Guide To Fighting Stains

You know the situation all too well. You're hosting a dinner party and guests are all seated around the table, well into their main course. Glasses are full of the '82 bordeaux you pulled out for the occasion. Just as the conversation deepens, a wayward elbow knocks over a glass of wine. Oops. There goes that white tablecloth. So do you reach for the Shout or head to the kitchen pantry and pull out the box of salt?

Click here to see the Guide to Fighting Stains Slideshow.

Yup, you heard me right. Fighting a variety of common household stains is as easy as reaching into your pantry or fridge and pulling out things like dish soap, white vinegar, lemon juice, salt, and white wine.

Along with the fun and laughter that comes with hosting a party, so too does the inevitable mess of stains. From beet juice down your white blouse to tomato sauce splatters all over your white carpet (thanks to that cocktail party guest who piled on just a bit too much food) and that spatter of butter/grease/salad dressing on your colored top, delicious food leaves its mark in more ways than one — on your mind, and on your clothing or linens.

For most, fighting stains is as easy as picking up Shout or Spray 'n Wash at the store. But have you ever noticed that they're sometimes not that effective when it comes to dealing with salad dressing? Or gasp, your partner/child/roommate used up every last bit of the store-bought stain fighters and you have to get that coffee stain out of your dress shirt before heading out to work like now? There is no reason to worry, just reach for that dish soap and vinegar. So the next time you head out to the market to stock up on snacks for your next party, add some vinegar, lemons, and a big box of salt to your list. Because you never know when a stain will next get in your way of having a good day.

Click here to see the Guide to Fighting Stains Slideshow.


Note: As you would before using any stain-fighting solution, patch test fabric for colorfastness. In general, the sooner you treat a stain, the more easily it is likely to come out. As well, don't put the stained fabric into the dryer until you're sure the stain is out, as they dryer's heat will set the stain permanently.