No matter your age, it’s a universal truth that when you order pasta, some of it will inevitably make it onto your outfit. (That’s doubly true if said outfit is fancy or expensive.) Sure, you can run to the dry-cleaner three times a week—or you can learn how to remove oil stains from your clothes yourself without the harsh chemicals or an insane bill.
The first rule of thumb is to do the exact opposite of what you’d think: Don’t hit it with liquid. Not even soda water can help with an oil stain—and you definitely don’t want to go the Shout or Tide To Go route, lest you want a larger and more unsightly ring of oil to set in on your dress. (Plus, chemicals!) Instead, you need some corn starch.
If you’ve ever been out to dinner in Milan—or any other Italian restaurant that prides itself on feeling like the city of style—you’ll likely have noticed the little pots of corn starch on the tables. Turns out that they’re not for decoration. Instead, they were meant for businessmen who accidentally splashed oil on their suits during lunch. They’d dab a bit of the corn starch onto their lapels, cuffs, or wherever the spot was, let it soak in for a few minutes, then brush it off before they return to work. If you don’t have a pot of cornstarch lying around, unscented baby powder will work in a pinch.
When you get home, give it a few spritzes of Garment Groom, a natural stain remover, fabric freshener, and laundry pre-treat. It works wonders on any washable items—and can refresh anything that doesn’t need a professional cleaning just yet. Follow with this delicate-safe Laundry Soap, perfect for fabrics like silk, linen, wool and most synthetics.
While you’re at it, frame this (free!) universal cleaning guide and hang it in your laundry room. If you like to eat as much as we do, you’ll need it.
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