I have many interests and strengths. Laundry is not one of them.

Oh, I am perfectly capable and able to put the clothes in the washing machine. I look forward to the times of the year the weather is appropriate for hanging clothes (and especially the sheets – aaaaahhhhhh!). Stain treatment, however, was never covered in any curriculum that I ever took or taught.

If I am lucky, a product such as Shout, Zout or OxiClean is all I need. I am usually not lucky. Clothes very often come out of the washer with ghosts of past meals visible to the knowing eye. The sun’s bleaching abilities have save more clothes than I have.

A few weeks ago, I was horrified to discover that the cap of my ever present green felt-tip had tried to jump shift – well, pocket. I was wearing my relatively new white capri pants. They were new enough to not have become dingy gray. They were still WHite with, as you can see, a capital wh . The cap had been on its own long enough for the pocket to slurp a 2-finger diameter of kelly green into the pocket itself. Yeah! Not the pants, just the inside pocket.

Dingy grey was beginning to look good compared to a pastiche of green and white.

I googled “removing felt” which was enough for the search engine to interrupt with “tip pen stains”. Oh, ho! I was not the first to have this problem. The treatment required rubbing alcohol and paper towels. Wow! Items I had at home.

I followed the directions precisely. I placed the paper towels under the stain. I labored at keeping the unblemished pant away from the treatment. I was dismayed watching the flow of the rubbing alcohol spread the ink throughout the pocket and the paper towels too quickly reached saturation resulting in faint green on formerly pristine fabric around the pocket on the outside of the pants.

The last step of the treatment involved rinsing the pants. Again, I was meticulous about following directions – a first for me since reading directions is admitting defeat.

Defeat was admitted after 3 days of pouring, blotting and rinsing. I was willing to wear pale green around my pocket. Few would notice.

I washed the pants. I examined them before putting them in the dryer knowing that the heat would set the stain. There was no green around the pocket. There was no green in the pocket. Nothing. Nada. Zip. The pants were unblemished.

My first A+ in stain treatment. An astonishing development for someone used to a C.

So, Lady Macbeth, call me. I can help!

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