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Monday, March 09 , 2015

Ink-Removing Formula

Did you forget to cap a pen and now it has left its mark on your gym outfit, upholstery or other fabric? We've got a homemade stain-removing formula for you to try.

First, try some easy remedies on that ink spot…

If it's a colored piece of fabric, soak the stained area in milk, then toss in the washer. You can also douse the ink stain with rubbing alcohol. Let it sit for five minutes, then launder as usual.

For all fabrics (and if you don't want to use harsh bleach on your white shirt), spray a good two-second spritz of hairspray on the ink mark, then launder the clothing as usual.

If the ink blot is on upholstery, soak the spot with rubbing alcohol or vodka. The stain should dissipate within a few minutes. Caution: Be sure to test an inconspicuous area of the fabric with the alcohol. The spot should dry completely (no water stains or rings) after an hour or two.

If none of the above simple solutions work, here’s our heavy-duty ink-removing formula...

In a bowl, combine one tablespoon of milk, one tablespoon of white vinegar, one teaspoon of lemon juice and one teaspoon of borax powder (available at supermarkets in the laundry detergent section).

For ink-stained clothing, cloth napkins, etc., sandwich the stained area of the fabric between four thick sheets of paper towel. Dip a sponge in the mixture, and pat it on the area of paper towel covering the stain. (You want the liquid to reach the fabric, but you don’t want to put it directly on the stain.) After about three minutes, remove the paper towels, and sponge the stained area with cool water. Repeat the entire procedure until the stain is gone. When it is, launder the item as usual. (You may need to professionally clean a removable upholstery cover.)

More help with household stains…


Wednesday, September 03 , 2014

How to Clean Your Fake Flowers

We have transitioned from houseplants that need little care (succulents, spider plants) to realistic-looking artificial flowers that need very little care (just a yearly cleaning to keep them from looking dingy). Here's how to keep fake flowers looking fresh and new.

To clean sturdy fabric flowers, take a plastic or paper bag (big enough to hold the flowers), and pour in one cup of table salt. Hold the flowers by the stems, and put the blossoms into the bag. Hold the neck of the bag closed around the stems, then shake, shake, shake, giving the salt a chance to clean the flowers.

When you take the flowers out of the bag, do it over the sink (or outside) and gently shake off any salt remaining on the flowers. Inspect the flower petals closely—if there is still any residual salt, you can brush it off with a clean pastry brush or a small paintbrush. The flowers should be clean, and their colors fresh and bright.

More great ways to decorate and organize...