Imagine you’re on a date – all dressed up in your high-quality clothing, wearing subtle accessories that make you stand out to make an impression. You’re having coffee – and out of nowhere, a klutz moment and BAM! You find yourself with a coffee stain on that dazzling outfit you put together especially for this woman.
This past week, something similar happened to me – and needless to say, the date ended prematurely. However, all was not lost, as I did manage to remove the stain from my cotton dress shirt. Hence, this week’s article is on common stains you may end up with on a date and how to remove them without jeopardizing your date.
First Date Stain Removal – Coffee
When you’re out on a first date, you probably want to get to know the person first, and coffee dates are perfect for that. Unfortunately, spilling coffee on yourself, or not noticing those drops of coffee sliding down the side of the cup onto your cotton dress shirt while you are consuming it, are not part of the plan. When it does happen, however, be sure to act immediately on it. For small drops that are not very conspicuous, ask the place for baking soda and using a wet napkin with baking soda, dab the stain. This will prevent it from setting and you can carry on with your date.
Coffee (and tea) stains, once they set, are difficult to remove. So what can you do for larger coffee stains? First, excuse yourself – you’ll need to use the restroom.
- Grab paper towels and dab and press the coffee stain immediately. Do NOT rub ANY stains as it causes them to spread (more harm than good).
- Ask the coffee place for white vinegar and/or baking soda and/or dishwashing liquid (although check to see that this does not stain your shirt further)
- In the restroom, flush the coffee stain from the BACK with cold water. Doing so from the front would spread it. Be careful to wet as small an area as necessary. I advice using a cup rather than running water.
- Mix the white vinegar (1 part vinegar/2 parts water) or the dishwashing liquid with water and apply it to both sides of the stain. Leave it for about 5 minutes. If you have plenty of vinegar, you may choose to flush it with vinegar instead.
- Rinse it from both sides with cold water. This should, hopefully, have made the coffee stain a lot less visible.
- Dab baking soda with a wet napkin to prevent the stain from setting and get the dress shirt laundered as soon as possible.
Second Date Stain Removal – Red Wine
If coffee went well and without mishaps, you would probably move on to dinner for your second date, and of course, nothing sets the mood like a a great meal and sharing a good quality bottle of red wine. However, there’s always the outside chance that some of the red wine your poured yourself might end up where it shouldn’t – on your favorite cotton dress shirt. Don’t panic though, you can do the following:
- Order some cheap white wine, club soda, and white vinegar. Yes really! You’re going to have a party in the restroom with your red wine stain.
- Flush the stain with white wine, using paper towels to dab and press in between the pouring. This should help neutralize the red wine color.
- Then, flush with club soda (used because it is carbonated and without color).
- Finally, flush the red wine stain with the white vinegar.
- You may have to repeat the process until the red color is barely discernible.
- When you get home, be sure to soak the shirt in soapy water and wash it.
Check out this FoodNetwork article on removing common food and drink stains that may arise from a dinner date.
Third Date Stain Removal – Lipstick
Whoa there tiger! You made it all the way to the third date and at this stage in your budding relationship, you’re ready for that goodnight kiss at the end of your date. You start leaning in but by some slap of fate, she turns at the last moment and leaves you with a lipstick stain on your collar instead of a warm afterglow that follows a kiss. What was that all about?!
I have personally never encountered a lipstick stain to date (no pun intended), but in case you do, here’s what you can do for this grease-based stain:
- Dab the lipstick stain with a wet napkin. Most times, this suffices until you get home.
- Or dab the lipstick stain with a napkin moistened with alcohol if you have that handy. That should remove the stain comfortably.
- Being grease-based, lipstick stains can also be suitably removed with dishwashing liquid.
- Dab the dish-washing liquid on the stain, leave it for 10 minutes and then work the stain from the outside in.
Please note that the before/after photo for lipstick stain removal was photoshopped and isn’t a true representation of a removed stain.
While my fingers are crossed that a stain calamity does not befall you on a date – if it does, you are now prepared for it. So for all the dating men out there, go forth without worries! And if you have a better way of removing these stains – or know other stains encountered on dates – do share with us via email or through the comments!