Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Rubbing alcohol

Part of the joy of having children (or a messy husband for that matter), is that over the years I have gotten pretty darn good at stain removal. I have what essentially amounts to an arsenal of stain removers, most of which aren't marketed as such. Things you have around the house already most likely. Things you probably never thought of using as stain removers. Things that work way better than the stuff they advertise on tv.

One of my personal favorites is rubbing alcohol. Maybe that's because my husband left a ballpoint pen in his shirt a few weeks back and tossed it into the laundry. Yes, I probably should check the pockets before anything goes in a machine. But seriously, do you know how many pockets a family of 6 has?!?! Obviously I didn't check the pocket that contained the pen and in it went. It made it through the washer undetected and into the dryer. That's where many things do their best work. Crayons, ink, gum. They love a nice warm spinning environment.

Fortunately we had a controlled ink incident. Somehow, and I'm not sure quite how, the pen didn't explode completely. The damage could have been a lot worse than it was. Still, having said that, it took a few of the BIG bottles of rubbing alcohol to undo the damage.

If you have a ball point pen explode in your dryer (or write unintentionally on any article of clothing for that matter), use rubbing alcohol. Pour it straight on the item, let it sit for a minute of two, then gently rub and rinse with cold water. Repeat until ink stain magically disappears. Really, it is magic. Rewash clothing before putting anything with rubbing alcohol on it in the dryer.

If you find yourself with a dryer full of ink spots, you can clean the inside of the dryer with the rubbing alcohol too. Do not pour the alcohol in there though! Put some on a cloth and rub the spots until the ink comes off. Use only as much as you need and rinse the areas cleaned well after you remove the ink. Rubbing alcohol is flammable!

It works on permanent ink too. And just for the record, kids and Sharpies don't mix well. ;)

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