washing.
Ink 1: first wet with white distilled vinegar, then rub in a paste of 2 parts vinegar and 3 parts corn flour. Allow the paste to throughly dry before washing the items.
Ink 2: Washable Fabric – pour water through the napkin until the water runs clear. Then apply detergent and white vinegar. Rinse well. Dry clean fabric – Follow the instructions for washable fabrics.
Ballpoint pen: Washable Fabric – place paper towels under the napkin and sponge with denatured alcohol. Each time you apply more alcohol, move the stain to a clean part of the paper towel. Then launder using bleach if the napkin is white. Dry clean fabrics – specify that the stain was from a ballpoint pen.
Cola, hair dye, catsup and wine stains on washable cotton blends should be treated as soon as possible – within 24 hours. Sponge the area with undiluted white distilled v vinegar and wash immediately. For really bad stains, add 250 to 500ml (up to a pint) of vinegar to the wash cycle.
Catsup, tomato sauce. Washable fabrics – soak in warm water and liquid detergent, then launder using bleach if possible. Dry clean fabrics – at the dry cleaner’s specify that the stain is tomato sauce.
Mustard: Washable fabrics – soak in cold water and detergent or a soaking product, then launder. Dry clean fabrics – at the dry cleaner’s, specify that the stain is mustard.
Pencil: Washable fabric – erase with a soft eraser. Work detergent into any remaining stain, launder. Dry clean fabrics – erase with a soft eraser, then dry clean.
Beer, fruit juices, black coffee, tea and vomit stains 1 (water-soluble): from cotton-blends, spot with a cloth or towel and undiluted white distilled vinegar just before placing them in the washer. For large stains, soak overnight in a solution of 3 parts white distilled vinegar and 1 part water before washing.
Protein such as egg, meat, meat juice, gravy, blood: Washable fabrics – soak in cold water. If the stain is still visible, sponge with cleaning fluid. Allow to dry before laundering. Dry clean fabric – sponge with cold water; use cleaning fluid if necessary. Dry clean.
Berries and other fruits, fruit juices: Washable fabrics – sprinkle immediately with salt to absorb the liquid. Apply white vinegar to the stain before laundering. Dry clean fabrics – follow the instructions for washable fabrics but after treating the stain, send the napkin to the dry cleaner’s.
Candle wax 1: first soften the wax with a blow dryer on its hottest setting and blot up as much as you can with paper towels. Then remove what’s left by rubbing a cloth which has been soaked in a solution of equal parts white distilled vinegar and water. Wipe with a soft, absorbent cloth.
Candle wax 2: Rub wax with an ice-cube until hard, then scrape off with a blunt knife. Or, place paper towels under and over the napkin and press with a warm iron. Change the paper towels frequently until all the wax has been absorbed by the towels. Dry clean fabrics – follow the instructions for washable fabrics. If after removing the wax, a stain remains rub with a cleaning fluid.
Another option for Candle wax: Place the fabric in a freezer. Once frozen, scrape off what you can with a knife. Next using layers of paper towel, place the stained area next to the paper towels and iron the fabric from the back, allowing the paper towels to absorb as much left over wax as possible.
Crayons on fabric: add 8oz baking soda to your wash and the crayon marks should come out. Also try, soaking the fabric in undiluted white distilled vinegar and scrub with a recycled toothbrush.
Scorch: Washable fabrics – sponge with hydrogen peroxide or ammonia. rinse well and launder. Dry clean fabrics – dampen with hydrogen peroxide until stain is removed.
Vomit 2: Washable fabric – soak in a salt-water solution (1/4 c salt to 1 qt water). Launder. Dry clean fabrics – follow the instructions for washable fabrics, then dry clean…and good luck, hope your loved one feels better!
Nail Polish: After testing the area, flush remover or alcohol through the stain from the back to absorbent pad or wash cloth.
Resources: Fancy Folds, Hearst Books. vin-e-gar, 1001 practical household uses.
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