Blot Out That Stain Obstacle

Updated: Jan 19

We always look on the bright side. But the truth is every move presents a possible obstacle.

An annoying obstacle presented itself to a friend of mine when she wore her favorite dress to dinner with her new in-laws.


Looking forward to a favorable getting-to-know-each other with her new husband’s parents, my friend – let’s call her Amara – was fully inspired to enjoy the evening.


The night was warm and fresh after a lengthy, late afternoon rain. Stepping out of the car at the restaurant curb entrance, her full-length skirt was immediately tangled in nearby bushes. She and her husband retrieved the precious dress fabric from the grasp of twigs and thorns fully intact. But there was mud partially showing along her skirt hem. Major ‘downer’ to a potentially ‘up’ evening.


The unexpected stain obstacle can strike at any time. At an occasion, such as Amara’s; as you ‘shop your closet’ for an outfit; when you’ve worn something without first seeing it was stained – whenever, wherever, however, it can happen. Stain obstacles can happen, no matter how much you try to avoid them. But we have options to blot them out.


First of all, the laundry aid, “Shout”, will blot out many stains without harming most fabrics. However, I wouldn’t use this option on fine fabrics such as silks, some rayons, suede, or woolens.


Here are a few ways to blot out stubborn ‘stain obstacles’.



The Cringe-Worthy Ink Stain


There it is. Glaring at you. Your pen leaked onto your new blouse.

Take emergency measures.


1. Find white paper towels from the office / public restroom or your own kitchen

2. Run to the rubbing alcohol (the best is 90%, but 70% will do).

Offices will often keep this around to (for instance) sanitize phones

3. Access cotton pads. Hopefully you have them, or someone in your vicinity know where these are


In a private area, take off your blouse and lay it on a flat surface.


Place white paper towels underneath and inside your blouse


Pour some alcohol onto the stain and blot with the cotton pad until ink no longer shows on the pad


Rinse the formerly stained area with cold water








Oh No! It’s Mustard!

That burger was ‘delish’. But it sure was messy. Here’s this mustard stain to prove it.


1. Gently scrape mustard off with a spoon. Be careful not to push the stain deeper into the fabric


2. In a bathroom / public restroom run cold water over the stain


3. Treat with a stain remover before washing


4. When it’s time to launder, on whites use hot water and fabric safe bleach

(Always read garment care instructions before laundering)



Can I Ever Get This Out?


Now a more sensitive subject. At times blood stains may be a concern. Blot out this potential menace!


Here, a toothbrush is essential. This treatment should keep the stain from setting into the fabric when laundered.


1. If the stain is still wet, brush with a toothbrush to erase the surface blood. Don’t worry about this step if the stain has dried.


2. Soak the stain in cool water and a bleach-free detergent.


3. Softly rub a baking soda / water paste onto the stain


Use these stain fighters to give freshness and long-life to your wardrobe.




Oh, and how did Amara solve her muddy hem obstacle?


At the reservation desk, Amara’s husband explained the issue to the maître d’, who allowed them into the kitchen to solve the problem. Using a dull knife one of the kitchen staff:


1. Scraped the dried mud off the hem


2. Blotted and rubbed the stain with liquid laundry detergent


3. Let Amara comfortably sit for 15 minutes while the liquid detergent did its work


4. Then used a wet toothbrush on both sides of the hem to scrub the detergent-saturated stain


Amara and her husband emerged from the kitchen with a slightly damp skirt hem free of stain. Only 20 minutes late, they met her in-laws for a fantastic dinner.


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