Some souvenirs of summer become permanent treasurers. Others, such as stains on fabric, can be permanent - and unpleasant - reminders.
With clothes going up in cost and natural fabrics (harder to treat than synthetics) becoming more popular, quick removal of stains is an important skill.
Norman Oehlke, chemical analyst for the International Fabricare Instico, tute, says identifying the stain and fabric is the essential first step. Immediate attention is next.
Improper treatment or delay in taking care of the stain are almost certain to result in permanent damage. Oehlke says if you have problems identifying either the stain or the remedy, your neighborhood dry cleaner should be able to help.
Meanwhile, he gives these general recommendations:
Berry stains . A weak solution of white vinegar in water should work on a fresh satin. If not, substitute a hydrogen peroxide solution.
Grass stains. Chlorophyl stains are among the most difficult to remove, but a dry-cleaning solution such as Renuzit, Carbona or Energine, sponged onto the fabric, may help.
Ketchup and mustard. First apply dry-cleaning solvent to remove the oily content, then detergent and water solution.
Perspiration. For cotton or wool, place absorbent material under stained are and blot with diluted detergent and water solution, then flush with plain water. Because perspiration tends to hold on to silk and rubbing water on it may break the fibers, seeking professional help may be best.
Ball point pens. Aerosol hair spray works on all fabrics except silk and acetate. A dry-cleaning solution should work on all materials.
Baby oil (or mayonnaise). Use dry-cleaning solution, even on polyester.
Some old wives' tales which sound illogical probably don't work. The advice, for example, of removing ink with milk may simply result in milk stains, which are harder to remove than ink. Ammonia on mustard sets the stain.
Oehkle says treatment methods should be used with discretion. One woman, advised about using alcohol on a stain, headed for the vodka bottle.
"It helped her, but not the stain." CAPTION: Illustration, no caption, by Robin Jareaux - The Washington Post