We've lost count of the shirts that we've lost to blood stains and pen ink, neckties to spaghetti sauce, and pants to bike-chain grease. And that's just in the past year (what can we say – we play rough). We've tried the usual stain sticks with middling results and aren't keen on the toxic witch's brew of chemicals that dry cleaners employ. So we rang up Mona Weiss, cofounder of the L.A.-based Eco Nuts, a purveyor of certified-organic cleaning products.
Weiss walked us through the best ways to naturally treat clothing and fabric when mishaps happen. We were surprised both at how simple these techniques are and how most of them simply rely on common household products. Keep in mind this one piece of advice, though: After your stained clothes have been treated and run through the wash, they should under no circumstance be put into the dryer, which will permanently set any stain, Weiss says. Instead, hang dry the garment until you can confirm the stain is completely gone. If it persists, re-treat it and do another round of washing. If that doesn't work, your options are going to a pro dry cleaner (preferably an organic one) or taking a trip to the mall for a replacement.
Stains on silk ties
This is one laundry emergency where DIY may mean DOA. "I just would not mess with silk," Weiss says. "A lot of times, depending on how nice the tie is, there's a good possibility that it just can't be saved." That's not a condemnation of your skills so much as a limitation of silk itself. "If you do send a silk tie to a dry cleaner, it's not going to come back exactly the same – usually it will be really dull, even if ultimately you save the tie." Preventative measures are your best bet: Next time you sit down to a spaghetti dinner, tuck your tie into your shirt or throw it over a shoulder.
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