Stain Patrol: Simple Tips for Stain Removal

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Don't let a spilled glass of wine ruin your nice linens. Pour boiling water over the stain until it comes clean.

Try these folk recipes for removing the most stubborn stains from tablecloths.

Coffee, tea and wine stains
Erase coffee, tea and wine stains by putting the stained tablecloth over the sink and pouring boiling water over the stain until it disappears.

To remove grease, make a paste of granulated sugar and water. Rub it into the stain and let it set before washing. Dry in the sun.

Scorch marks
Scorch marks, if not too brown, will disappear if dipped in borax and water, then dried in the sun.

Spilled wax
To clean up spilled wax, first harden using ice cubes. Scrape off excess with a dull table knife. For washable fabric, stretch over a bowl and pour boiling water through the stain. For nonwashables, place between several layers of clean white cotton or muslin fabric and press with a warm iron.

Excerpted with permission from The Clothesline by Irene Rawlings and Andrea Vansteenhouse.