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The A to Z of Stain Removers

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ALCOHOL: Soak white articles in diluted bleach, rinse and wash.

BLOOD: Soak article in ½ litre of cold water and 1 teaspoon salt for 1 hour.

COCOA and COFFEE: Sponge with solution of 15g borax to ½ litre warm water.

DOGS: Immediately sprinkle soda water on stains from urine.

EGGS: Rinse in water in which a little borax has been added.

FRUIT: Sprinkle thickly with salt; leave a while then rinse, or pour boiling water through stain.

GRAVY: Treat with carbon tetrachloride; then wash in warm, soapy water.

HOT WATER MARKS: On polished tables, rub on a paste of sweet oil and salt; leave for a while and polish.

ICE CREAM: Wash in warm soapy water and rinse, then treat with carbon tetrachloride.

JAM: Scrape off as much as possible and sponge with warm water.

KEEP stain removers handy in kitchen.

LIPSTICK: Treat with carbon tetrachloride.

MILK: Wash in warm soapy water, rinse and treat with grease solvent.

NAIL VARNISH: Rub with cotton wool soaked in methylated spirits. Rub from outside towards centre.

OIL: Place brown paper over stain; iron over to draw out the fattiness. Continue moving the oiled paper and iron until paper is clear.

PAINT: Wet paint rubbed first with Vaseline, then with benzene.

QUITE the most novel idea: Before pouring liquids wind a pipe cleaner around neck of bottle to prevent stains on cloths.

RUST: Rub with lemon and put in sunlight for a few hours then rinse.

SCORCH MARKS: Rub in a little dry borax and sponge with warm soapy water.

TEA: Sponge with solution of 15g borax to half litre warm water.

UPHOLSTERY: Soak cloth in detergent, ring out, rub stain gently. Rinse with cold water.

VARNISH: Rub with a mixture of equal parts of benzene and alcohol. Cover marks with French chalk; leave for a few hours and brush off.

X marks the spot which will disappear with correct handling.

Y did we get that stain?

ZANY guests make parties gay but stains galore.



Alison Goldberg is the former property editor of Business Day (1985) and the Financial Mail (1991-99). In 1995 she won the Sanlam Financial Journalist of the Year Award. She has edited such titles as National Constructor and The Miner in Australia and has freelanced for The Star, The South African Jewish Report and The Jerusalem Post.

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