Friday, May 11, 2012

Spot Prevention on Shirt Stains

It happens to all of us. You’re at a bar, a party, an Olive Garden for all-you-can-eat breadsticks, when the inevitable happens. You spill on yourself. To help protect your clothes and avoid looking like a complete schlub, here’s a quick rundown on what to do:

I know the feeling
-Scrape off the big stuff- dropped a load of salsa on your crotch? Get rid of the gunk on top of your clothes so you can tackle the stain at the fibers.

-Blot, don’t rub. Rubbing forces in the stains; blotting soaks them up. 

-Soak- I’ve find the easiest way to clean a stain is to overload the spot, in either water or preferably club soda if you have it, to dilute the stain up and out of your clothes. Sometimes this is all you need. This can get messy so beware of trying it in the restaurant sink, but it’s worth it if you can suffer through a big wet mark. Use hot on whites, cold on colors. 

-Tough stains generally require soap. Dawn (or other dish soap) is good to get out grease-based stains (because it breaks down grease, just like in the sink), so use a bit and try rubbing out the spot (yes, now rubbing is okay to get the soap, dirt, and water to mix). Tide or other laundry detergent can be used for spot treatments too. Plus most of those companies make pens/wet-naps for just this type of occasion (which are great to have on hand). 

Tide To-Go Pen- $3 at Walgreens or nearly anywhere else
Shout wipes- $4 at Walgreens or nearly anywhere else

Silk & Clean- $12, available at many stores

-Soak again, liberally. (It’s just like a wash cycle).

-Blot dry again.
The process takes practice to truly perfect and pull off unnoticeably (I’ve spilled on myself a lot), but hopefully this saves you in a pinch until you can launder properly. At worst you’ll remove the stain and be stuck with a wet mark, and you can just tell people you peed on yourself. Or there were no towels in the bathroom, whichever is more believable. 
More news as it develops, (and don't forget about the iTunes giveaway!),


  1. Blake VanderbiltMay 16, 2012 at 9:09 PM

    Might I add good sir, that club soda is an excellent cleaner. I myself was actually the victim of an unfortunate soy sauce explosion the other night at dinner...while wearing a new white button down and khakis. After laughing it off and making the requisite socially tactful comments, I immediately ordered a glass of club soda and napkins. After blotting away at my jackson pollak of a shirt for five minutes, it was all but perfect. I kept on with the night and didn't "shout" and bleach it until the next morning. I wore that same shirt today and it was immaculate. Combine the tips above with some soda water and not a single stain or spill will stand in your way to being a midwest dressed gentleman.