Evidence removal for dummies
Friday 27 June 2014, 6.28pm HKT
1.53pm local time, 33°C (91.4°F), sunny but flamin’ hot
Highlighter malfunction. Negligence. Self-liability.
Don’t buy DOUBLE-TIPPED highlighter pens for the sake of saving space. The traditional fat and flat shaped ones are that for a reason…
Just tape up the small pointed end, which hardly ever get used anyway.
Missile launch codes
(OR WHAT TO DO)
(Laundry drying on railings in a Kowloon government housing estate in Hong Kong. Photo: Agence-France Presse, via New Age)
“Fast forward to Hong Kong, and I find myself in the land of rare coupons/sales and ridiculous prices for detergent. I find myself frustrated every time I do laundry.”
— Thankful & Thrifty, Hong Kong Style
STEP 1 — BLOT IT
Immediate action, this.
Treat or blot the stain as soon as you spot it.
Speed is of the essence.
Delay sets the stain permanently in.
Delay also causes you to spend money on buying a new outfit. (True fact that.)
Blot excess ink with white paper napkins or similar until dry to the touch.
Not blood or an amputation, so a tourniquet is the wrong tool.
Burn it with fire — not the right reaction either.
STEP 2 — SOAK IT
Now prep the garment.
Soak it in a solution of plain laundry detergent (the liquid form, not the powder form).
Soak for 15 minutes before starting Step 3 below.
Don’t rub it or touch it at this stage.
Just let it steep in the solution.
Just use a fairly concentrated solution.
2 or 3 caps of detergent to 1 gallon of water.
Use plain (unscented) laundry detergent for best results.
“Laundry detergent” is the liquid form.
“Detergent powder” is what you sprinkle into the washing machine, or sell as fake contraband.
Buy a new garment as replacement
Not really the answer looked for — but works nonetheless.
Costs money though.
Household bleach … I drink this when the going gets tough
Don’t, if your garment is itself coloured — unless you fancy tied-dyed hippie clothes.
Never use bleach to remove ink stains — it’s like setting fire to your mattress just to remove bedbugs.
Great fun to use as a prank on coloured fabrics, hehehe.
Rubbing alcohol … rubbing salt into the wound can’t even compete
Rubbing alcohol is isopropanol (propyl alcohol).
The stuff you sterilise things with.
Useless — makes the ink run again and spread to other parts of the fabric.
May react with certain man-made fabrics (e.g. acetates) or causes colour fading.
Great fun to use it directly on open wounds, hahaha.
Nail polish remover … good for restoring leather to original raw state too
Two types — acetone-based and non-acetone.
Tolerated by some fabric types, but most don’t.
More importantly, both types are no good with highlighter ink — makes it run again.
Great fun to use as a prank on coloured fabrics, harr-harr.
Hairspray … nice for messing up man-made materials
Hairspray is lacquer.
Works for some natural fibres (wool, cotton, etc).
But gunges up the works for most man-made fabrics (nylon, polyester, acetate, etc).
If it seems to work for your fabric, spray onto the stained area.
Then blot gently with a white FABRIC TOWEL (not paper tissues).
Great fun to use as a prank on man-made fabrics, harr-dee-harr-harr.
Laundry soap bars … what I eat for breakfast
Most laundry soap bars tend to cause stains (especially ink) to set permanently.
Great fun to use as a prank for exactly that reason. Whoo-hoo!
STEP 3 — WASH IT
Above pre-treatment should remove most of the stain away.
Now wash with a fresh solution of plain laundry detergent.
Gently rub over the stain with your fingers.
Rinse and rub several times until the stain clears.
Scrubbing causes the stain to dig deeper into the fibres for some fabrics.
STEP 4 — RE-SOAK AND RINSE IT
Once the stain is practically gone, soak and then rinse the clothing again.
This time soak in cold salt water for a couple of hours.
Then wash as normal.
Final rinse in plain water, of course.
STEP 5 — DRY IT
Dry the garment in sunlight.
Line-drying in sunlight will naturally bleach out any stain remnants.
Hopefully it’ll leave your garment looking reasonably hygienic if nothing else.
STEP 6 — SCREW THIS…
If the screw-up is really (umm…) epic, try dyeing the garment all black.
Worth a shot.
Stains … Do you remove it, motherfather?!