4Men - Style

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Getting Rid Of Stains

By Alex James

Unfortunately, we men were not born with the ability to dodge the onslaught of stains on a daily basis. It doesn't matter how careful you are or where you are — be it at home, the office or a restaurant — your apparel will always find a way to get dirty.

This is why it is very important to know how to remove common stains.

Here's a guide on how to remove common stains using stuff that you probably already have at home BUT remember, after treating the stain, you MUST always launder the garment as usual.

Antiperspirant/deodorant stains

What you need:
white vinegar, enzyme detergent, liquid detergent

How to remove it:
Soak the stain in white vinegar for 30 minutes. Then, launder the shirt in the warmest possible water for the type of fabric using an enzyme detergent like Wisk or Tide.

Another alternative is to rub a little bit of liquid detergent on the stain, leave it for about 10 minutes, and wash the garment normally afterward. Next time, wait for your deodorant to dry before dressing.

Blood

What you need:
ammonia, unseasoned meat tenderizer, paper towel

How to remove it:
If the stain is fresh, soak the garment in cold water with a sprinkle of ammonia for 20 minutes. If the stain has already set, dampen it with warm water, then apply some unseasoned (this is important) meat tenderizer, making a paste over the stain. Cover this with a paper towel and make sure it stays moist. The next day, rinse off the paste with water mixed with a little bit of ammonia and wash normally.

Coffee

What you need:
liquid bleach, peroxide

How to remove it:
If you can wash the item right away, regular laundry will work just fine. Also, you can pre-treat the stain with liquid bleach (use color-safe bleach for colored clothes) as an extra measure. If that doesn't work and the fabric is white, mix one part of peroxide with six parts of water and rub it on the stain.

Cooking oil/motor oil

What you need:
liquid detergent, two paper towels, a warm iron, baby powder, solvent

How to remove it:
Once you've removed the excess oil, dampen the stain and apply liquid detergent directly onto it. Alternatively, place the stained portion of the garment between two paper towels and apply a warm iron to the area. If you're not in a hurry, apply baby powder and let it absorb the oil overnight. Finally, if the fabric cannot withstand very hot water, use a grease solvent before washing.

Grass

What you need:
stain remover, bleach, detergent, ethanol or methanol, glycerin

How to remove it:
If you have stain remover, rub some delicately onto the stain and leave it for five minutes. Using bleach (color-safe bleach if the garment isn't white) and detergent, launder normally in hot water. Another solution is to sponge some ethanol or methanol on the stain, then to remove it with warm soapy water, and finally to mix one part glycerin with two parts water and cover the stain with it until it softens.

Fruit juice

What you need:
bar of soap, detergent, bleach

How to remove it:
After soaking the fabric in cool water, rub a bar of soap on the stain. Then, before it can dry, launder the item with detergent and bleach (once again, use color-safe bleach if it isn't white) in the hottest possible water.

Ink

What you need:
rubbing alcohol (Vodka works in a pinch), detergent, hairspray, a dry cloth

How to remove it:
Apply rubbing alcohol to the stain and then rub in some detergent. If the stain is still there after a normal wash, do it all over again. Alternatively, you can put hairspray on the stain and rub it in with a dry cloth before washing normally.

Lipstick

What you need:
stain remover, rubbing alcohol, ammonia, hairspray

How to remove it:
Lipstick is just like the drag queens and metrosexuals who wear it: It can be stubborn. However, there are solutions if it doesn't go away with normal washing. You can dab the stain with either a stain remover, rubbing alcohol, ammonia, or hairspray. Then, just rinse it off with warm water.

Sauce, mustard, tomato sauce

What you need:
bleach, detergent, stain remover

How to remove it:
Pre-treat the stain with colour-safe bleach and wash with detergent in warm or hot water. If the stain is still there, treat it with stain remover and wash again.

Salt

What you need:
white vinegar, a clean rag

How to remove it:
In most cases, regular laundering will remove salt stains from clothes. However, for men's shoes, you must mix one tablespoon of white vinegar with one cup of water. Using a clean rag, dip into the solution and scrub the stains from the shoes. Once dry, they'll look like new.

Toothpaste

What you need:
ammonia, paper towel, clear dish liquid

How to remove it:
If scrubbing it out with warm water doesn't work, mix three tablespoons of ammonia with one cup of water and dab the stain with this mixture and a paper towel. You can also combine one tablespoon of clear dish liquid and one cup of water, rub the stain with the mixture and use clear water to rinse. If the toothpaste is the whitening kind, you must work extremely fast if you don't want the peroxide it contains to leave a permanent white stain.

Red Wine

What you need:
salt, white wine (oddly enough), carbonated soda water, glycerin

How to remove it:
For red wine, pour salt onto the stain if it's still fresh, but don't rub it in. Rinse it off with warm water after two minutes. Also, you can pour white wine on the stain to keep it from setting. For a white wine stain, use carbonated soda water after blotting up as much as the wine as possible. If the stain has dried, mix up one part glycerin with two parts water and rub it onto the stain before washing normally.

GENERAL TIPS

Always read the clothing label to make sure you don't apply an ill-advised product or wash it in a way that could damage it.

Drying or ironing may set the stain permanently. Always use the hottest water allowed for each specific fabric.

If the stain remains once you've followed all the steps, repeat the process. Pre-washing and pre-soaking can also help.

Whenever feasible, soak the stain as long as possible.

On white linen and cotton, lemon juice can bleach away stains. However, it also can damage some colours.

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