I have spent a lot of time throughout my life reading and talking to friends and family about random tips and tricks for things like gardening, cleaning, & minor repairs. I have built (and continue to build) a wealth of random information. I have spent so much time in fact, that I now get phone calls from friends (even those I haven't spoken to in weeks!) asking me about how to fix one thing or do another. When they stump me, I will readily admit it and then run to research for myself. I have even had complete strangers come up to me in stores and ask for my thoughts. Having an answer they like makes me happy. I guess that's why I do it.
This leads me to my new Random Tips and Tricks posts where I will share (in no particular order and with no clear plan!) some of the helpful bits and pieces of information that I have acquired along the way to hopefully help you have that "Ahh, so that's how to do it!" moment that makes me grin. I will say that I will try to avoid posting anything that I have not personally done/used so that I can give you an honestly helpful tip and avoid just re-printing some list I found in a book or website. All of the traditional “do it at your own risk” warnings will apply but I will try to provide any specific cautions I have found necessary, and, when pertinent, also provide a summary of any related expenses which, for me, can generally be summed up as cheaper=better.
So, without further adieu...
Random Tips and Tricks #1 - Who drew on my shirt?
You don't pay attention to where your wrists are when you're typing and look down to find an ink spot growing on your sleeve. I have worked in an office environment for a few years and this is the most common thing that catches my eye during meetings. Even the CEO has fallen victim to this sneaky writing implement. Don't stress, the fix is so simple and only takes a few minutes. When you purchase materials like these from the dollar store, your expenses are minimal, if you don’t already have the items on hand. We'll call this a $3 garment fix!
1) Hair Spray or Rubbing (Isopropyl) Alcohol (make sure there isn't any glitter or coloring in the formula)
2) Bar soap (something like Ivory works great, no dyes or inclusions)
3) Clean Soft-bristled toothbrush
Saturate the ink spot and the toothbrush with the hairspray/alcohol. Scrub the surface of the bar soap with the hairspray/alcohol-wet toothbrush to generate a little bit of lather. Gently brush the ink stain with the toothbrush. Add more hairspray or bar soap if necessary. Once you are satisfied with the removal, send your garment through the wash on a cool cycle. Avoid hot water which has a tendency to set stains making them harder to remove later.
Why does it work? The hairspray/alcohol acts as a solvent. It breaks up the ink. The soap helps to lower the surface tension of the liquid and, I personally believe, it helps to keep the ink from re-binding to the fabric. Please note that, as with all forms of spot removal, it is best to test the fabric in a hidden spot so that your fix doesn't end up doing more harm than good.