The removal of stains from white goods is comparatively easy. Fruit and wine stains are removed by stretching the fabric over a bowl and pouring boiling water through the stain, repeating until it disappears. Boiling milk is sometimes applied successfully to wine stains in the same way. A thick layer of salt rubbed into the stained portion and followed with the boiling-water treatment is also effective. Obstinate fruit stains yield to a thorough moistening with lemon, a good rubbing with salt (a combination which is to be found all prepared at the drug store under the name of Salts of Lemon), and the application of boiling water. When nothing else avails, immerse the stained portion in a weak solution of Javelle water - one half cup to one pail of boiling water - allow it to soak a few minutes, and then rinse thoroughly. Javelle water can be procured of the druggist, but is as well prepared at home by dissolving four pounds of ordinary washing soda in one gallon of water, boiling ten minutes, and then adding to it one pound of chloride of lime. It should be kept well corked, and resorted to in extreme cases alone, as it is violent in its action on the clothes. For this reason special care must be given to rinsing after its use.
Tea and coffee stains usually surrender to boiling water, but if they prove obdurate rub in a little powdered borax and pour on more boiling water. Chocolate stains can be removed in the same way. Sprinkling the stain with borax and soaking first in cold water facilitates the action of the boiling water.
Rub iron rust with lemon and salt, and lay in the sun, repeating until the spot disappears. This is usually all that is necessary, but if the stain is very stubborn, spread over a bowl containing one quart of water and one teaspoonful of borax. Apply hydrochloric acid, drop by drop, to the stain until it brightens, then dip at once into the water.
If an ink stain is fresh, soak in milk, renewing the milk when it becomes discolored. If very dry and well set use lemon and salt or the Javelle-water treatment.
Mildew, which results from allowing damp clothes to lie in the basket for a length of time, is obstinate and difficult to remove. Boil in salted buttermilk; or wet with lemon juice and stand in the sun. If these treatments are ineffectual, resort to diluted oxalic acid or Javelle water, a careful rinsing to follow the application. Grass stains may be treated in a like manner, or washed in alcohol. Ammonia and water, applied while the stain is fresh, will often remove it.
Peroxide of hydrogen applied to blood stains while they are still moist causes them to disappear at once. Soaking in cold water till the stains turn brown, then washing in warm water with soap is the usual treatment. If the stain is on thick goods, make a paste of raw starch and apply several times.
Pencil marks on linen should be rubbed off with an eraser, as hot water sets them.
Soap and water is the best agent for removing stains from colored goods, provided the color is fast. Moisten the article, soap the stain, and after a few minutes wash alternately with oil of turpentine and water. If not satisfactorily removed make a mixture of yolk of egg and oil of turpentine, spread on the stain, allow to dry, scrape off, and wash thoroughly in hot water. Tampering with stains on garments which are not warranted "fast color" is very risky, and often leaves the second state of the garments worse than the first.