Say you’re at lunch, mentally preparing for a big meeting or presentation. As you’re going over the important points in your head, something spills — not onto the napkin (of course), but down the front of your shirt.
Stains are an unfortunate but inevitable part of our lives. While some of them require serious pretreating, others can be mostly, if not completely, removed — if you act quickly.
Here are six effective ways to treat stains on the go:
1. Tide to Go Instant Stain Remover
Carry one of these small but mighty stain remover pens with you to treat stains from coffee, ketchup, barbecue sauce, grape juice, chocolate syrup and more. With a cleaning solution that helps break down stains and a microfiber pad that lifts and absorbs them, you’ll wonder how they fit so much power into such a small package.
2. Club Soda
Perhaps the most well-known stain remover, club soda has been rumored to handle any stain you could possibly manage to get. Whether it’s because of its fizziness, carbonation or acidity, club soda or seltzer water can help remove some stains in a pinch and when simple water won’t cut it.
Many people swear by the stain-removing properties of lemon juice. Just squeeze a few drops onto the stain, let it sit for a few minutes and dab with a paper towel or dishcloth. If your fabric is sturdy enough to handle abrasion, combine lemon juice with some table salt for extra stain-removing power.
4. Hand Sanitizer
The high alcohol content in hand sanitizer can also help lift up and break down stains. These gels also work on ink — one of the toughest stains to remove. Just blot some gel onto the stain, and then rinse thoroughly.
Likewise, the alcohol in hair spray can help remove stains, too.
5. Artificial Sweetener
Aside from sweetening coffee and other beverages, powdered artificial sweeteners can absorb stains. If the stain is oil-based (liquid foundation, mascara, etc.), cover the area with some of the powder, let it sit and then brush it off. With a little persistence you should be able to remove most, if not all, of the stain.
This secret weapon of the stain-removing world helps remove one of the tougher stains — lipstick — with amazing proficiency. White bread can even loosen and remove lipstick from wool. Just tear off the crust, bunch up the rest and blot the stain until it’s gone. Sure, you may have crumbs on your outfit, but it’s definitely worth the trade-off.
Although stains always seem to end up in the most unexpected places during the most inopportune times, being prepared with knowledge is always helpful. If, however, the stain is a particularly stubborn one, try pretreating with Tide HE Turbo Clean Liquid Laundry Detergent before tossing in the wash. Get our full guide to stain removal from our friends at Tide.
Are there any miracle stain removers you know of that everyone else should, too?