Dear Stain Wizard,
HELP!! I have black shoe polish on a white tablecloth. I don’t know what to do…
David, in Minnesota
Believe it or not, I’ve had 3 people from across the country contact me recently about this very problem.
You are lucky. The tablecloth is white, so we will be able to use a full array of P O Gs and bleaches to try to remove this.
First try blotting the stain with ink remover, or P O G (Paint, Oil, Grease) remover to see if the stain will loosen. Apply liberally and let it penetrate.
If the polish starts coming off onto the cloth, keep dabbing to remove as much as possible.
Flush with steam or hot water. It might take several attempts.
When the stain is lighter and no more polish can be removed Flush well and apply YellowGo dye stripper, heat with steam gun or soak in hot water.
If the stain lightens, let it keep working.
You might have to go back to P O G again to remove any remaining oils.
For the final, final traces…use PermaGo / Potassium Permanganate.
If the shoe polish can’t be removed, cut eye holes and go trick or treating as a ghost next Halloween…