Heloise: Get makeup off towels

January 14, 2010 

STAINED TOWEL

How do I get makeup and mascara out of white towels? - Lindsey Thompson, Texas State University

First, the three basic rules about stain removal: Get to the stain soon, work on the stain slowly and be prepared to repeat the steps several times.

If the makeup or mascara is water-based, dampen the area with water and rub with a white bar of soap. Follow by rinsing and laundering as usual, then air-dry.

If the makeup is oil-based, long-wearing or waterproof, dampen the spot with water, apply a prewash spray, then wash in the hottest water safe for the fabric.

For mascara, use prewash spray and apply to the back of the stain, wait a few minutes, rub together and then wash.

CLEANING THE CURTAIN

I need your recipe for washing a clear-vinyl shower curtain. -Penny Brittle, The Plains, Va.

Cleaning a clear-vinyl or plastic shower curtain is easy. Just pop it in the washer, using hot water and the correct amounts of detergent and chlorine bleach. But here's the important part: Add to the load several white terry bath towels, to provide some scrubbing action. You can dry the curtain in the dryer for a few minutes or just re-hang it to dry. - Heloise

HANDY HANGER

My husband crimped the straight bar of a metal clothes hanger into a wavy line. When I wash my pantyhose, I hang them on it. They don't slip off. - Peggy H., San Antonio

GREEN HINT

Every year, we buy calendars with beautiful, glossy pictures, but what do we do with them when they are outdated? I hate to throw them away. While arranging things in my new apartment, I realized I had no paper to line drawers. Those calendars happened to be sitting in view when it hit me - use the colorful pages for a lining! With a little taping and creativity, my drawers looked better than ever. This is much cheaper than shelf liner and definitely prettier. - Traci, via e-mail

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