by Lisa Grimaldi | February 01, 2005

Don’t let a dribble of dressing or a splash of Shiraz ruin a favorite shirt. These tips from www.ehow.com will save washable garments from permanent damage. The trick is to act fast.

Grease busters. For butter, olive oil or salad-dressing mishaps, first gingerly scrape the site with a butter knife, then blot with dry paper towels. Put a drop of dishwashing liquid on the underside of the stain; wait for at least one minute, and add another drop. Then quickly wash the garment in water as warm as the fabric can take.

Red, red wine. For wine or grape juice stains, rinse or blot with cold water. Next, sprinkle the stain with salt, which will absorb the excess liquid, and then soak in cold water. Finally, machine wash the garment in warm water, using color-safe bleach.

Tomato capers. Banish  sauce and ketchup stains by first rinsing with cold water. Follow with a splash of club soda to counteract the tomato’s acidity and loosen the stain. Finally, machine wash the garment in warm water, using color-safe bleach.