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Stain-Removal Chart: Treating Oil Spots with Jonathan

Martha Stewart Living Television

Some of the most distressing stains are those caused by oil dripping off a salad green or spattering from a pan. According to stain-removal expert Jonathan Scheer, there are simple effective ways to get these blemishes out of fabrics.

For a fresh olive-oil stain, coat the stain with talc or baking soda, and allow to dry. Brush the powder off with a soft-bristled toothbrush, and rinse with water. Apply a cleanser such as Orvus, tamp it into the stain, and then rinse with tepid water. Apply alcohol, and rinse with vinegar and water. Apply laundry detergent, and let it soak for several minutes; then wash in warm water.

If the stain is old, begin by applying a dry solvent, like acetone, to the stained area. Work the solvent into the stain by tamping with either a brush or cheesecloth. Repeat as necessary. Flush with alcohol, and let dry. Once dry, follow the same procedure as for a fresh oil stain.

You can learn how to take care of virtually any stain and find out exactly which cleansers and tools you'll need to keep on hand by downloading our Stain Removal Basics Checklist.

Special Thanks
Jonathan Scheer, J. Scheer & Co.

We used Orvus paste, which is available at any tack shop or at The Betty Mills Company. We also used a tamping brush, which can be found at any conservation supply house or at The Clean Stop.

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