The Best Way to Deal with Food Stains
Jennifer Lawrence - otherwise known as everyone's favorite unfiltered actress - is once again proving to the world just how normal she is. And this time the proof is in her snack-cidents.
American Hustle costume designer Michael Wilkinson shed some light on J-Law's in-costume antics during an awards-season discussion last week, according to Vanity Fair. Wilkinson said he and his team whipped up four versions of J-Law's curve-hugging white metallic dress because she was initially going to spill champagne onto herself during the scene in which she wears the slinky number. "And I'm kind of glad we did," Wilkinson said during the discussion, "because Jennifer Lawrence is a very...let's say...raw and intuitive young lady, and she's not against eating Doritos and snack food in her costume. So we were glad that we had a couple [backups]."
While pretty much everyone can relate to getting a food stain when you're wearing something white, most of us don't have three backup dresses waiting nearby. So what should you do if your lovely meal is interrupted by a nasty spot?
First off, take a deep breath, says Jonathan Scheer, president of J. Scheer & Co., a firm specializing in the cleaning and restoration of couture. That'll keep you from taking any rash steps in the immediate aftermath. For example, a lot of servers might rush to your side with seltzer water to rub on the spot, but that shouldn't be your plan of attack, he says.
Instead, ask yourself an important question: What kind of stain is this? Is it liquid-based, such as one from your martini, or oil-based, such as one from your salad's vinaigrette or a cream sauce? (If you're confused, it's probably oil-based - the staining agent would have to be just liquid for it to be liquid-based.)
Water-Based Food Stains
Take a clean, dry napkin and blot (don't rub!) the area. If this is an item that needs to be dry cleaned, then stop once the spot is fairly dry; you've done all you can for now because you don't want to add any more moisture to it. "Get it to your dry cleaner as soon as possible after wearing," says Scheer.
If it's a piece of clothing you're able to toss in the washing machine, ask your server for some dishwashing liquid dissolved in warm water, says Scheer. You can apply a bit of that to the stain (but again, no rubbing!). You could also pretreat the spot with a store-bought stain remover wipe if you have one in your purse, he says. Then wash the item ASAP.
Oil-Based Food Stains
Unfortunately, these suckers are more of an issue. The key is to act now, before the stain strikes: Fill a small tin (an empty lip balm tin, for example) with absorbent powder, says Scheer. Baby powder or cornstarch or even a mix of the two works.
If/when you do get an oily stain on light-colored clothes, the first thing you should do is "take a very dull-edged knife, like a butter knife, and carefully scrape off the stain matter that resides above the weave of the garment as much as you can, delicately," says Scheer. (Emphasis on delicately, especially if the material is also delicate.)
If this is a washable item, go ahead and ask the server for a mix of dish liquid and warm water, just like with water-based stains, apply a little bit, and get it in the laundry as soon as you can.
But if it's dry clean-only, now is when you apply your secret-weapon powder. The powder will serve as a masking agent, says Scheer. "But more importantly, the powder will absorb those oily molecules and move that oil away from the surface of the fabric." The powder might get a little tacky. If it does, "scrape that as well - very carefully and with the dull-edged butter knife - and then reapply the powder." Do that as many times as you need to until the powder could just be brushed away because it's dry and not tacky. Then take the clothing to the dry cleaner the first chance you get. "Your dry cleaner will love you," says Scheer.