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21 August 2007 @ 06:50 am
So if you have a crappy laundry system which consists of grabbing your clean work clothes from the basket and tossing them in a pile on your desk, and unbeknownst to you there is a red pen lying on the desk, and one week a grey shirt lands on said pen and ends up with two dark red splotches of ink on it, each about two centimeters in diameter, what exactly does one due to eliminate the spots as much as possible? Keep in mind that the ink has probably been soaking in for several days. I'm probably just fucked, aren't i?

I tried blotting at it with dry paper towels, which got lots of pink spots on the towels but didn't change the appearance of the spots on the shirt much. I have some vague idea that maybe i should soak it in cold water with some detergent in it? Or is it cold water that fixes stains and hot water i should be using? I could go out and get some of that color guard bleach stuff (how does it know which color to guard though? =P) or, i don't know. Luckily the spots are close to the bottom edge and might actually be under or mostly under my pants when i'm wearing it. If so and worst comes to worst i may give up and just bleach the hell out of those two spots, on the theory that a severely faded spot will stand out less than a bright red spot.
Current Mood: ditzydumb
Sister Atom Bomb of Courteous Debateakiko on August 21st, 2007 02:00 pm (UTC)
Cold water & mild soap, rinse a lot. Soak if needed.

Hot water sets stains, especially organic ones (like blood).

Then re-evaluate your laundry system, including potentially putting clean clothes onto hangers so that the dirty ones can go in the basket.
nonseqmenagerie on August 21st, 2007 02:37 pm (UTC)
Blot the ink with a damp sponge until little or no ink comes off onto the sponge. Let the stain air dry. Spray the stain with hair spray. Sandwich the stain between two paper towels. Blot the back side of the stained fabric until you've worked the ink into the other paper towel. You might need to change the paper towel you're using to receive the ink from time to time, and quick blotting motions seem to work best. Treat any remaining ink stain with laundry pre-treatment, and wash as usual.

Or you can use alcohol and lots of water. I'd wash the shirt with colors that won't show a stain after you've gotten the ink out, just in case any remaining ink bleeds out into the water.

Cold water is better for removing stains, hot water sets them.
Lucas: Chemistrylucasmembrane on August 21st, 2007 03:05 pm (UTC)
Even better than alcohol, use an aliphatic hydrocarbon solvent. Lighter fluid, gasoline, something like that. Don't use paint thinner, it'll eat any synthetic fibers. Certain synthetic fibers (nylon esp.) will also have trouble with lighter fluid, but if it's cotton or silk or even rayon or polyester, it should be fine. I only recommend gasoline in a pinch - Ronsonol or Zippo fluid is definitely better. Repeatedly soak and blot the spot until no more color comes out, then air-dry until you can't smell any more solvent, and wash in cold water as suggested above.
Thaisathaisa on August 21st, 2007 03:50 pm (UTC)
Maybe take it as an opportunity to buy a new shirt? And another laundry basket? ;)
(Anonymous) on August 21st, 2007 08:05 pm (UTC)
I second this one.
dolohov on August 22nd, 2007 01:41 am (UTC)
Ask your local dry cleaner if they can deal with it?
Beth Leonardbeth_leonard on August 22nd, 2007 06:15 am (UTC)
Oxy clean works for blood/mud/dirt/banana. I haven't tried it on ink, but it has saved shirts before.
Squidceph on August 23rd, 2007 07:15 am (UTC)
I don't have any specific advice, but I will say that Googling for stain removal tips usually brings up some pretty good stuff.
Squidceph on August 23rd, 2007 07:15 am (UTC)
Although I have yet to actually apply dishwashing soap to my bike grease stains. ::grin::