Ask a Clean Person: Jeans — Can’t Live With ’Em, Can’t Kill ‘Em

I’m in a new place where I’ve got carpet. Beige carpet. And in less than a month, I’ve promptly gone and messed it up! I wore some dark denim jeans while making out feverishly on said carpet, which was not my brightest move. There is now a very faint blue hue to the spot where I was sitting. On top of that, I spilled a cup of rooibos tea yesterday. I thought I got it all up, but this morning I was greeted by a lovely brown stain. I’ve got no idea what to do!

Makin’ out on the carpet like a bunch of teenagers, I absolutely love it. We should all do things like that more often. But maybe with less writhing around on light-colored surfaces in our jeans that stain things?

First things first for our fine carpet-having friends: if you live in a home with carpeting, it’s a good idea to have a product like Resolve or its ilk on hand, because you will inevitably make messes, and then, equally as inevitably, you’ll email me all a’fuss and I’ll be like, “WELL WHAT DO YOU EXPECT, ROLLING AROUND ON THE FLOOR LIKE A COMMON HUSSY??”

(I mean, obviously keep rolling around on the floor like a common hussy. We here at The Hairpin are very pro-common hussy.)

So with Resolve or a Resolve-type product, spray the stain and then let the product do its work (check the manufacturer’s instructions for timing — generally about 5–10 minutes will do it) before rubbing gently, so as not to grind the stain into the carpet, with a damp cloth or sponge. You may have to rinse and wring the rag a few times, depending on how bad the stain is. Our old standby OxiClean will also do the trick nicely, on both the dye and the tea stains; you know the drill by now — make a paste of it, apply to the stain, let it sit for 15 or so minutes, then wipe up with a damp cloth, followed by blotting with a dry cloth. And as long as I’m trotting out tired old Clean Person tropes, a 1:1 vinegar/water solution also works on tea stains! I know, what can’t it do??

Okay but how about we talk about keeping your jeans from staining things in the first place? Yes? Alrighty then…

Whenever I wear my favorite pair of dark jeans, the color ends up bleeding onto whatever light-colored things I happen to be wearing — underwear, socks, they even turn my fingers kind of blue. I’ve had these jeans for months, and washed them many times (in cold water, as the label says), and it still happens. Is there anything special I can wash them in to make them stop transferring color onto everything, without fading them?

There sure is, and I bet you all know what it is! Yup, vinegar. One cup of white vinegar into a cold water wash cycle will set that dye right up. But it must, must, must be cold water, okay? Okay! You can also soak the jeans in vinegar solution prior to laundering if you’d prefer to go that route. Either way.

Right, then, where are the vinegar deniers in the crowd? Ah, there you are! Don’t worry, I’ve got a something for you too. (Do you see how I listen to you and live to indulge your every whim?!) There’s a product called Retayne Color Fixative, which you’ll use just the same way you’d use the vinegar, either in the washing machine or as a soak for hand washing.

I recently was doing a craft project and ended up with Super Glue spots on my jeans. I have tried Goo Gone, nail polish remover, Mom’s Goop and none seem to get the Super Glue out of the jeans. Are they ruined now? Do you have any solutions to how it may be removed?

When Crafts Attack would be a great idea for an HGTV show. It could air right after Dina’s Party! (Do you all love Dina Manzo in the way that I love Dina Manzo? [Ed. — Yes.] Like, in the “I want to skin her and wear her like last year’s Versace” way? ❤ u Dina-ie!)

I have a few thoughts here, the first being that the nail polish remover you were using may have been the non-acetone variety, and that’s why it didn’t work. Acetone is what dissolves things like Super Glue, so before trying nail polish remover you need to first check to make sure you’ve got the hard stuff. With that said, the fine folks at Super Glue do recommend nail polish remover as a solution, but they also note that it might not be able to get all the glue up.

If acetone doesn’t do the trick, there’s another product called Super Solvent that will almost assuredly get that glue up off your jeans. You can also try using a razor blaze to scrape the glue off, but only if you promise me you’ll be very, very, very careful. I would be upset to think of you living out the rest of your life with nine fingers and a ruined pair of dungarees.

Previously: The Stanky, Manky, Ganky Triplets.

Jolie Kerr is not paid to endorse any of the products mentioned in this column, but she sure would be very happy to accept any free samples the manufacturers care to send her way! Are you curious to know if she’s answered a question you have? Do check out the archives, listed by topic. More importantly: is anything you own dirty?