Out, Damned Spot, Out, I Say!
Spots, spots, spots!
Words From Lady MacBeth.
From the beginning of time, before Lady Macbeth uttered the now famous words, "Out, Damned Spot, Out, I Say!" women have been plagued with the chore of keeping their linens white and kith 'n kin clothed in snow-white apparel.
Remember how grandmother used to give you helpful cleaning hints .. only now you can't recall any of them? And you know what it feels like to be standing in the supermarket, not wanting to spend a small fortune on the latest specialty cleanser just to see if, maybe, it works.
This lens was awarded the Purple Star
Thank you SquidTeam
Out, Damned Spot, Out, I Say!
According to the Purple Star Program,
purple stars are awarded to Lenses that are:
* Masterpiece lenses.
* Lenses making a name for themselves.
* Lenses trying new things.
Thank you SquidTeam and all of those who helped make this happen!
What an honor! Thank you!
Of necessity, country people used to be amateur chemists, making their own cleansers, glues, inks, polishes and paints out of common household substances. Some of their concoctions were the products of experimentation; more often they were recipes handed down in the family or community for generations.
Example: Old-time paintmaking methods illustrate the ingenuity of farmers in adapting materials they produced on the farm or could find nearby. As a binder to hold the pigment they used sour milk, buttermilk, eggs, rice, sugar, or linseed oil. Chalk improved covering ability by making the mixture more opaque. Colors were provided by anything from charred potatoes to berries, herbs, barks, and local clays.
Today, many of the old farm and homestead formulas are still useful. Some are the basis of products that are now manufactured, others work as well or better than commercial products, and almost all are less expensive than their hardware store equivalents.
Stain Problem Solving Books
Even if you don't have a problem at the moment you know that sooner or later you will. That's when it will be good to have a problem-solving books on hand.
This book is a wonderful guide to add to the help section of your library.
A Word About Stains - There's no escaping it
~Always test stain treatments first, on a hidden part of the cloth.
~Do not use water any warmer than is recommended on a garment's care label.
~The type of fabric and age of stain will affect whether a stain can be removed completely, as well as which treatment works and how quickly.
~Delayed treatment, hot water, and machine drying can set stains for good.
Two of my best tip are these:
1. For best results, attack stains right away!
2. Cold water is the first "line of defence" for most stains on washable fabrics.
A List of Tried and Tested Stain Removal Solutions
Who hasn't ever had a stain made by a "Bobby" ballpoint pen? Did I say Bobby? I meant to say "blobby." *grin*
1. Apply hairspray liberally to the stain.
2. Blot: first with a cloth dampened with the solvent and then with a dry cloth.
2. Wash only after all the stain is removed.
(This works especially well on polyester fabrics but I have had good success with other fabrics such as cotton, wool, silk and even leather.)
I read somewhere that ink stains can be removed by soaking in milk and then washing in hot soapy water. (I haven't tried this but it might work.)
Spot Doc To The Rescue
To my family, I am known as the "Spot Doc". When something has an unsightly stain deemed irremovable by them, I am the Doctor they call to make the spot go away. I guess you could just send the kids down the road ...... but, I hope that you will find a much better way to handle the situation by referring to the following information.
Look down this list and, chances are, you'll find a tried-and-true recipe to solve your problem.
Oh, oh, Johnny got into fisticuffs with the town bully today. Would you look at that shirt! Same procedure to remove ketchup.
1. Apply cold water (if stain is dried on, let soak a short time.)
2. If very subborn stain, apply ammonia.
3. Rinse & blot dry.
Fresh blood on leather
1. Dab on a little hydrogen peroxide.
2. After it bubbles, wipe it off.
Good thing it was Toot's jacket wot got it, not her hair!
1. Place garment in a plastic bag and put it in the freezer.
2. Scrape off frozen gum.
3. Apply non-oily nail polish remover or loosen gum by soaking
in white vinegar before laundering.
If Toots rubbed gum in her hair - don't stick her in the freezer! Here's a better solution:
1. Rub a bit of lard or butter in the hair to loosen the gum.
Chocolate on Polyester and Most Other Cloth
It's hard to say what's worse, the chocolate stain on your favorite skirt or the fact that that delicious morsel has been wasted. While you ponder on that, read these instructions on how to get rid of the stain.
Don't use soap to try to remove this stain! Soap will leave a dirty ring.
1. Blot up or scrape off the excess chocolate.
2. Apply a solution of 1/2 teaspoon mild detergent in 1 pint cool water.
3. Rub gently with a toothbrush.
4. Blot with a clean white towel.
If the stain remains:
1. Apply solution of 1 tablespoon ammonia in 1 cup cool water.
2. Blot with a clean white towel.
If the stain still remains:
1. Use a 50-50 solution of white vinegar and water.
2. Blot again with white towel.
If you are at a restaurant when this happens:
Well, What are You Waiting For?
1. Grab the nearest friend's "clear" soda pop.
2. Run to the washroom to apply, dab and pray. *grin*
Oops! If you drink coffee black, this is a stain you'll want to attend to right now! If the coffee is laced with an abundance of cream, you can usually wait a bit before rushing to clean up.
1. Stretch the stained area over a bowl.
2. Pour cold water or soda water through the stain.
Coffee with cream - wash in cool soapy water as soon as possible.
We once had a neighbor's child slip a crayon into our dryer. It could have been a disaster if the following method had not worked.
1. Place the stained area between clean paper towels.
2. Press with a warm iron.
Druffas just climbed out of the laundry basket. Those were clean clothes! What to do?
1. Rub in a solution of vinegar or lemon juice and warm sudsy water.
2. Blot with a clean white towel.
3. Pour straight club soda over the spot and blot again.
4. Wash as regular laundry.
This same procedure can be used on furniture. (First test on an inconspicuous place for color fastness.)
Pet Stain Removal
Finally! A product designed especially for pet owners! If you have unpleasant pet odors or stains in your carpet or upholstery, then you need the Purpose for Pets Portable Extractor! Purpose for Pets Portable Extractor features a lightweight design for easy treatment and removal of pet stains. An exclusive 3" scrub brush with integrated blacklight LEDs, illuminates hidden pet stains so you can find the source of pet odor in your home. Also includes two 8 oz. solutions of Dirt Devil Pet Stain and Odor Remover, and Dirt Devil Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner and Shampoo.
Electric Iron Stain
You are ironing the dress you were saving for that special date when, "Oh, no!" you have set the iron a little too hot and it has left a scorch mark!
1. Don't panic.
2. Remove with equal parts of vinegar and salt.
If the stain is on silk or other delicate fabric it is best to have it professionally cleaned.
How Do I Keep My Iron From Staining My Clothes?
I promised that I would try to help anyone writing to me with a stain removal problem. I have had dozens of questions and most of these I have answered by email. I have, however, received this question over and over again and so I will give you a solution here.
When an iron leaves stains on your clothes, the cause could be rust inside the steam chamber or dirt on the ironing surface.
~If the substance stuck on the bottom of the iron is waxy, you should turn the iron onto its highest setting and run it across newspaper until the residue disappears.
~If the substance is oily, then just use a rag wet with ammonia on a cool iron. Then rinse the iron off with some water and the gunk should be gone.
~Vinegar works as a cleaning agent for many irons. Pour some on a clean cloth, and wipe the surface of your cool iron thoroughly. If that doesn't work, combine vinegar with baking soda. With a soft cloth, scrub the surface of the iron.
~You can get rid of any build-up in the vents of the iron by taking a cotton swab or a pipe cleaner and gently sweeping the residue out of the area. If you attempt to use something of a harsher nature, like a tool or a knife, you could scratch the base of the iron, causing future problems.
~To clean the reservoir of your iron, pour a solution that is one part vinegar to one part water in. Turn the iron on. Allow it to steam (onto a throw-away cloth)for about four minutes. Drain the iron, and be sure to repeat the process with clean water before you iron any clothing items.
Maintaining a clean iron can make the process of ironing clothes move quicker and smoother and eliminate nasty rust stains.
It Is Important To Have A Good Iron!
Is the cord on your iron worn? Is the surface of the iron scratched so badly that you can't iron delicate fabric? Maybe it is time to buy a new one. Perhaps it's time to stock up on iron-on transfers too. Never know when one of the kids (or Dad) is going to go through a fence and "RRRRIP."
Iron-on Patches and Transfers - All kinds at Amazon
Mum had 6 children, 5 boys and me. I used to get a kick out of her when she got mad at them for being so hard on their pants. She called them, "tear asses."
Here's some cute and cool iron-on patches and transfers for those special "tear asses" of your own. :)
You will find a lot of cute transfers at Amazon. I found some butterfly ones that I used to patch my garden pants. I should have just thrown them out but they were so comfortable that I decided to repair them and keep them for the next gardening season. :D
Grease From Suede
How many of you ladies' husbands has had to tinker with the car engine and neglected to take off that beautiful suede jacket? "Out, damned spot! Out, I say!"
1. Sponge with a cloth dipped in vinegar or club soda.
2. Restore nap of suede by brushing with a suede brush.
(Be careful - don't brush too vigorously - that will ruin the suede.)
A product for the handyman (or woman)
The car splutted and came to a stop. Still has a lot of gas .. maybe if I just wiggle this wire - hmm - looks a bit loose. Yuck, look at all the gunk on the battery .. I'll just wipe a bit of that off .. sparkplugs look okay. "Okay Maggie, start the engine and give it lots of gas. Great! It's running. Shove over, I'll drive now."
Most people travel with bottled drinking water. Why not have a good hand cleaning product in your trunk for emergencies. It pays off in the long run.
This is the hand cleaner my dad used. It worked for him and it'll work for you.
That is a funny place to blot your lipstick, but never fear Spot Doc is here.
1. Apply non-oily nail polish remover.
2. Blot and repeat as needed.
1. Rub with Vaseline.
2. Wash in hot soapy water.
Stain Removal Guides
I'm sure there is something I have missed telling you. If so, you may want to buy one of these guides to stain removal to have handy.
Removing stains doesn't have to be hard.
Red Wine Spills
Sitting on the swing in the evening with a glass of wine is enjoyable until someone decides to "surprise" you with a big push.
This stain traditionally used to be sprinkled with a lot of salt then dunked into cold water to wash the spot out. I have found that it is far better to:
1. Stretch the stained area over a bowl.
2. Pour boiling water through the stain until it is gone.
Ring Around The Collar
Hubby's favorite shirt finally made it into the wash!
- Use a small paint brush or toothbrush and brush hair shampoo into soiled shirt collar before laundering.(Shampoo is made to dissolve body oils.)
- Mark heavily with chalk. The chalk will absorb the oils and once
the oil is removed, the dirt will come off easily. (This method may
require a few applications if the yellow line has been there for
some time. If the shirt is new, one application should do it.
- Apply a paste of vinegar and baking soda. Rub in and wash as
usual. (This method also removes dirt and mildew.)
What came first "Rusty" or the Rust. Rusty fixes things: old bicycles, clocks and anything else with wheels. Rust always finds its way onto his clothes.
1. Cover the stain with Cream of Tarter.
2. Gather up the ends of the article so that the powder stays on the spot.
3. Dip the entire spot into hot water for about 5 minutes.
4. Ordinary laundering will complete the job.
1. Rub with lemon juice/salt.
2. Bleach in sun.
From: Variety Show Gallery by Will Borden
Joie de Vivre
This cheery, glowing candle is just one of thousands of beautiful pictures created by Will Borden. His comment: "It reflects warmth and vitality to the things around it like a person who radiates positive energy to those around them."
To see more of Will Borden's fine art click here
Wax Removal from linens
1. Scrape off the excess wax.
2. Place a white facial tissue, folded 4 times, over the spot.
3. Press with a warm iron.
Repeat with a clean tissue if necessary.
Wax removal from candleholders
1. Place candleholders in the freezer for 15 minutes.
2. Remove from the freezer.
3. Apply a wee bit of pressure to the wax. It will flake off.
Take your OWN award winning photo of a candle - or ......
Canon SX30IS 14.1MP Digital Camera is the favorite camera at Amazon right now.
The SX30 IS is equipped with Canon's acclaimed Optical Image Stabilizer Technology that automatically detects and corrects camera shake - one of the leading causes of fuzzy or blurred shots. Even when zoomed in, you can get the steady, crisp, brilliant images. you'll be proud to shoot and share. The Image Stabilizer Technology is easy to use. It functions perfectly with or without a flash.
Dynamic mode enables users to use the Optical Image Stabilizer while shooting video.
White Cotton Socks
Get them white again.
You caught Marney running around the lawn in her socks again today.
1. Boil water.
2. Add a slice of lemon.
3. Place socks in boiling water and boil for 10 minutes.
1. Rub in heavy suds(if fresh stain)
Sponge with carbon tetrachloride (if stain has set)
If this fails then you'll have to resort to "Bleach for Colorfast Clothes."
I know some people who have given away their silverware because they just can't stand having to clean it. You don't have to do that! Here are a few ways you can handle this messy job simply and "unmessily." I know that there is no such word ... BUT...
~ Toothpaste (any brand works well). Rub toothpaste onto silverware with one paper towel and using a fresh one polish it off, that's it and it works! l use a toothbrush to get into any small crevices.
~ Rub your silverware with a paste made of wood ash and water, rinse and dry.
~ Line a pan with aluminum foil and fill with water; add a teaspoon each of baking soda and salt. Bring to a boil and immerse silver. Polish with soft cloth. If you have a large quantity....take a piece of aluminum foil and put in the bottom of the sink (enough to cover most of the bottom), then pour 1 T. of regular Baking Soda (Arm & Hammer works well) over it and pour boiling hot water into the sink. Mix water and soda lightly with a wooden spoon and then place your silverware in there - the tarnish comes off after about an hour or two of soaking, making it look brand new.
~ Another way to clean silverware (I assume you are talking about real silver) is to use a chamois cloth. They can be found at any instrument/music store and are inexpensive.
A few things you should keep on hand:
These are prime ingredients for non toxic, cheap, eco-friendly and effective cleaning solutions.
Seriously, you don't need to waste your money on the expensive stuff when this is waiting for you in your pantry!
Has this ever happened to you?
Company's coming for dinner this evening. You want to get a jump on the preparations so you pull out your favorite tablecloth. (You know, the one with the pretty passion pink flowers on it.) YIKES! How did those spots get on it! What can you do? How do you protect that colored hand embroidery?
Every year you take out of storage and freshen up the beautiful linens your dear grandmother gave to you. They are precious to you, she had lovingly hand-stitched each piece just for you.
Oh no! "Out, damned spot, out, I say!"
That wasn't there when I put it away!
Below is a picture of a tablecloth presented to me for some major stain removal. This cloth had seen much service at various functions and had many coffee stains engrained in it. I was not sure how long these stains had been there, but I decided to try my "hot water" trick first.
Very few stains came out with this first procedure.
Pulling Out The Big Guns
I hate using bleach, but it's the only option left.
After much deliberation I decided to pull out all the stops, donned an old blouse, rolled up my sleeves and set to solving the problems with (gasp) bleach!
I usually try every other method available to me before I sink to using bleach, but this cloth was really, really stained and it had been, for a long time!
Some materials should not be bleached.
The tablecloth mentioned in the following instructions was made of white linen.
Stains Removed With Commercial Products
Although I felt that I had to use a commercial stain remover for the tablecloth, I used the same "white towel blotting" procedure as seen in this video. It is also a good idea to use this procedure when you are removing stains with natural products.
Stain Removal Instructions for a Hand-Embroidered Tablecloth
HERE IS WHAT I DID:
~Hung the cloth in a natural light so that all the stains were visible.
~Circled the stained areas with little "brass" pins to define the area. (Leave these pins in for the whole procedure.)
~Outlined the large stained areas with pins.
Stains Near Colored Embroidery Cotton
Some of the stains were dotted around the rose patterns so, as you can imagine, I had to be very careful with the bleach in those areas.
Here is a picture of how I marked, with pins, one of the spots where colored embroidery cotton had to be protected.
Removing Stain From Around Colored Embroidery
This is possibly the hardest kind of a spot to remove because Crochet Cotton is so porous.
I poured undiluted bleach for colorfast clothes into a glass bowl.
(I did these steps without wearing rubber gloves.)
~Dipped a cotton swab into the bleach, dabbed it onto a paper towel.
~Traced around the colored area being very careful not to get too close to the colored embroidery cotton. This I repeated a couple of times until the stain was removed.
~Blotted the area with a clean white towel making sure to always use a fresh spot on the towel for each area.
~Rinsed the bleached area. How you rinse the clothe at this time is very important! Make sure that you always run the water away from the colored pattern.
~Hand washed the cloth in warm soapy water and rinsed it again until all of the soap was removed - hung it up to dry, leaving in the pins just in case all the stains were not removed and I had to repeat the process.
Stain Removal Instructions Continued
Removing stains from the middle of the cloth.
When the cloth was thoroughly dry, I went to work removing the spots that didn't have colored stitching.
~Put on some rubber gloves.
~Placed the pin marked areas one at a time into the bowl of bleach-for-colorfast-clothes and left each there for no more than 2 minutes.
~When all the areas had received this treatment, I blotted dry with a clean white towel and then rinsed the bleach very thoroughly from these areas, still being very careful not to let the bleachy water run into the colored areas.
~When I was sure that most of the bleach was removed I washed the whole cloth with warm soapy water, rinsed it thoroughly, and hung it to dry.
~When the cloth was dry, I hung it in natural light again to ensure that all the stains were gone.
~The stains were all removed. I took out the pins.
Oh, The Sweet Smell of Success!
Stain Removal Products
Did you know?
The basic ingredient of many commercial spot removers is 2 parts water to 1 part rubbing alcohol.
There are times, though, when simple solutions cannot remove the stain. Here is a commercial product that may help you.
Spot remover for fabrics. Built in applicator brush helps loosen stains for thorough removal, removes most grease, protein-based and strongly colored stains caused by fat, oil, blood, milk, fruit, ketchup, grass, vegetables and many baby foods.
Wall-Mounted Laundry Shelf
Need extra storage in the Laundry Room?
A space-saving wall-mount laundry shelf is a nifty way to tidy your laundry room and get your essentials up off the floor and out of the way.
Something like this should be easy for you to put together.
Lots of useful storage in a little space.
Three large open bins organize detergent, bleach, softener and other laundry essentials. Use the top shelf for sundries such as sponges and clothes pins.
There's a place to sort and hang clothes on the steel bar.
If you don't have the tools or inclination you can order it online at:
I'm impressed! WD-40 -- who knew?
I'm always on the lookout for better ways to remove stains, using things we may have on hand. Here is an article sent to me the other day. I think you will find some useful tips here. I added it to my list of things to try.
Someone spray painted your vehicle?
Read This! No kidding, I wish that I had known this when my car was vandalized!
Water Displacement #40: The product began from a search for a rust preventive solvent and de-greaser to protect missile parts. WD-40 was created in 1953 by three technicians at the San Diego Rocket Chemical Company. Its name comes from the project that was to find a 'water displacement' compound. They were successful with the fortieth formulation, thus WD-40. The Conair Company bought it in bulk to protect their Atlas missile parts. Ken East (one of the original founders) says there is nothing in WD-40 that would hurt you.
Here are some of its many uses:
1) Protects silver from tarnishing.
2) Removes road tar and grime from cars.
3) Cleans and lubricates guitar strings.
4) Gives floors that 'just-waxed' sheen without making it slippery.
5) Keeps flies off cows.
6) Restores and cleans chalkboards.
7) Removes lipstick stains.
8) Loosens stubborn zippers.
9) Untangles jewelry chains.
10) Removes stains from stainless steel sinks.
11) Removes dirt and grime from the barbecue grill
12) Keeps ceramic/terracotta garden pots from oxidizing.
13) Removes tomato stains from clothing.
14) Keeps glass shower doors free of water spots. It's the only thing that has ever cleaned that spotty shower door. If yours is plastic, it works just as well as on glass. It's a miracle!
15) Camouflages scratches in ceramic and marble floors.
16) Keeps scissors working smoothly.
17) Lubricates noisy door hinges on vehicles and doors in homes.
18) Removes black scuff marks from the kitchen floor! Use WD-40 for those nasty tar and scuff marks on flooring. It doesn't seem to harm the finish and you won't have to scrub hard to get them off. Just remember to open some windows if you have a lot of marks.
19) Bug smush will eat away the finish on your car if not removed quickly! Use WD-40!
20) Gives a children's play gym slide a shine for a super fast slide.
21) Lubricates gear shift and mower deck lever for ease of handling on riding mowers.
22) Rids kids rocking chairs and swings of squeaky noises.
23) Lubricates tracks in sticking home windows and makes them easier to open.
24) Spraying an umbrella stem makes it easier to open and close.
25) Restores and cleans padded leather dash boards in vehicles, as well as vinyl bumpers.
26) Restores and cleans roof racks on vehicles.
27) Lubricates and stops squeaks in electric fans.
28) Lubricates wheel sprockets on tricycles, wagons, and bicycles for easy handling.
29) Lubricates fan belts on washers and dryers and keeps them running smoothly.
30) Keeps rust from forming on saws and saw blades, and other tools.
31) Removes splattered grease on stove.
32) Keeps bathroom mirror from fogging.
33) Lubricates prosthetic limbs.
34) Keeps pigeons off the balcony (they hate the smell).
35) Removes all traces of duct tape.
36) Folks even spray it on their arms, hands, and knees to relieve arthritis pain.
37) In the state of Florida it cleans and removes love bugs from grills and bumpers.
38) The favorite use in the state of New York WD-40 protects the Statue of Liberty from the elements.
39) WD-40 attracts fish. Spray a LITTLE on live bait or lures and you will be catching the big one in no time. Also, it's a lot cheaper than the chemical attractants that are made for just that purpose. Keep in mind though, using some chemical laced baits or lures for fishing are not allowed in some areas.
40) Use it for fire ant bites. It takes the sting away immediately and stops the itch.
41) WD-40 is great for removing crayon from walls. Spray on the mark and wipe with a clean rag.
42) Also, if you've discovered that your teenage daughter has washed and dried a tube of lipstick with load of laundry, saturate the lipstick spots with WD-40 and re-wash. Presto! Lipstick is gone!
43) If you sprayed WD-40 on the distributor cap, it would displace the moisture and allow the car to start.
44) Try it on your stove top. Voila! It's now shinier than it's ever been. You'll be amazed!
Tip from Squidoo's mamakat .. "It removes crayon from flat screen TV's. I know it works, because I just did it last week on my niece's television--worked like a charm!"
P.S. The basic ingredient is FISH OIL.
The best place to buy WD-40
Who'd have thought it? You can actually buy these products online!
WD-40 with a spray applicator. So many uses.
This is perhaps the best product that I have ever used for cleaning mildew on bathroom tile. No scrubbing at all! Buy several bottles, spray and walk away. You will be amazed.
The WD-40 No-Mess Pen is the coolest new innovation from WD-40, delivering the same great product you know and love, with the convenience of precise application through a handy pen-shaped applicator.
Its the neatest, easiest and virtually odor-free way to put WD-40 precisely where you want it and nowhere else and its so small, you can take it with you.
You'll want to keep several handy to solve lifes little emergencies...in and around the house...in the car...or on the go.
Not all oil stains will come clean. There are stains that will never go away, but don't despair. You never know until you've tried.
Magic Eraser Sales - Buy the Magic Eraser from a trusted source.
Was the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser another one of those NASA developments that went out to the private sector?
My sister-in-law swears that these really work!
I'm going to buy one and keep it in the car for emergency spot removal.
More powerful to easily cut through even tougher soils - just add water
Textured cleaning surface and contoured shape for comfort.
Try it out wherever you find tough dirt: ranges, refrigerators, plastic patio furniture, floor tile grout, athletic shoe soles and much more!
Cleans scuff marks and dirt from walls, floors and doors.
Helpful Stain Removal Links
Here is where I guess I should say: "The methods published in these links may not be the ones I subscribe to or recommend. Please use your own discretion."
- What Do You Say After You've Said "Oops" - Fabric Care and Stain Removal
By Ann Zander, Colorado State University From cranberries and turkey fat to soot from the chimney.....
- Home Laundry
Family and Consumer Science - Laundry Stain Removal Helpful Hints
- Stonehaven Life: Home Tips for a Clean House & a Safe Environment
One of us cannot drink a cup of coffee without spilling some on a clean shirt. And then there's the gardening gear... the BBQ hazards... dogs and small children...Oh, dear!
- Laundering Your Baby's Clothes
If baby detergent isn't getting rid of stains and odors on your baby's clothing as well as you'd like....
- Mildew Stain Removal
Remove this stain as soon as possible.
Something to Read While You Wait For The Laundry to Dry - Stain- Busting Mystery Books
Sharon Short sent the following post to customers who purchased "Hung Out to Die: A Stain-busting Mystery."
5:02 PM PST, February 27, 2007
The fifth novel in my Stain-Busting mystery series, MURDER UNFOLDS, is now available!
And I'm just as excited about this mystery as I was about the previous four ............... In this latest outing, Josie goes on a chick trip for her 30th birthday to the Great Walleye Drop in Port Clinton, Ohio. The chick trip quickly turns into a murder mystery romp as Josie and her pals investigate the alleged murder of Mrs. Oglevee--the long-deceased junior high teacher who "haunts" Josie's dreams in past novels. Naturally, further murder and mayhem ensue, and Josie and her pals pull off a caper (involving an Elvis impersonator, fuzzy faux leopard boots, and a very big fish) to investigate.
If you've been following the series, I hope you enjoy the story of Mrs. Oglevee's past finally being revealed! And if you're new to the series, this is a great place to jump in.
In either case, if you'd like to sample the first chapter of this or the previous Stain-Busting mysteries, please visit my website. You can also sign up for my free, quarterly (or so!) email newsletter that includes some of Josie's stain tips and occasional fun contests.
And as Josie would say... "may your whites never yellow and your colors never fade!"
No library is complete without Shakespeare. - "Out, damned spot, out I say."
Read this classic while you wait for your laundry to dry.
As a bonus, this edition includes at the back a long essay on the play by Harold Bloom. This is an interesting commentary.
My favorite Shakespeare book.
Tar Removal - Spot Doc to the Rescue
I promised to try to help you with your stain problems if you need a bit of help. Well, Joie, I hope this will help you.
"My friend's asphalt driveway just got all gooey with tar in the hot sun, and when I walked on it, I got tar all over the soles of my new dress shoes. (Thankfully, I noticed this before I stepped on her clean floor!) What would you recommend to clean the icky stickiness from my shoes?"
Remove as much tar as possible with a blunt edge of a knife, and then soften the remaining tar with a little eucalyptus oil or mineral turpentine.
A BONUS! I found that the oil works great and leaves the area you used it on smelling great.
There are many uses for Eucalyptus Oil - here you will find many.
Remove Mildew Stains:
On Washable and Non-Washable Fabrics and Leather
WD-40 Stain Remover with bleach as mentioned above ..
.. OR ..
Follow these steps to remove mildew stains from Acrylic Fabric, Cotton, Linen, Modacrylic, Nylon, Olefin, Polyester and Spandex. Most mildew stains can be removed during regular laundering if they are moistened beforehand.
If a stain remains:
~ Test fabric for colorfastness.
~ If color doesn't change, cover stain with a paste of lemon juice and salt.
~ On cotton and linen, make a paste from an oxygen bleach, water, and a few drops of ammonia.
~ Let paste cover stain for 15 to 30 minutes.
~ Flush thoroughly with water and launder again.
Follow these steps to remove mildew stains from Acetate, Carpet (synthetic and wool), Fiberglass, Rayon, Silk, Triacetate and Wool:
~ Brush (the method of using a stiff-bristled brush to sweep staining material up onto a piece of paper) off any excess stain gently.
~ Flush (the method of applying stain remover to loosen staining material and residue from stain removers) with Afta Cleaning Fluid.
~ Then apply a dry spotter and amyl acetate.
~ Very gently scrape (the method of using a dull tool to gently lift off excess solid or caked-on stains) or pat the stain with an absorbent pad dampened with dry spotter.
~ Flush with the dry-cleaning solvent and allow to dry.
If stain persists:
~ Sponge (the method of using a dampened pad to apply light strokes, moving outward from the center of the stain) with water and apply a wet spotter and a few drops of white vinegar.
~ Scrape or use an absorbent pad dampened with wet spotter to work the stain.
~ Flush with water and allow to dry.
~ Apply rubbing alcohol and pat the stain with a pad dampened with alcohol.
~ Flush with alcohol and allow to dry. (Do not use alcohol on acetate, rayon, or triacetate.)
~ To remove any final traces of the stain, use an oxygen bleach as directed on the package label.
When treating carpets, blot all excess liquid, apply a white absorbent pads or towels and weigh it down until no more moisture is absorbed.
Leather and Suede
Follow these steps to remove mildew stains Leather and Suede:
~ Rub the stain with petroleum jelly.
~ If stain remains, sponge the area gently with equal parts water and rubbing alcohol (be sure to test for colorfastness first).
~ On leather only, condition with leather cleaner or saddle soap.
Dry Cleaning: Spot Cleaning - Spot Cleaning
I found this interesting. I don't recommend dry cleaning unless you have a spot you cannot remove yourself.
Warning: Sometimes drycleaning doesn't get the spot out! It is worth a try if it is a favorite garment you want to save.
The heating unit went out on my dryer! The repairman who fixes things around the house for me told me that he wanted to show me something and he went over to the dryer and pulled out the lint filter. It was clean. (I always clean the lint from the filter after every load of clothes.)
He took the filter over to the sink, ran hot water over it. The lint filter is made of a mesh material - I'm sure you know what your dryer's lint filter looks like.? Well,...the hot water just sat on top of the mesh! It didn't go through it at all!
He told me that dryer sheets cause a film over that mesh that's what burns out the heating unit. You can't SEE the film, but it's there. It's what is in the dryer sheets to make your clothes soft and static free -- that nice fragrance too, you know how they can feel waxy when you take them out of the box, well that stuff builds up on your clothes and on your lint screen. It is also what causes dryer units to catch fire & potentially burn your house down!
He said the best way to keep your dryer working for a very long time (& to keep your electric bill lower) is to take that filter out & wash it with hot soapy water & brush) at least every six months. He said that makes the life of the dryer last at least twice as long!
I certainly didn't know dryer sheets would do that and perhaps you don't either. So, I thought I'd share! This information is also backed up by the following YouTube.
Laughter is good for you
What is a Clothes dryer? (kloze dri*yer) n. An appliance designed to eat socks.
Ignorance is bliss
I'm working on a whirlpool electric dryer, terminal cracked. I start removing the power cord and the lady of the house stops and says, "Aren't you afraid you'll electrocute yourself?" So I say,"No maam, I have the dryer unplugged." So she says" what about the electricity left in the cord?" (grin) So I say,
"I drained that back into my laptop." I was planning on following that with a short explanation of basic electrical concepts but she says,"Well that's good, I wouldn't want it to start a fire back there."
Don't Let Your Dryer Start a Fire - Keep Your Home Safe
Unfortunately, most homeowners are still unaware that a problem even exists. Watch this video it may save your home and even your life.
Kick Lens out as a "G" lens? - After all, damned is a swear word, right?
It has been brought to my attention by a lensmaster that he/she doesn't think my using a swear word in a "G" lens is appropriate even though used in a famous quote. Of course, I could argue that the "d" word can have other meanings, other than a swear word. It could quite conceivably have been used to 'condemn the spots to an unhappy state.' Something like this perhaps: "Out, Condemned Spot, Out, I Say!" What do you think?
Kick Lens out as a
Static Cling and you don't want to use a chemical
Reducing Static Cling
Pin a small safety pin to the seam of your slip and you will not have a clingy skirt or dress.
The same thing works with slacks that cling when wearing panty hose.
Place pin in seam of slacks and -- Ta DA! -- static is gone.
It's Like Money In The Bank
Some tips to save you $$
"A penny saved is a penny earned." An old saying, but very true.
1. Don't consign a stained or torn tablecloth to the rag bin. Instead, cut out an unmarred panel and hem it for use as a table runner; then cut out some smaller sections to turn into matching place mats or napkins. Use fabric paint to add your own touch. If the cloth is lint-free linen, you can make dish towels from it, too. You're limited only by your imagination.
2. Fabric paints, sold at craft stores and hobby shops, enable you to give new life to old sweatshirts, jeans, or sneakers you might otherwise throw away. Paint colorful designs or emblazon the clothes with your name.
REMEMBER THIS, IF NOTHING ELSE
Simple to remember remedy.
~ Treat fruit stains with boiling water.
~ Treat almost all other stains with cold water.
~ If in doubt as to what made the stain or if the material is delicate, take to a professional cleaner.
I sincerely hope that this lens will help all of you other "Spot Docs" out there.
The stained clothes
The other day I was eating in an Italian restaurant when I accidentally spilled some spaghetti sauce on my favorite white sweater.
I wasn't too distressed, though, because Mr. Wong down on High Street has been doing my laundry for years, and I knew that he could remove just about any stain and get it out like it'd never been there.
So I took the sweater down to Wong's Laundry and dropped it off; Mr. Wong said he'd probably be able to have it cleaned by Thursday. So on Thursday afternoon after work I stopped by Wong's again.
Mr. Wong looked quite distressed when he saw me. He brought out the sweater and, apologizing profusely, explained that somehow this stain was beyond even his power to expunge.
And sure enough, though fainter than before, there was still a distinct red stain on the sweater. In an attempt to make up for his failure, Mr. Wong offered to send the sweater to his brother across town, who had been in the laundry business for an even longer time, and who might have a clue as to the method of removal of this extraordinarily persistent stain.
The elder Wong brother would rush it through at no extra charge, and should have it looking as white and clean as new by Friday. So on Friday I went back to Wong's to pick up my sweater, but when I arrived, Mr. Wong regretfully informed me that his brother, too, had failed to remove the red blotch. "No charge," said Wong, "but you must take sweater elsewhere to clean."
The Moral: ... Two Wongs cannot make a white.
Here are a few suggestions if you have followed the advice of the Spot Doc and nothing works.
Blood - Spill more blood around area of stain so it won't stand out as much.
Grass - Write the name of your liquid detergent on stain. Wash. Hold up to camera, and show off the unbelievable results.
Coffee - Rub cream and sugar into stain. Apply oral suction. Enjoy rich, robust coffee-stain flavor.
Wine - Apply mixture of 1/2 rum and 1/2 Coke to self until you no longer care about some little annoying stain.
Chewing Gum - Using permanent marker, draw dotted line around stain. Cut carefully on dotted line.
Nail Polish - Nail-polish stains are actually quite lovely. Why not leave them in for a pleasing "homecrafted" look?
It's a dirty job but somebody has to do it! - Revitalize your hibernating home with these simple suggestions
Are you the one who always has to initiate the spring cleaning in your home? Are you trying to convince someone else in your household to give a hand?
Here are a few tips to make this "trip" a little more enjoyable.
1. Work from the top down, inside to outside, to avoid getting what you just cleaned dirty again.
2. Do one room, even one area of one room, at a time to avoid unfinished jobs. The satisfaction of seeing one room sparkle will make the hard work feel like it's worth the effort.
3. When tidying, reduce trips around the house by temporarily depositing items in one spot en route to but not at their final destination.
4. Do two things at once. While laundry is going, scrub the shower stall.
5. Make small repairs. If you're not handy, hire someone. (Or borrow someone else's husband for a day.) Just kidding.
6. Invest in TWO PAIR of good rubber or vinyl gloves to protect your skin and nails. (The second pair are for your husband, of course.)
7. Dust before vacuuming or cleaning the floor. Try feather or lambswool dusters, especially extendable ones for reaching above window and door casings and into corners. Household rags are invaluable for jobs requiring a damp cloth .. natural fibres work best. (I used to think that feather dusters didn't work...they do!)
8. Buy mops with a squeeze mechanism (great for vinyl, linoleum or ceramic tile floors) and a decent-size heavy-duty pail .. one with a measuring scale helps get soap-to-water ratios correct.
9. Don't stand your brooms on their bristles. It will destroy their shape and diminish their effectiveness. Instead, get a broom holder, like the Magic Holder 5-position broom organizer.
10. Use a Swiffer for light dusting, or your favorite broom or vacuum attachment to clean hardwood floors. Then damp-mop with a mild cleaner such as Murphy Oil Soap. I recently discovered BonaKemi's MicroPlus Hardwood Floor Care System, which includes a mop with a removable washable microfibre pad and a nontoxic water-based spray cleaner. It makes the floors glow, and the room smell good.
Now, suck it up princess and smile.
STAIN REMOVAL LIST FOR YOUR LAUNDRY ROOM
Recap of household ingredients & what they can do
HOUSEHOLD INGREDIENTS FOR STAIN REMOVAL
Print this off and keep it in your laundry room.
Rubbing alcohol: is great for grass stains.
Ammonia: The perspiration stain fighter.
Automatic dishwasher detergent: Keep this on hand as a bleach substitute and whitener/ brightener even if you don't have a dishwasher. Liquid, powder, and tablet form all work well. If you choose the tablet, make sure it has dissolved before you add clothes. Pour directly on stain, or soak.
Baking soda: Removes odors.
Club soda: My favorite ... Oh my gosh, how did I do that? spotter. Use it on any fabric or surface that can be treated with water. A slight dabbing on dry-clean-only fabrics is also permissible, just be sure to test first! Use club soda on any spill .. ask the waiter for some if you're dining out .. dab it on and blot it off. Club soda keeps spills from becoming stains and brings the offending spill to the surface so it can be easily removed. It's totally safe. I always make sure to have a bottle on hand.
Cream of tartar: I bet you have some of this in the kitchen cupboard, but how often do you use it? Well, here's your chance. Mix cream of tartar with lemon juice and you have a wonderful bleach for white clothes with food spots or other stains. It's even effective on many rust stains.
Denture cleaning tablets: The cure-all for white table linen food stains and white cotton with stains. Dissolve one tablet per 1/2 cup water. Pour directly on stain or spot.
Dishwashing liquid: A wonderful spotter, used undiluted on tough stains.
Glycerin: You can remove tar, tree sap, juice stains, mustard, ketchup and barbecue sauce.
Waterless Hand Cleaner: Totally awesome for removing grease and oil, including shoe polish.
Hydrogen peroxide: is super for removing bloodstains, especially if they are fairly fresh. It also is a wonderful bleaching agent for stubborn stains on white clothes. Combine 1/2 cup of hydrogen peroxide and 1 teaspoon of ammonia for an unbeatable stain removal combination. Make sure to use 3 percent and not the kind you use to bleach your hair!
Lemon juice: This is nature's bleach and disinfectant. I don't know where we'd be without it. Spots on white clothes .. apply some lemon juice and lay them in the sun. Apply a little more lemon juice prior to laundering, or prespray and launder as usual. This is really effective on baby formula stains.
Meat tenderizer: A combo of meat tenderizer (unseasoned, please, or you'll have a whole new stain!) and cold water is just the answer to protein-based stains such as blood, milk, etc.
Salt: Sprinkling salt on spilled red wine will keep the wine from staining until you can launder it. Mixed with lemon juice, salt will remove mildew stains.
Shampoo: Any brand will do. Cheap is fine. I save the small bottles from hotel/motel stays and keep them in the laundry room. Great for treating ring-around-the-collar, mud and cosmetic stains.
Shaving cream: That innocent-looking can of shaving cream in your bathroom is one of the best spot and stain removers available. That's because it's really whipped soap! If you have a spill on your clothes (or even your carpet), moisten the spot, work in some shaving cream, and then flush it with cool water. If the offending spot is on something you're wearing, work the shaving cream in and then use a clean cloth (a washcloth works fine) to blot the shaving cream and the spot away. A quick touch of the blow-dryer to prevent a ring and you're on your way. The best thing about shaving cream is that even if it doesn't work it won't set the stain, so the spot can still be removed later. Keep a small sample can in your suitcase when you travel. It's saved me more than once!
WD-40 Lubricant: Check out your garage or the "fix-it" cupboard. If you don't have any, pick up a can the next time you're at the hardware store or home center. Why? Because we've all had those nasty grease stains and oil stains on clothes: Salad dressing misses the salad and gets the blouse, or grease splatters when you are cooking -- or crayon or lipstick gets on your clothes! WD-40 is your answer. Spray some on, wait 10 minutes, and then work in undiluted liquid dishwashing soap and launder as usual. Works well on everything except silk!
White vinegar: A great spotter for suede .. used undiluted. It's also a wonderful fabric softener. Just put 1/4 cup white vinegar in the final rinse.
I have not listed all of the above suggestions here but, hopefully, the ones most useful.
By using these suggestions .. you too can be the family "Spot Doc."
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