Sunday, 18 December 2011

Removing stains from a cotton T-Shirt

I bought a sky blue T-shirt from a car boot sale for a whole $2 and the first time I wore it it got covered in BBQ splatter. I was really annoyed as it went so well with a skirt that I have, that really only a black or white T-shirt had previously matched. My husband said - send it to a dry cleaners, they'll be able to get it out - but I didn't want to spend $15 on a $2 shirt. In reality I probably wouldn't want to have turned a $20 shirt into a $35 shirt either... But that's beside the point. But I liked the shirt and wanted to see if I could get the stains out - I know I can put them in!!! So I googled stain removing and decided to have a go!

Here's what I did...

First - I forgot to take a photo of just the plain stains... but you might be able to see the blacky greasy stains that I haven't painted detergent on yet in this photo...

Then I got some detergent and dabbed it directly onto the stain with a paintbrush and left it for 1/2 an hour and then soaked the whole thing in warm water. This seems the best way to lift light grease stains like fat or cooking oil as far as I could tell from my research on the net.

It did get rid of a lot of the stain - the sort of greasy patch but not the blacky burnt bits from the BBQ splatter. So I got some prewash stain remover and squirted it on for the second and third go. I left it on for about 10 minutes each time (didn't want to end up with white spots instead of brown!) and soaked it on warm water again.

After 3 goes - the stains were pretty diminished but not entirely gone. I wore it to work, I work with kids and come home pretty covered in grot anyway, but wouldn't wear it out to lunch for example now. Apparently there are lots of cans of goop at the supermarket that will help get stains out. They are all solvents of one kind or another. At this point I'm going to dab it again next time it goes into the wash and wear an apron if I go near the BBQ in nice clothes again!!!

I have got a book called "how to clean practically everything" and have consulted it - It says to try white vinegar or lemon juice for greasy stains, again dabbed on with a paintbrush - so next time its due for the wash - I'll give it a go and let you know what happened!


Green-ness:  3/5 Green detergent is ok but I suspect my prewash spray is pretty toxic. I comfort myself with the fact that we've had that bottle for about 2 years... Maybe that's why it didn't work...
Frugal-ness: 5/5 Didn't spend an extra cent and can still wear it
Time cost: Most of the morning - but I was making bread and pottering around in the kitchen anyway or maybe that's why it took so long?!
Skill level: Easy-Peasy! Just do it!!!
Fun -ness: Not so much fun this time - mainly because it didn't work as well as I had hoped!

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