The Accidental Housewife

7 Tips to Get Rid of the Red, White and Blue Stains of Summer

With the Fourth of July days away it’s time to officially celebrate summer with friends and family, coast to coast, BBQ to BBQ, and slob to slob. But fear not, the red, white, and blue stains these times thrust upon us! No, my fellow countrymen and women, relief is simple and mostly found in our kitchen cupboard, bathroom drawer, and amongst our coiffing products. So get ready to take aim, cause an eruption, and brush those stains away, because as you surely know, all stains were not created equal!

BBQ SAUCE- CREATE SOME FIZZ-AZZ!

If you get a bit overzealous with the BBQ sauce, and end up dousing your meats and/or clothing, here’s a quick stain remover that will bubble and remove the toil and trouble! Kids love it too ’cause it creates a fizzing reaction so have them watch!  Also terrific way to unclog your drains- just use a 1:1 ratio of baking soda to white vinegar and once the bubbling stops, pour down a kettle of boiling water!).  Here are the clothing stain removal steps:

  • Get rid of excess (if you didn’t already lick it off), and run the garment under cold water;
  • While the item is still damp, sprinkle baking soda on the spot, followed by a capful of white vinegar. Watch as the mixture erupts, taking your stain with it! Repeat if necessary;
  • To finish the process, dab (don’t rub) away the bubbly mix with a damp cloth, and launder as us.ual

CHERRY POPSICLES?  SPRITZ AWAY!

Indulging in this childhood fave whether you’re a kid or a wannabe again can be drippy and ruin your fave white tee!  With this tip you can remain calm, cool, and collected, even when your popsicle doesn’t.  What to do when it drips:

  • Remove any excess with a plastic knife;
  • Fill a spray bottle with equal parts hydrogen peroxide and water (50-50), spritz it on the stain, and let stand for 30 minutes;
  • If the stain is stubborn, spray with a 3:1 white vinegar to water mixture;
  • Then launder as usual.

WATERMELON-TAKE AIM!

For something that is mostly water, this treat can leave quite a mark. But relief is just a coiff away:

  • Remove any excess watermelon;
  • Spray the spot with aerosol hairspray, the alcohol in the product will lift out the stain;
  • Then launder as usual

SWEAT STAINS:  TAKE 2 ‘N CALL ME IN THE MORNIN!

Not only are sweat stains unsightly, they can be really embarrassing! Yellowing can be caused by the aluminum in your antiperspirant, not you, and the stains are “no sweat” to deal with.

  • Just mix equal parts baking soda and hydrogen peroxide with a bit of water to create a paste;
  • Use a toothbrush to rub it in;
  • Let that sit for 30 minutes;
  • Then use the toothbrush to remove the paste;
  • Launder as usual

To avoid stains altogether, try aluminum-free antiperspirants available from brands like Mitchum and Dove.

SUNTAN LOTION:  SOAK-UP-SUN VINEGAR

When you are spending time outside, suntan lotion is an absolute necessity, but the grease stains that come with it are not!

  • Remove as much lotion as possible;
  • Sprinkle baby powder to absorb the excess oil/moisture;
  • Soak the stain in white vinegar;
  • Wash the garment in the hottest temperature the care label will allow

BEER STAINS:  BREWSKY RX

We all know that when people are drinking beer, they can sometimes get a bit sloppy. Whether it’s light or dark, low cal or original, don’t let a few spills ruin your buzz.

For regular beer

  • Blot, don’t rub, as much of the beer as you can ASAP;
  • Mix a cup of water, a tablespoon of white vinegar, and a squirt of dish detergent;
  • Dab the mix on the stain for five minutes;
  • Then blot with a clean towel until the stain comes up.

For dark beer

  • Combine vinegar and rubbing alcohol 1:3 and use to blot the stain;
  • Never use bar soap on these stains, it will only make them set.

BLUEBERRIES:  GOT TOOTHPASTE!

These little treats can leave a huge mark, but getting it out is not a big deal. This treatment will also work for red wine, strawberry, blackberry, and grape juice stains.

  • Remove the excess
  • Rinse the spot in cold water
  • Spread some white, non gel toothpaste over the stain
  • Scrub between your fingers
  • Launder as usual

And, just in case…

CELL PHONE 411

If it’s not a stain that makes you blue, but a phone that landed in the pool, there is a quick fix that doesn’t require a trip to your fave tech store. And as a bonus, there is finally a use for the silica gel packs that often come in your shoes (and a reason to buy more) or in your vitamins :)

  • To get out excess water, spray with compressed air. DO NOT use a blowdryer
  • Then leave the phone in a bowl of rice or gel caps for a minimum of 2 days
  • Use a pastry brush or compressed air to rid any rice remains

Tip: If it was the toilet and not a pool that your phone fell into, it’s OK to disinfect with a Q-tip or damp (not dripping) cloth with rubbing alcohol. In fact, I’d probably recommend it.

Julie Edelman aka The Accidental Housewife is the go to gal for easy; real life time, money, and energy saving tips that maintain our home, family and manicure. She appears regularly on the Today Show with Kathie Lee ‘n Hoda, Rachael Ray, and The Doctors.  She is a New York Times best-selling author and her next tome for the home:The Ultimate Accidental Housewife: Your Guide to a Clean Enough House is the sanity saving editor for Beautiful Design Made Simple Magazine; has a webisode series for Fox News Magazine, and hosts her site Julie’s Tips. Julie’s goal is to simplify all aspects of home-keeping as she empowers, educates and engages fellow housewives along with a smile and a daily sanity saving libation.

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