TATT: A Stain Removal Trick

So here’s something you may or may not know about me… I don’t really shop for clothing much anymore.  And it’s not that I don’t want to look fabulous, or don’t love wearing a new outfit.  It’s not even that I don’t know what looks good on me or don’t have the money for it.  It’s just, quite simply, way too much hassle!  The malls, the crowds, the parking, not to mention the trying to keep two small children out of trouble while navigating through racks, and stacks, and jewelry displays that ought to be placed higher off the ground.

But a couple weeks ago I decided that I really wanted something new to wear for Easter.  And I happened to have a coupon for Dress Barn that came along with a mailer advertizing some cute lace tops.  Since I’m a sucker for lace clothing (and also apparently a glutton for punishment) I loaded the girls into the car and off we went.

So we got to Dress Barn, in we go, and the girls decided to play hide and seek.  Not my first choice for in store entertainment, but they were sticking close and not pulling things off hangers, so I decided to go with it, just long enough to locate the previously mentioned lace tops I was searching for.

Working as quickly as possible, I succeeded in picking up four possibilities before the wailing began.  I turned around to find that Lydia had managed to trip over the edge of a display and had a gash on her upper lip that was already dripping blood.  A glance in my purse revealed that I was fresh out of Kleenex, and I was thus faced with the choice to blot her face with A) the store’s clothing, B) my jacket sleeve, or C) the stuffed frog toy Lydia had brought with her.

Which is how I ended up marching to the checkout counter, a two-year-old on my hip, with a stuffed frog pressed to her face.  The store associate on duty quickly passed me a paper towel that was accompanied by a look that clearly said, “Please don’t let your kid bleed on the merchandise.”

After the situation was sufficiently under control, I debated just going home then and there, but I figured we’d come so far that it was too late to turn back now, so I did end up trying on my four items (while intermittently applying pressure to the wound in the dressing room), and then purchasing the best one of the bunch.

So all that to say that on arrival home, I… 1) vowed never to go clothes shopping with my children again and 2) had a stuffed frog who needed a little stain removal intervention.

Fortunately I know a little stain solution (pun intended) that was perfect for the situation.  Enter my good friend Hydrogen Peroxide…

You might know my buddy HP as an inexpensive first aid disinfectant.  But did you know he can also get blood out of fabric?  It’s so easy it’s almost miraculous…

Step 1: DO NOT GET THE STAIN WET!  Resist the urge treat the stain with water.  It’s fine if it dries. Really. I’ve used this on days old spots and it still works, just as long as the stain is NOT exposed to water.

Step 2: Blot any excess blood with a clean cloth (this was already done at the store with the paper towel in our case).

Step 3: Pour hydrogen peroxide on the spot.  You should notice some white foam forming.

Step 4: Wait a few seconds for the reaction to slow, then blot the stain with a dry white cloth or paper towel.

Step 5: Repeat steps 3-4 until stain is gone or until the hydrogen peroxide no longer foams when applied to the stain.

And just like that, frog was rid of his spots…

(I’ve used this trick countless times, and on a variety of fabrics, but I should note that hydrogen peroxide is a mild bleaching agent, so you might want to try putting a little on an inconspicuous part of whatever you are trying to clean to test for colorfastness.  Also, promptly laundering the object after treatment is a good idea, and in some cases when I haven’t been able to get the stain completely out with the HP, a trip through the wash has finished the job.  As I mentioned above, this does work for dried stains, but the fresher the stain is, the more likely it is to come out completely.  And again, if the item has been blotted with water, this trick doesn’t work well and if the item has been laundered, it probably won’t help at all.)

After a quick wash cycle and a tumble in the dryer, as Lydia put it so well, “Frog is all clean and fluffy!”

So there you go, my best stain removal trick, brought to you today by my hide-and-seek loving children and the stuffed frog who saved my jacket sleeve.

8 thoughts on “TATT: A Stain Removal Trick

  1. Thanks Elise, I used that method many years age and forgot about. I’ve been spending money on oxyclean. I’m adding hp to this weeks shopping list.

    • Glad it was helpful, Pearl! I like oxyclean too, but use it for food stains and hydrogen peroxide is definitely cheaper!

  2. I’ve tried using hydrogen peroxide on blood stains before with mixed results, but I didn’t know that water made it not work. That must’ve been the variable giving me inconsistent results. Great tip.

    • Yeah, there is some sort of chemical reaction that occurs between the hydrogen peroxide and the blood that makes it so effective, but water interferes with the reaction. I’m sooo not a chemist, so I don’t understand the particulars, but I know that’s what happens. Thanks for stopping by!

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