Household cleaner removes coffee, makeup, ink stains

By Jennifer Waugh, The Morning Show anchor, investigative reporter, jwaugh@wjxt.com
Published On: Apr 29 2014 11:42:19 AM EDT
Updated On: Apr 29 2014 11:48:31 AM EDT

Getting rid of tough stains is easier if you use unconventional solutions.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

Ever ruined a shirt or dress by spilling coffee on it or some kind of food that stains?

We asked Jody Smith, general manager of Oceanside Dry Cleaners, for some advice Tuesday on "The Morning Show." She revealed that mold and mildew cleaner, believe it or not, can frequently get the toughest stains out of your clothes.

(Stains pictured in before photo)

She dipped pieces of a cotton shirt in coffee, blueberry and salsa. She also marked one with ink from a blue pen and a black permanent marker. Here's what she did to remove the stains.

Coffee: Soak the spot with water and then spray it with any kind of mold and mildew remover. She happened to use Tilex. Even though it contained bleach there was no staining to the clothing. Within a few seconds, the stain was gone. She says keep applying the solution until it's completely gone and then wash it as you would any other clothing.

Pen marks/permanent marker: Be careful with ink. It can run or spread as you wet it. Wet the spot with water using a white towel. Spray with mold and mildew cleaner and blot it. You can use a brush, too. If ink can still be seen, drizzle rubbing alcohol on the spot. You may want to let a dry cleaner do this for you since most have a special piece of equipment that uses a vacuum to prevent the ink from spreading.

(Stains gone in after photo)

Blueberry and Salsa stains: Dip in cool water and then spray with mold and mildew cleaner. This does not have to be done right away, and can be done even hours after the stain occurred.

Blood: Need to work on removing this as soon as possible. The longer it sits on the clothing, the harder it is to remove. Flip over the clothing so that you wash with cool water from the reverse side. Use mold and mildew remover, but if it yellows, you can also dab with hydrogen peroxide.

Deodorant stains: This involves oils so try using a grease cutting detergent to remove the white chalky residue left by deodorant. An example would be Dawn dish detergent.

Smith cautions this may not work on all fabrics. If it's silk, she says you should take it to a dry cleaner. Also, she recommends always testing the solution, first, on the inside seam of the fabric to make sure it does not make the stain worse. Again these are just suggestions, if you are concerned, you should take the clothing to an expert.

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