From getting food on your tie at lunch to difficult stains such as blood, grass or ink, clothing disasters can happen at any time. The best defense is to be prepared.

You can minimize most stains by being equipped with an emergency pack made up of common items. And then understanding how to correctly treat the problem stain.

The following is a list of things to have on hand in an emergency to fight against stains.

Emergency Stain Fighting Pack:

• Solvent     • White Vinegar     • A White Cloth     • 90% Alcohol

• Bleach     • Washing Liquid     • Talc     • Hydrogen Peroxide

The following is a list of the more common stains that people encounter and how to treat them.

Common Stains & How To Treat Them:

Blood:  Rinse in cold water. Blood cannot be removed once a garment has been washed in warm water.

Tea:  Dab with white vinegar.

Coffee:  Apply pure glycerin, then rinse with warm water.

Mud:  Allow to dry, then brush. If traces remain, rinse in water mixed with a little vinegar (one spoonful per liter of water).

Perfume:  Perfume is very difficult to remove without leaving a ring.  Rub with hydrogen peroxide.  Note: this may cause colors to fade.  Carry out a test on a less visible part of the garment first.

Ink:  Soak the fabric in milk for several hours, and rinse in cold water.

Sauces:  Hot water or trichloroethylene can be used to dissolve grease.

Felt pen, ballpoint pen:  Place the garment on a clean white cloth. Dab the stain with another white cloth soaked in 90% alcohol or white vinegar.

Lipstick:  Apply ether or dilute hydrogen peroxide.

Grass:  Place the garment on a clean white cloth. Dab the stain with another white cloth soaked in 90% alcohol or white vinegar.

Chewing gum:  Rub with an ice cube to harden the chewing gum, which can then be removed by breaking it, without damage to the garment.

Candle wax:  Scrape off any solid wax. Place the stained area between two pieces of blotting paper and press down with a warm iron on the piece of blotting paper in contact with the wax. The wax will stick to the blotting paper.

Fruit:  Rinse whites in soapy water mixed with a small amount of bleach.  For wool and silk, apply lemon juice to the stain, and rinse well.

Beer:  For wool and silk, apply a mixture of warm water and 90% alcohol, then rub with a clean cloth.

Chocolate:  For cotton, dry-rub with soap, wash in cold water.  For synthetics, apply lemon juice.  For wool, apply benzine.  For silk, apply warm water.