Removing Misc. Stains from Clothing

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Diaper ointment stains on my clothing

March 2007

I got a smudge of diaper ointment on my (of course!) black pants as I was (of course!) heading out the door to work. I wiped it off with a damp washcloth to remove the majority of it, but it was visible throughout the day. (I sat with my legs crossed a lot.) The pants are washable, so that night I ran them through a regular load of laundry. It had no impact on the mark. Any suggestions before I pay for drycleaning (which may not work anyway)? The pants are 63% polyester, 33% rayon, 4% spandex. The diaper ointment is Burt's Bees/Baby Bee. Many thanks! Claire

I saw something on TV about taking out greasy stains using waterless handcleaner - the kind mechanics use to clean up after working on cars. You might test it on the inside bottom hem first. anon

A product called 'Goop' is incredibly effective in getting all sorts of oil stains out of clothing: . I think they carry it at Home Depot. Unfortunately, if you've already put the pants through a laundry cycle using warm water or a dryer, then you may have set the stain. Still, it's worth a try or to have it on hand for future use. Good Luck! Karen

try liquid castile soap (dr. bronners). it really cuts grease well, it got melted chapstick (went into the dryer...) out of a rayon dress. pour on a little, then hold the fabric in your 2 hands with your thumbs on either side of the stain, and agitate it back and forth by sliding your thumbs along side each other. rinse under the tap and try again. you can also agitate while rinsing. loves laundry

Sounds like a ''grease'' stain. Here's my miracle cure, provided by the folks who make chapstick. It works on other ''grease'' stains as well. Go to an auto supply store and buy something called ''Goop''. Rub the Goop on the stain. Generously. Get it into the fibers and let it pill up a top a bit. Leave it that way for several hours or a day. Then take Wisk and rub the Wisk into the stained area. Let that sit an hour. Then wash as normal. Works for me everytime time!!! Too many chapsticks thru the wash!

Here is my little miracle recipe to remove pretty much every stain (incl. grass, mold, blood, etc.): Spray the stain with a stain remover (any brand will do) and let it sit for 5 minutes, or so. I put the clothing in the washer and turn on a small load (on either warm or hot). Sometimes I accumulate several articles of stained clothing and throw them all into the same load (don't mix whites with colors, though). Then I add 4 scoops of Oxy clean to the load and let the washer agitate for a few minutes. Then I stop the washer and let the load soak for 24 hours. That will get rid of pretty much every stain that you may have. Good luck!!! JOJ

I've found that baby wipes work really well on stains - surprisingly well. An artist friend once got yellow oil paint out of her new rug using baby wipes. Seems like diaper ointment would be a natural for wipes, too. I've also had great luck with oxyclean and Tide. Soak in warm water (Oxy needs warm water to activate it, I think.) Be gentle, and patient - soak repeatedly in fresh applications. Fran


Go to Poppy Fabrics at College and 51st Streets in Oakland (well, call first) and buy a 1.7 fl oz squeeze bottle of Carbona Stain Devils: Rust. This is one of a series of stain removers, all specific to a particular stain, and my experience says they work. Made in Germany, god knows what's in it, so keep it away from the kids, but hey, if it works, it works. When I bought it, it cost $1.65. Works on fabrics, tiles, and baths. The other cleaning miracle I've discovered in the past 12 years is coconut oil soap. It was the only thing I could find to take poster paint stains out of my daughter's dresses.

Spit-up stains

Aug 2003

Does anyone know of a magic trick for getting out those yellowish milk-spit stains from baby clothes? We are expecting our second child soon, and despite the fact that I washed everything thoroughly before I packed it away two years ago, a few things have mysteriously developed that pale yellow stain. It'd be nice to at least pretend that the new baby is getting lovely new clothes!
I got the hand-me-down blues

ZOUT! is the best stain remover known to woman kind. Gets out ANYTHING, blood, wine, those brown spit stains, banana, avocado, eegad - I've relied on it for 20 years. Sometimes out of stock, but usually available at Walgreens Longs or Safeway, in a blue/purple labelled plastic bottle. Linda

General Help with Stains

... tips on getting out all kinds of stains? Yes... Hints from Heloise heather

I've never had chocolate stains -- however, Citrasolv works very well on oily stains. We use it diluted in 4 parts water for greasy cleanups. Slosh some on the stain, and put it in the laundry as usual an hour later. You can buy Citrasolv at health-food stores; it's made from citrus-peel oil so at least it *smells* nontoxic. It's expensive by the pint so we order the gallon size (still not cheap). I once found a great website on stain removal -- I think I typed clothing stain removal into the search engine. It explained (too late!) that bleach worsens rust stains. Kathleen

Consumer Reports Books publishes How to Clean Practically Anything. It's a wonderful household resource. Chocolate, according to this book, is best removed with detergent after having scraped off any excess. Ammonia is a second suggestion. While I'm on the subject of household resources, another favorite of mine is Household Hints and Handy Tips from Readers Digest. From plumbing to first aid, this book always has what I'm looking for! Regan

The best book on stain removal is Don Aslett's Stainbuster's Bible, The complete Guide to Spot Removal. It deals with all kinds of stains and all kinds of surfaces. For further information write to Don Aslett's Cleaning Center
PO Box 39
Pocatello, ID 83204.
The phone is 208-232-6212

I have found Quick N Brite to be an amazing product to get out all sorts of stains, including chocolate and blood (that had been washed and dried a couple of times already!). It even got out the *permanent* marker that my daughter drew onto the couch, with no damage to the couch!!! You can buy in on-line, at the web-site As Seen on TV (not sure of the exact address, but if you search for Quick N Brite or As Seen On TV, you'll find it). It's amazing, non-toxic and environmentally friendly. We are replacing pretty much all of our household cleaners with it. Dawn

From: Diana

A few years ago when I subscibed to Consumer reports, they sent me two freebie books, one of which was titled How To Clean Practically Anything. It has a pretty good section on stains. For chocolate, it says: Supplies - Absorbent, digestant, oil solvent Washables - Apply absorbent then oil solvent; use digestant for any remaining stain. Nonwashables - Dry clean. (Absorbent=any dry powder that will soak up excess liquid associated with the stain. ie: cornstarch or talcum powder. Use only enough to soak up the liquid. Oil solvent=liquid products described as dry cleaning solvents. Apply as directed in a well ventilated space, preferably outdoors. Available on most hardware stores. AVOID products containing perchlorethylene, which is considered quite hazardous. Digestant=an enzyme available in pure form (ie: pepsin or amylase) or as a component in some laundry products. Keep the treated area moist and allow at least a half hour before laundering or rinsing. CAUTION: not for use on wool or silk.)