As garments and household linens are apt to become stained and thus lose their attractiveness, it is well to know the remedies for the most common stains and the principle upon which their removal depends. All stains should be removed as soon as possible. Boiling water will loosen and remove coffee, tea, and fresh fruit stains. The stained spot should be held over a bowl, and the water should be poured upon it with some force. Cold water will remove stains made by blood or meat juice. Soaking will help in the removal of blood stains. Rust stains may be removed by wetting the stained spot with lemon juice, covering it with salt, and placing the stained fabric in the sun. Stains from stove blacking, paint, and grass may be removed by soaking in kerosene and washing well with soap and water. Ink stains may be removed by soaking in water, removing as much of the stain as possible, and then soaking in milk. Stains from cream and other forms of grease may be washed out in cold water, followed by warm water and soap.
White cotton and white linen materials may be bleached by exposure to the sunshine while still damp. If they are left out overnight, the bleaching process is made effective by the moisture furnished by dew or frost. A stream of steam from the tea-kettle may also help in the bleaching process.
Some colours are set by the addition of a small amount of acid to the first water in which they are soaked, while others are set by the use of salt. It is necessary to try a small amount of the material before dipping in the entire garment, in order to be sure of satisfactory results. Vinegar should be used for blues, one-half cup to one gallon of water. Salt is most effective for browns, blacks, and pinks. In most cases, two cups of salt to one gallon of cold water will be sufficient.