Thursday, January 03, 2008

The Science of Stain Removal

Well, it’s “almost” a science reports CNN, where you’ll find a handy guide for removing stains from clothing. In general, grease stains require oil solvents (like store-bought products such as K2r or Carbona) and protein stains (from stuff like blood or grass) require enzyme treatments (such as Era Plus or Wisk).

Some stains require bizarre rituals instead of over-the-counter wonder chemicals. For example, to remove coffee or tea stains, they recommend stretching the stained fabric over a bowl and pouring boiling water “from a height of about one foot.” Yes, one foot. Apparently, “gravity helps.”

For ballpoint ink stains, try a first attack with glycerin, then follow up with Woolite.

The removal method also depends on whether or not the material is “washable” (as opposed to dry-clean-only, I suppose). For example, if you’ve got a washable shirt stained with red wine, cover it with salt then stretch the stained area over a bowl and do the whole pouring-water-from-a-height-of-one-foot thing. (But be careful of the splashing, which will probably burn pretty bad.) If the garment isn’t washable, you’ll have to use an oil solvent to the stain, let it dry, “remove residue,” and then use diluted vinegar to erase the stain.

Do they have college courses in this?

3 comments:

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Pound360 Archive

About Me

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.