How to Remove Stains 

by Cindi SutterFounder of Spirited Table®  - content by Lydie Stassart with Excerpt from her book, The Art of Hosting and Decorating.

When treating stains, time is of the essence.  Here are some tips for removing stains.

Grease stains: on silk (ties, scarves, dresses) saturate the stain with baby powder. Let sit for ½ hour and brush-off the powder.  If you wash in cold water (but never ties), wash the entire item in order to avoid “rings.”

Wine-or fruit stains: pour salt on the stain.  Let sit for a while and rinse with cold water before laundering. Never use hot water as hot water has a tendency to “set” the stain.

Blood stains: use club soda or rub an ice cube on the stain before laundering.

Ink stains: on synthetic fabric, spray generously with hair spray and pat with a dry cloth before washing.  On cotton fabric, use rubbing alcohol.

Tomato-based stains: remove excess if necessary.  Dab a liquid detergent onto the stain and let sit. Rinse with cold water before laundering.

Coffee stains: vinegar diluted with water works well on coffee or tea stains.

Lipstick stains: are tenacious.  Many years ago, in European restaurants, the napkins had one red corner. Its sole purpose was to use that corner to wipe your mouth and avoid lipstick stains all over the napkin.  Saturate the stain with oxy clean or rubbing alcohol before laundering.  If a stain has not completely disappeared after washing, repeat the process.  Never iron or put your item in the dryer before the stain is removed.  Dryers and irons will “cook” the stain into the fabric.  Do not “rub” the stain, it can cause the stain to penetrate the fibers further and damage them, but instead “blot” the stain.

In any case, it is important to tackle stains as soon as possible.  Since you cannot always strip on the spot, consider having a “Tide on the Go” stick or towelettes in your purse or suitcase when traveling.