Color Your Stains Out

Now I know there are many of you that have a favorite shirt, skirt, dress or jacket, that has gotten stained and you feel it is no longer wearable, because you can’t get the stain out, or the cleaners won’t touch it for fear of making it worse. Well, this has happened to me too many times, and I can tell you, I refuse to let certain articles of clothing sit in the closet, getting comfortable by not being worn, so I had to do something about it.

As a mother of four children (and they’re all grown up now), I still manage to find some children’s creative bits and pieces lurking about the house, and I have learned to make use of my children’s old art supplies to save some of my stained clothes. I know this is so unconventional, but it works, and I love my clothes just like the next woman, and I’m not giving up one outfit and I’ll tell you why. They cost too darn much.

Now, I swear to you this is true. Just the other night I wanted to wear a brown silk dress, that I can only use in the summer and forgot that last year, the cleaners couldn’t get this quarter size ink spot out from in front of the dress. I knew I couldn’t put any water on it, because it was silk, but I knew I had to find a quick solution

Let me tell you, “Necessity is the Mother of Invention.” And I thought to myself what could I use to cover up that stain? So I had to dig deep down into my old memory bank and think back on what did I used to use for my children’s clothes when I ran into this problem. I remembered if they got a light colored stain on their uniforms, I usually managed to fix it with a navy blue or black magic marker. Even up until this day, I still use this method and no one has a clue.

I found as the boys were growing up, a permanent marker also worked great on black clothes especially men’s and boy’s clothes, which are usually dark anyway. If they got a stain on their clothes, I tried using a magic marker over the stain when washing and all else failed.

But that wasn’t the only thing I use the magic markers for. I used to use a black magic marker for those shoes that are scuffed instead of shoe polish. Oh you should polish your shoes afterwards, but it you have a tear, a thread missing or changing shades, color it with a felt tip pen or a magic marker and it will look brand new.

Years ago, when children’s first pair of shoes were those hard white anklets, I used to use White Out to take the scratch and scuff marks off my baby’s shoes. I was notorious for keeping them staying white. But nowadays, since things are so expensive, you sometimes have to find a few short cuts to salvage your good stuff, and believe me this is a good one.

If you have multiple stains, try using a felt tip pen to keep the repair small and invisible. I tried this last fall when I pour bleach on something and it splattered onto my black jeans, leaving some cute little permanent tan spots. Well, they aren’t there anymore! But this tip doesn’t work for big stains like tablecloth spills. I haven’t gone there, but if I had to, I’d just get out a pack of Ritz DYE and dye the heck out of it if it were a water-soluble fabric.

Now getting back to that dress. I decided I was going to wear this new necklace and earring set, knowing it would compliment the dress; and I was adamant. (No, I didn’t fix this with a magic marker, but with something else more childish.)

I looked for the box of 64 Crayola crayons, and found the shade of brown that was the closest to the color of the dress, and I proceeded to lightly color over the stain with the crayon and Wa-la! The stain disappeared!

I sat there amazed and realized, who the heck will notice this stain at all? Even I couldn’t tell it was there. So if you have an item that is stained, after trying everything, color over it with a crayon. But sure you do not iron over it. I suggest you iron the item first, and then color lightly over the stain and you will be amazed how it disappears. Even if you can’t find the exact shade use one shade lighter, no one will notice it.

For instance, if it is a shade that is not in the box (like my turquoise sweat pants, where I happened to spill some outdoor paint on them!) Crayola didn’t have a match for it, so I experimented on a sheet of paper, and came to terms with their Periwinkle and Blue Green when used together; this combination made the closest shade possible to my turquoise sweatpants and I colored it over and it looked great.

Now it’ s your turn to go find your favorite article of clothing to renew it and color your stains out! What do you have to lose? Nothing. You are already not using it anyway…

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