Fresh ink and the soluble salts of iron produce stains which, if allowed to dry, and especially if afterwards the material has been washed, are difficult to extract without injury to the ground. When fresh, such stains yield rapidly to a treatment with moistened cream of tartar, aided by a little friction, if the material or color is delicate. If the ground be white, oxalic acid, employed in the form of a concentrated aqueous solution, will effectually remove fresh iron stains.
A concentrated solution of pyrophosphate of soda removes many kinds of ink from delicate fabrics without altering the coloring matters printed upon the tissues, or in any way injuring them.
Make a very weak solution of chloride of lime in water (about a heaped-up teaspoonfui to a quart of water); strain it carefully, and dip the spot on the garment into it; and if the mildew does not disappear immediately, lay it in the sun for a few minutes, or dip it again into the solution. The work is effectually and speedily done, and the chloride of lime neither rots the cloth nor removes delicate colors, when sufficiently diluted, and th.3 articles well rinsed afterward in clear water.
Another method is to wet the spot in lemon juice, then spread over it soft soap and chalk mixed together, and spread where the hottest rays of the sun will beat upon it for half an hour; if not entirely removed repeat the same. Or wet in clear lemon juice and lay in the sun; or soak for an hour or two, and then spread in the sun.
Nitrate of silver, it will be remembered, is the base of most of the so-called indelible inks used for marking linen in almost every household. Stains or marks of any kind made with silver solution or the bath solution of photographers may be promptly removed from clothing by simply wetting the stain or mark with a solution of bichloride of mercury. The chemical result is the change of the black-looking nitrate of silver into chloride of silver, which is white or invisible on the cloth. Bichloride of mercury can be had at the drug stores. It is slightly soluble in water, is a rank poison, and we would not advise anybody to keep it about one's house.
The immediate and repeated application of a very weak solution of cyanide of potassium (accompanied by thorough rinsings in clean water), will generally remove these stains without injury to the colors.
Stains of oil-paint maybe removed with bisulphide of carbon; many by means of spirits of turpentine; if dry and old, with chloroform. For these last, as well as for tar-spots, the best way is to cover them with olive oil or butter. When the paint is softened, the whole may be removed by treatment, first, with spirits of turpentine, then with benzine.
Tar and pitch produce stains easily removed by successive applications of spirits of turpentine, coal-tar naphtha, and benzine. If they are very old and hard, it is well to soften them by lightly rubbing with a pledget of wool dipped in good olive oil. The softened mass will then easily yield to the action of the other solvents. Resins, varnishes and sealing wax may be removed by warming and applying strong alcohol. Care must always be taken that, in rubbing the material to remove the stains, the friction shall be applied the way of the stuff, and not indifferently backwards and forwards.