Strawberry Daiquiri Off A White Cotton Shirt?

This question was submitted by Dixie:  “How do I clean an old strawberry daiquiri stain off a white cotton shirt?”

It was rather involved to try to get an answer that might work. And I do mean might, because if your daiquiri wasn’t a virgin, the alcohol makes it all the more difficult. First off, don’t wash in hot water, and don’t heat dry. This sets the stains so they will be there permanently.

As obscure as it seems here we go:

Be sure the fabric is durable, and will not be damaged by boiling water. Test a shirt tail for colorfastness (white should be OK) and for durability by dipping into boiling water. If the fabric shrivels up into a crumpled wrinkled mass do not proceed. If the stains are dry, moisten them with glycerin. Take the stained area and stretch it over a large pot or strainer. Secure with an elastic band or two. Put the shirt and pot in a tub or laundry sink just  in case you may spill any water.  Boil a kettle of water, and from a couple of feet above, slowly pour the water through the stains. I know I just told you not to wash this article in hot water, but by doing this the water is passing through and taking the contaminants with it, as oppose to sitting in hot water stewing.

  • If any of the stain remains, cut open a lemon and rub the lemon on the stains, then hang to dry.
  • If the stain remains mix some white vinegar and water 1:2, and apply that to the stains, then hang to dry.
  • If the stain remains soak in a digestant for 30 minutes, launder as you normally would in cold water, and hang to dry.
  • If the stain remains wash in a bleach solution as directed by the manufacturer, and hang dry. Do not dry this article in the dryer until you are satisfied with the appearance of the stained area (because that is the way it will stay, forever).
  • If the stain remains make a big daiquiri and soak the entire shirt so it is red, and consider buying a new white shirt!!

Spilled Gas on Carpet

I spilled gas in the back of my SUV. The smell will not go away. What can I do to remove it?
Ryan

The solution is to rinse the nonvolatile solvent(gasoline) out of the carpet using a volatile solvent (dry cleaning solvent). Volatility refers to the ability of the solvent to dissipate at room temperature.

What you have tried to do was to wash, in essence, oil with water. They do not mix in fact when you attempted to wet clean the area the gas would have chased from the water.

If the spill is large (bigger than a dollar bill) I recommend calling an IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning & Restoration) certified carpet cleaning company and let them handle the problem.

If it is a small area, purchase some dry cleaning solvent (available at grocery stores, janitorial suppliers or carpet cleaning supply houses) along with some white terry towels.

Follow all safety instructions on the dry cleaning solvent bottle.

  • Test the affect of the dry cleaning solvent on the carpet before attempting to clean it by placing a small amount of dry cleaning solvent on the terry towel and apply it to an inconspicuous part of the carpet (i.e. under the seat) to see if there is any colour transfer or puckering.
  • If there does not seem to be a problem with the test, proceed to clean the stained area by placing dry cleaning solvent on the terry towel (DO NOT POUR IT DIRECTLY ONTO THE CARPET) and lightly tamp the stained area.
  • Repeat this process 3 or 4 times if required and do nothing else.

Dry cleaning solvent will dissipate when exposed to the air and does not leave cleaning residue.

Cheers
Jay Miles, Forum Member
CRS Carpet Cleaning
Vancouver, Cananda

Tar on Clothes

Remove tar with solvent.  Dip the tar stained areas in the solvent and then blot out the tar stain with paper towels.  To fully remove the solvent from the clothes, rub some dish washing detergent on those spots and launder the clothes normally. You can also use a “bug & tar remover”.

Tomato Based Stains from Clothes

Tools & Chemicals:

  • Laundry pre-treatment
  • liquid detergent
  • all fabric bleach
  • bleach
  • dry cleaning fluid.

1. Soak the stain with a laundry pre-treatment.  Let sit for several minutes.  For stubborn stains, rub with a heavy-duty liquid detergent.  Launder immediately.

2. If stain remains, soak the clothes in a solution of all-fabric powered bleach.  Be aware that all the colors may lighten.

3. If the stain remains, and the clothes is white or colorfast, soak in a solution of liquid chlorine bleach and water.  Read the label regarding the use of bleach. Bleach can damage some dyes and prints, and bleaching damage is irreversible.  If the stain is not removed in 15 minutes, it cannot be removed by bleaching and further bleaching will only weaken the fabric.

4. If the stain remains, apply dry-cleaning fluid to back of stain over absorbent white paper towels.  Check product label for instructions and follow carefully. Let dry;  rinse.  Launder as usual.

If all else fails soak your clothes in a vat of tomato sauce and at least you will have a consistant color!

Mustard Stains

As with any stain, mustard stain removal is more successful if done immediately, dried stains are harder to remove.

Rinse the fabric in cold water and remove as much of the stain as possible.

Create a solution of:

1 teaspoon ammonia
1 pint of warm water

  • Wash the fabric in the solution
  • Rinse in cold water to complete the mustard stain removal process.
  • Repeat as necessary until the mustard stain removal has eliminated the stain.

Dryer sheets as a cleaning tool ?

Here is an alternate use or two for a dryer sheet…

Placing a sheet at the bottom of the wastebasket, helps eliminate odors found in wastebaskets. Placing an individual sheet at the bottom of a laundry bag or hamper will accomplish the same results.

Dryer Sheets as a Cleaning Tool

Here is an alternate use or two for a dryer sheet…

  • A dryer sheet at the bottom of your wastebasket,  or in the laundry hamper, gym bag,  sneakers, shoe cupboards, or hockey bags will help eliminate odors.
  • To keep items smelling fresh, put a sheet in your stored luggage, skates, or car.

Pillows

Your pillow will always come with an instructions label. Before deciding to wash or dry clean your pillow, read the instruction label.

Wash vs. Dry Clean

If your instructions advise you to only dry clean your pillow, do not attempt to wash it just to save a trip and few dollars.  Take your pillow to the dry cleaners and ask them to do the job.

Machine Wash vs. Hand Wash

If you are going to wash you pillow in the washing machine, try and do so in a separate cycle without any other linen or washing.  Pillows should always be washed on ‘delicate’ cycle.  This prevents them from losing their shape.

Pillows have different fillings and therefore, for best results always use a mild soap, if possible avoid laundry powder detergent. Liquid soap is usually the best option to go with.  When the wash cycle has finished, go through the rinse cycle at least two to three times to make sure all the soap has been completely washed out.  Do the same for the spin feature to take out the maximum amount of water from the pillows.

If you are washing your pillows by hand, fill a tub with warm water, mild liquid soap and a few drops of bleach.  Immerse the pillow completely into the water and cover the tub.  Leave for about half an hour.  Then squeeze the pillow a few times to get all the dirt out.  Rinse under running water for at least 15 – 20 minutes, or till you feel that the soapy feel has disappeared. Place on a flat surface to get rid of excess water.

Drying

Whether you wash your pillows in a washing machine or hand wash them, it is important to make sure you have a completely dry and fluffy pillow.

Pillows require plenty of space in the dryer, so do not put any other articles to dry with them in the dryer.  During the dry cycle add some new or clean tennis balls. As the pillows have filling in them, they will require a few cycles to be completely dry.

Once you feel they are dry, give them a few punches to bring back the fluffiness, and leave in an airy and moisture free room for a day or so, as there may still be some moisture deep inside the pillow that you may not be able to feel but is a perfect breeding ground for mould.  Once finished, you are ready to use your pillows again.