Posts Tagged ‘laundry’

Removing the Ghosts of Holidays Past: Stains

November 6th, 2018 | By Claudia Moreno



It’s almost that time… Feasts with family and friends, sharing a glass of wine and lots of hugs (we hope)! We finally have an excuse to bust out the “good stuff” in preparation for the holidays – elegant table linens, fancy guest towels and special occasion outfits! But even the most refined gatherings are chock full of opportunities for spills. And if your family and friends are like mine, forget about it! Spills are inevitable – and holiday stains are the worst! Never fear, Moxie Girl is here with some great solutions for these common but tough-to-remove stains. 


Eat, Drink, Hug. (Repeat)


The “greatest hits” of holiday stains are usually due to one or more of these activities. Eating and drinking, of course, are the mainstays of any holiday get-together. It’s also “splurge season” so we’re likely to be diving into a lot of rich foods, full of greasy, saucy or buttery goodness. Then there’s the wine… Mmmmmmm….holidays and red wine – they just seem to go together.


I always hope there will be at least ONE person I want to hug anywhere I go. I also hope they’re wearing stay-put lip color. Unfortunately, we’ve all had the experience of a hug leaving a mark on our clothing. Heck, I’ve even dropped my own lipstick during application and had it skip down my entire outfit before it landed on a new turquoise blue bathroom rug. And it wasn’t even a holiday! 

Read on to get the heads up on how to save your good stuff from stains! Whether a holiday stain occurs on a garment, linens or even upholstery, keep this blog handy and you’ll know just what to do.


First, is it Dry Clean Only?


Because if it is, you should probably let a professional dry cleaner handle this problem. This goes for any item, garment or table/decorative linen. Now, since it’s a holiday, it may be a minute before you’re able to get to a drycleaner – so to keep the stain from getting any worse, scrape off any solids. No rubbing! Take the item to your dry cleaner as soon as you’re able, point out, and let the dry cleaner know what caused the stain.


If you use a home dry cleaning kit, apply the pre-treatment provided (according to product directions) before putting the item in the dryer bag. I’m so-so on the home kits, myself. In addition to a residual odd smell, I haven’t had a ton of success using them to try to remove stains.


Washable Garments and Linens


For oily stains such as from meat, gravy or butter, scrape any solid bits from the fabric. Do not rub during this step – rubbing will only push the stain further into the fibers of the fabric. Pre-treat the stain with your favorite laundry product, if you have one – or try a little Dawn dishwashing liquid. Gently scrub your choice of pre-treatment into the stain – an old toothbrush is great for this task! Let the pre-treatment sit for 15 minutes then wash in the hottest temperature safe for the item. Check the stain before drying to make sure it’s gone.


If necessary repeat the pre-treatment and wash again, BEFORE drying. Drying the stain will only “set” it, making it permanent!




Lipstick can sure be a tough one, with its oil/wax and pigment components. Lift or scrape (do not rub) any chunks of lipstick from the item. Chunks? Of lipstick? Mhmmm. This can definitely happen if you drop your tube of lipstick and it skips down your entire front side and hits your new turquoise blue bathroom rug…


Take care of the oil/wax component of the lipstick stain by pre-treating the same way you would for the oily-type stains mentioned above. After pre-treatment, it’s time to tackle what’s left of the pigment portion of the stain. Use an oxygen-based bleach, safe for most colors and fabrics, mixed with a gallon of cold water. Check directions on your bleach bottle, but usually, 1/4 cup of bleach to one gallon of water is about right. 


Submerge the stained item and soak. You can check the stain periodically, and keep soaking until the stain is gone and then wash as normal. Again, check that the stains are gone before drying. Repeat the pre-treatment and washing, if necessary.


Red, Red Wine


You’re singing that song now, I’ll bet – at least the chorus.

For FRESH red wine stains, removal is easy as long as the item is able to withstand boiling water. Do not use this method of wine stain removal on a ‘dry clean only’ item unless you are truly making a last ditch effort to save it. 


Locate the wine stain on the item and pull the stained area tautly over an appropriately-sized mixing bowl, or other fairly deep but also large-mouthed vessel. (I’ve done this for tiny stains using a large, plastic drinking tumbler.) The bowl should be big enough so that you have a few inches of unstained fabric around the edge of the stain but inside the diameter of the bowl. Use a large rubber band to secure the fabric over the bowl. Pour boiling water through the stained fabric into the bowl, taking care not to splash. Once you’ve flushed out the stain entirely, launder the item as you normally would.


Now, if you’ve got a wine stain that is not so fresh, it’s far tougher to remove but I’ve had luck with this technique. Mix small but equal amounts of hydrogen peroxide and Dawn dishwashing liquid – start with a half teaspoon of each. If you think your stain is going to be particularly tough to remove, mix two parts hydrogen peroxide to one part Dawn dishwashing liquid.


Lay the item on a flat surface and put an old towel under the area of the stain so as not to transfer it to another part of the garment or item. Rub the hydrogen peroxide and Dawn mixture into the fabric, gently, with your fingers. Start in the middle of the stained area to keep from making the stain bigger. Thoroughly saturate the stain with the solution and let the item sit for 30 minutes. Rinse with the hottest temperature water safe for the item. Hopefully, your old wine stain is gone, but if not repeat the process before drying!

Carpet and Upholstery Stains


If you have a stain on vintage or silk upholstery, stop right there and call a pro if you care about the piece! For other carpet and upholstery, as with garments and linens, scrape or lift solids from the stained area. Do not rub!


For these next steps, be careful to not over-wet your carpet or upholstery. Always do a “test” spot treatment in an inconspicuous area of the furniture or carpeting for color-fastness before treating the actual stain. If anything weird goes on in the test spot, stop and call a pro! If your test spot looks normal, proceed.


If you have a carpet cleaning product on hand, use a clean white cloth or a paper towel and treat the stain according to directions on the product packaging.


No carpet cleaning product on hand – or just hate chemicals? Try a tablespoon of Moxie Girl favorite, Dawn dishwashing liquid mixed with 2 cups of hot water. Add a tablespoon of ammonia and mix. Blot solution on carpet or upholstery with a clean sponge and then a dry towel. Repeat until the stain is gone. Using a fresh clean towel dampened with warm water, “rinse” the stained area to remove soapy residue which could attract more dirt later. Avoid the area and let it air dry completely. 




Moxie Girl hopes these tips help you stay stain-free through the holiday season and all year long. Check our blog frequently for more helpful tips and fun features on all sorts of Moxie topics!


How To Do Laundry

July 21st, 2017 | By Claudia Moreno

There are many people who’ve just started to live on their own who don’t know how to do laundry. When they lived at home, they would throw their dirty clothes in the hamper and later that day, all these clean clothes would appear in their closet courtesy of the parental units.

The good news is that doing a basic load of laundry isn’t that complicated. Here are some laundry tips:

• Check the Labels
Tons upon tons of clothes have been ruined because the owner didn’t read the labels. “Dry clean only,” means that the item needs to be taken to the dry cleaners. “Hand wash” means the item really does need to be washed by hand or the hand wash cycle if the machine has one. Other labels tell the owner whether the clothes need to be washed in cold water or whether they can be tumbled dry or dried flat. Pay attention to these labels.

• Separate the Clothes
Separate out dark or brightly colored clothing from whites. The dye may stain or dull the white clothing. If the clothing is red, it will definitely stain. To be on the safe side, items of red clothing should only be washed together.

• Remove Stains Before Putting Clothes the Wash
Remove stains before putting clothes in the wash. If a stain is still noticeable after washing, it should be removed before the item is dried. Drying sets stains, and ironing makes stains pretty permanent. Look online to find out how to get rid of certain types of stains from certain types of fabric.

• Take Clothes Out of the Dryer Right Away
Do not leave clothes in the dryer for a long period of time because they will wrinkle or suffer other types of damage. Take them out, fold them, and put them away.

Other laundry tips are to add a cup of vinegar to an empty washing machine, and let it run for a cycle, and remove mildew with a solution of one part bleach and two parts warm water. Vinegar reduces hard water that can leave clothes dingy or even yellow and diluted bleach kills mildew. Mildew is a problem in a laundry area that’s poorly ventilated or for a machine that uses cold water all of the time. Hot water kills mildew as well as dust mites, so bedclothes should ideally be washed in hot water.

These tips on how to do laundry should keep a person’s clothing sound and good-looking for years and avoid those avoidable catastrophes.

Getting Your Kids to Help With Chores

September 8th, 2015 | By Claudia Moreno

Getting Your Kids to Help With Chores

I will never forget when my friend Denise and her sparkly little 18 month old, Tiffany, came over one morning to visit. When coffee and conversation were over, Denise started to sing, “Now it’s time to clean up toys, clean up toys , clean up toys…” and little Tiffany, as if turned on by a switch, stood up and began to clean up the toys! One after the other she picked them up and dropped them in the basket. I was shocked. It had never occurred to me that a toddler would help with chores. That day this mom learned a lesson: kids will do what is expected if you follow through and make them do it!

There are 3 keys to getting your kids to do chores in your home:

Setting Expectations, Training, and Follow Through!

Setting Expectations

Maybe you’ve never made your kids do chores. Perhaps they do chores but it’s hit or miss. Start by telling the kids that you are going to implement a new chore system and everyone is going to participate, because this is how a family functions best.

Start with a family meeting. Determine daily personal tasks, which evScreen Shot 2015-09-08 at 5.35.41 PMeryone will do for himself, and household chores, which will be done weekly and split up according to age appropriateness. Determine penalties for missed or improperly completed items. Every person in the home who can walk and talk participates.
Yes, really.

Every child will have his personal chart. For little ones, paste pictures on a sheet of paper with a blank box beside each one for a sticker when the job is completed. For the older kids, use a simple spreadsheet. Personal chores should be completed by a certain time daily—say, before school, with only praise for a job well-done. Every child needs to be expected to learn self-care as it’s own reward.

Setting a weekly time for household chores, where everyone works together—say, for 1-2 hours on Saturday morning—is a great idea. Household chores should be part of “family life”, but may include an occasional movie night, or ice cream to celebrate a job well done.Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 5.23.41 PM

If you choose to give an allowance, make sure it is tied into proper and timely completion of tasks.


If required tasks are done haphazardly, or if Mom needs to follow with a “re-do” they are not really ‘done’, are they?

Proper training looks like: “I do, We do, You do”. First I rinse the dishes and load the dishwasher in the proper way while Suzy watches. Then we do the chore together; I rinse and she loads–so we can talk, correct anything done improperly, and make sure the desired result is achieved. Lastly, Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 5.23.26 PMSuzy rinses and loads by herself with Mom watching to insure the child has understood and is doing the chore correctly.
Proper training now is essential to sanity and proper completion later!

Follow Through

Once chores are assigned, and the children have been trained, it is time to implement the program by putting charts on the refrigerator and expecting follow through at the proper time. The first week is when a few reminders may be necessary and a few penalties incurred. Be an absolute stickler this first week, and after that, you’ll be amazed at how smoothly things begin to run!

Congratulations! Your chore plan is now underway! Here’s to a smoothly running household!