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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Peanut Butter Stains

Did you know that there is pretty much some sort of holiday every day?  While there are some terrific ones in November like Veteran’s Day and World Kindness Day, there are some crazy ones too.  For example in November alone there’s Deviled Egg Day, Chaos Never Dies Day, Have a Bad Day Day – just to name a few.  If that’s not enough, somewhere along the way someone decided to create month-long holidays too.  Again there are some terrific matters addressed in November like Child Safety Protection Month and National Adoption Awareness Month.

But let’s have a little fun with this now.  November is also Peanut Butter Lovers Month.  Everyone that knows me, knows that I’m a huge foodie – and one of my obsessions is peanut butter.  I seriously love the stuff.  I buy Matt and Gray plain old Jif (not that Jif is not great too), and then I buy myself the freshly ground stuff at Whole Foods.  But my obsession doesn’t stop there.  I also have gourmet peanut butters like Honey Pretzel, Cinnamon Raisin, and White Chocolate Raspberry stashed away.

What’s the one thing all these flavors have in common?  Peanut butter is an oil-based stain so it’s not the color that’s hard to remove, it’s the greasy film that’s the challenge.  Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are a staple in most homes with children, so what should you do if your youngster gets peanut butter all over a favorite garment?  Your best bet is to leave it alone and bring it to us as soon as possible.  Why do I keep telling you to bring oil-based stains to us?  Multi-purpose grocery store pre-treaters (which is what we normal folks have access to) are great at handling water-based stains, but they cannot break down oil-based stains.  Why as soon as possible?  If a greasy stain is left to oxidize, it will get darker and more difficult to remove.  And why should you leave it alone?  Using a wet cloth to wipe up oily peanut butter will cause the stain to both be forced into the fibers and to spread.

Many of us (myself included) like to attempt these things on our own so if you’d like to give it a shot, here’s what we would suggest:
  • Carefully scrape off the excess with a dull knife, using care not to rub or dig into the fabric
  • Sprinkle (don’t rub) the area with cornstarch and let it set for several hours
  • Brush away the cornstarch and if a slight stain still remains, then treat the area with Fels Naptha – a bar laundry soap used for pre-treating stains
  • Launder per the garment label directions
If the stain remains after laundering, do not place the garment in the dryer.  The heat from the dryer will set the stain.  You could repeat the process, but at some point you need to say uncle before you pull the color from the garment.  If you are unsuccessful in your attempts and need some help, bring it by one of our locations so that our trained staff can take it from there.  And when you do, be sure to point out the stain and mention what products you used to try to remove it.

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