Thursday, August 22, 2013

Cheap Trick: Cold Water for Stains

I've been told I spill a lot of drinks. I guess there's a possibility this is true -- particularly at work. I don't think of myself as clumsy, but maybe that is only because it seems normal to me. I keep my desk neat and organized, but somehow my coffee cup always seems to be in the way. I happen to use a keyboard that can be rinsed off, so these coffee spills certainly could be worse, but coffee really does get everywhere when spilled on a desk.

The other day -- not at work -- I was drinking an over-sized cup of coffee while wearing a light colored dress. As I tried to remove the coffee lid, the cup spun a bit, slipped out of my hand, and splashed everywhere! Really, everywhere. It sprayed out about six feet in front of me, all over my lap, all over the chair I was in, and even got on the person next to me. It was a very bad spill. Thankfully, the coffee had already cooled down, so I wasn't burned, but it really was a huge mess.

Leaving the mess behind for a moment, I rushed into the bathroom and let cold water from the sink pour over my dress everywhere the coffee had spilled. Rinsing the entire area took a little time, but using only cold water, the coffee eventually rinsed out of my dress, and left no trace behind.

There are some really great products available for stain removal, but sometimes just cold water is enough if it is caught right away before the stain has a chance to take hold. I've successfully used cold running water to remove both coffee and blood from light colored and white clothing many times, and have heard tales of spaghetti sauce rinsing out as well -- three stains which are all very difficult to remove. The trick is just getting to the cold water quickly, and allowing the pressure of the water coming out of the faucet to remove the stain. If time passes, it is far less likely cold water will be enough.

I was wearing a slip, so being stuck in a soaking wet dress for a little while until the summer heat dried the water was actually a little refreshing. And, after it dried, there was no coffee residue left over, as one can see in the picture. Considering how much worse it could have been, I was lucky that it all came out so easily, that I wasn't burned, and that I had a slip which kept me from further embarrassment.

However, maybe I do need to start being more careful with those cups of coffee, after all.

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"There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- God damn it, you've got to be kind."
-Kurt Vonnegut