Cloth Care – Removing scorch marks

Recipe For Success On Cotton Fabric:

– Scorched item

– Hydrogen Peroxide

– Piece of old cloth big enough to cover the scorched area (I used thin cotton flannel, the same thing used for a typical pressing cloth)

– Iron on medium heat

– Ironing board

Dampen the piece of old cloth with the hydrogen peroxide, but do not soak it.  Lay the dampened cloth over the scorched area and press with medium heated iron.  Do this slowly while keeping the iron moving, as not to scorch again!  Repeat until the scorch mark is completely lifted.  Whoola!

The Experience:

You learn something new everyday, right?  Well, this was not one of those tasks I ever expected to have to learn.  Being ever so careful when I iron, which is a weekly event, scorching is something I have never experienced.  Until last week.

Let’s back up a minute first, though.  I want to tell you about my iron issues, well actually the issues involve more than irons.  The issues run deeper than that and are all-inclusive when it comes to small household appliances.  Not sure why, but for some reason small appliances seem to catch the plague when they enter our home and their life expectancy decreases by about 75%.  We have been through countless coffee makers, much to the chagrin of family and friends, since afore-mentioned pots always seem to die the first morning of an overnight stay.  Then there are the curling irons, hair dryers, phones, microwaves, oh and don’t even get me started on the shredders.  We are on number 6 right now, I think (I lost count a while back).  Sometimes I like to chalk it all up to the fact that they “just don’t make things like they used too”, but when I look at our track record I blush and just swallow back that lump of embarrassment at the back of my throat.  Other times I make up my mind that we must live on top of some kind of magnetic field that is destroying everything with a plug or battery at a much more rapid than normal pace.  Then I remember that this has been going on during our time in several rentals and two homes, so clearly WE are the magnetic field of doom.  All this to say, the latest iron seems to run a little bit hot.  Well, not just a little bit, let’s rephrase that and say, no pun intended, SCORCHING HOT!

Shortly after I finished ironing all the trousers I started on my Hub’s shirts.  When the wrinkles would not disappear as per usual, I cranked the heat up a notch or two…or maybe it was three.  All I know is that the next swipe of the iron across shirt back left a nice beige mark and toasty smell.  I had finally done it!  I had scorched something.  OH NO!  WHAT!?!  I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT TO DO!!!

(The Evil Doer, Sunbeam’s Steam Master.)

Enter the man behind the curtain, Google.  I don’t know about you guys, but he pretty much always comes up with a reasonable answer to my queries.  With scorched shirt already whirling around in the washer, after applying a thick coating of Shout, I let my fingers do the walking.  Soon after hitting enter I learned that I could have tried dousing the item in cold water and even letting it soak overnight.  I also learned that using a cloth soaked in white vinegar to wipe the area, alternating with a water-soaked cloth, could also make the burn marks go away.  I patiently waited for the shirt to finish a quick wash cycle in hopes that catching it quickly had kept it from setting.  No luck.

After a night hanging to dry, I attempted the vinegar method.  It did seem to fade the marks a little bit, but not as much as I had hoped.  Plus, I am lazy and wanted immediate gratification.  Although I was concerned that the color may come out of my husband’s shirt with the last resort method I decided all was lost any way and I might as well give it a try.  I pulled out the hydrogen peroxide and followed instructions for the last method I had read about on Sir Google.  The process involved dampening a piece of old fabric (I used a piece of thin, soft flannel) with the peroxide, laying the fabric across the scorched area, and then rubbing a heated iron across the damp cloth.  I gave it a shot.  Praying ensued, fingers were uncomfortably crossed while trying to manuever the iron and the fear of total color loss hung thick in the air.  After several swipes of the iron I let out my tightly held breath before lifting off the flannel pressing cloth.  IT HAD WORKED!!!!  I could not believe it!  I had managed to save the shirt from ruins, or at least my scrape pile.  YEAH!

Knockin’ it out of the park is always a great feeling, right?  Do you have any fabric care tips that seemed crazy, but worked out in the end?  Have any of you ever gotten seltzer water to take out any kind of stain? That’s what they always suggest in the movies.  I mean, if that’s how Hollywood handles it, it has to work, right? ;o)  Do tell, do tell!

Happy Cleaning!



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