Emergency Care for Spills Questions

April 1, 2011 7:42 pm
5 Tips to Removing Common BBQ Stains
A. Chances are that you’ve already broken out your entire summer wardrobe and you’re going to a cookout in the near future. We’ve all experienced the unhappiness of noticing a ketchup or mustard stain on that brand new polo shirt. Here are 5 Tips to remove common BBQ stains:

Mustard – We list this one first because it’s one of the most challenging to remove. Make sure to carefully wipe off as much excess as possible. Soak the area with cold water immediately. You can pre-treat with a stain remover, but double check the clothing care tag. Wash the pre-treated garment in warm water as soon as you get home.

Watermelon – We go from the hardest to easiest to remove. Luckily watermelon is made mostly of water and you can usually remove this stain by immediately dabbing it with a wet towel. Absorbing the pink watermelon juice with a paper towel before you finish with a damp towel is often an effective way to get the stain completely out.

Ketchup & BBQ Sauce – Put a paper towel or napkin over the stain and from inside the garment, flush the stain with some cold water to get most of it on the napkin or paper towel. Depending on the fabric of your garment, consider pre-treating the stain with some liquid laundry detergent and let it sit for a few minutes. This will help break up the stain. Rinse well with more cold water and then put it in the wash.

Iced Tea – Luckily for you and your garment, an iced tea stain doesn’t get into the fabric as quickly as hot tea does. Take a clean ice cube and rub it on the stain. Pat the area with a dry paper towel or napkin.

Buttered Corn – You will need to address that oil stain as soon as possible. Put some sugar on the stain and pat it with a napkin or paper towel to help absorb some of the grease. Let it sit and then brush off the sugar. If the garment is machine washable, pre-treat the stain with a liquid stain remover or detergent. After checking the clothing care label, wash in the hottest water possible.

“Can you remind me what I should do if I spill a drink at a party so I don’t ruin my clothes?”
A. It happens to all of us. Never rub a stain. Blot gently with a dry cloth to absorb the spill. Do not apply water or liquid. If the stain is oily this will set it and if it is water-based, you may spread it. The sooner you have your garment cleaned, the more likely the stain can be removed. Be sure to tell your drycleaner the source of the stain.
“I recently spilled a glass of red wine on my silk blouse. My host gave me club soda, which I generously applied; however, the stain spread and created a “ring.” What should I have done?”
A. There are all sorts of home remedies that claim to remove red wine including white wine to remove red, club soda or even salt to remove the stain. Your host was well intended in giving you the club soda; however, it is generally not a good idea when the fabric is dry clean only or if the stain is oil based because it can spread the stain and bleed the dye on the garment.

When a red wine spill occurs, take quick action and gently blot (do not rub!) the stain by placing a clean white cloth on both sides of the garment and pressing until all liquid is absorbed. If the garment is “dry-clean” only, have the garment cleaned within 24-48 hours. Since time can “set” stains, the sooner it is treated the better.

For washable clothing gently blotting the stain, followed quickly by a proper treatment with a home stain removal product can help. Much depends on the type of fabric and the stability of the dye. Testing in a small invisible area is recommended.

It takes months to train a spotter to remove stains from fragile fabrics. If the garment is important to you and you want to be sure the stain is removed, it is best left for a skilled drycleaner.