Stain Removal 101 & A Small Miracle

Cherries are in season and I have been enjoying them after dinner, I like the firm texture and they remind me of a cherry tree in our yard growing up. Those cherries never really held up but I liked sitting in the tree pretending they were good. When I got undressed for bed, I noticed I had splashed bright juice on my favorite linen shirt (white). I went into the bathroom and grabbed a spray bottle of peroxide and sprayed on the spots. They did not go away. The next morning, I went down to see what were the next steps, the stains were gone! I had not soaked the shirt or done anything to it except spray peroxide on the spots! I could not find them. I am big on finding glee throughout my day and this was a small miracle. I washed the shirt and it is now in my ironing pile. 

We sold vintage tablecloths at my brick and mortar store and they often were stained. Stains were a challenge and I developed techniques to get them out. There are many very specific stain removal techniques on the World Wide Web, I am not that but here is a roster of my tips.  Let's start with my mom's.

  • She would scrub a stain with salt and lemon juice and then let it sit in the sun. She would do it again and again until the stain faded and then wash the tea towel or tablecloth. I use this technique if a stain has been baked in by the dryer or it is a mystery stain. If the stain is not budging, I jump to this next technique.
  • Long term soaking in water. If you must add something to the water add baking soda. Baking soda is great for coffee and wine stains. Long term means days, I have soaked tablecloths for 2 or 3 days, changing the water each day. 
  • Peroxide sprayed on blood stains is magic. I bought peroxide in the spray bottle, for this use. And now I use if for juice stains!  KJ asked me yesterday if it is ok to use on colors, I have to test that. I would not spray peroxide and then leave it on colors. I am going to try and then wash immediately. Stay tuned.
  • Spilled wax: put item in the freezer then pick off as much wax as you can. Then iron out the rest using a paper towel under the item to absorb the wax. The freezer works with gum, too. If the item is too big to put in your freezer, try ice. 
  • I like white sheets and each washing I put a small amount of Oxiclean in the wash. It is pretty amazing.

Please share with me any techniques you have used and I will add them here.