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I doubt if Shakespeare ever considered when he penned Lady Macbeth uttering out, damned spot  when she imagines a spot of the king’s blood staining her hand after her husband kills the king of Scotland at her urging would centuries later have anything do to with weaving . . . but, it does . . . well, at least today it does.

As I flew home last night from Oklahoma after teaching a workshop for the Tulsa Handweavers Guild (and experiencing the great Tulsa “bread caper”), I thought about how a mere moment that may not appear significant at the time can be have such an important impact later on.  As fiber artists we frequently are in the company of one another and pass along their insights.  That is what has led me to deciding to share the latest of my favorite things.

About 10 years ago, I was visiting different artist’s studios during an event in my area called Seattle Sampling.  At one of the locations I chatted with Bonnie Tarses, a member of my weaving guild.  During our conversation she shared with me two insights . . . First, if you want to know about what cleaning products really work, ask someone that works in housekeeping at a hotel.  Second, to get a spot out of carpeting, use Folex Instant Carpet Stain Remover.  Obviously, I’ve remembered this advice . . . but, at first I didn’t realize how important it was.  Bonnie was right.  hotel housekeepers know a lot about cleaning products.  And, Folex Instant Carpet Stain Remover works really well!  In fact, it has become a very important product for me.

Shortly after my conversation with Bonnie, I made my first purchase of Folex at my local grocery store (I found it on an ankle-high shelf).  At first I used it occasionally  for removing spots in my carpet that I didn’t know how they got there or what they were.  And it worked every time.  I then came across a pesky stain in a garment that I couldn’t get out.  The garment was ruined if I couldn’t get the stain out . . . and then I thought Why not try Folex?  It worked beautifully!  I’ve been using it ever since as my go-to stain remover!

When it comes to treating fabric, I avoid bleach because it can be so harsh on fibers.  Folex unnerves me a bit . . . it’s clear . . . it has no odor that I can detect . . . yet, it works.  (Perhaps it’s magic.) .  The manufacturer states the following about Folex . . . 

FOLEX is a Water Based Non-Ionic Surfactant

WATER BASED means that it uses water to wash the stain away, for safety, and virtually residue free cleaning. Unlike some soap, solvent, or oil based cleaners that could be smelly, toxic, flammable, leave a sticky residue, or damage the carpet backing.

NON-IONIC means that it does not have a positive (+) or a negative (-) charge… therefore it will not attract or repel dust and dirt, so that the cleaned area will soil uniformly with the surrounding area. The spot will not reappear!

SURFACTANT means that it is an emulsifying agent that reduces surface tension… So it breaks up the stain, and surrounds it, so that it can be removed by blotting with a dry cloth or paper towel.

Now, a product I occasionally use when I do laundry may not be of interest to many . . . but, this product has been critical in cleaning handwoven fabrics with mystery spots and  restoring vintage textiles without altering the color or damaging the fibers.  It has removed some really difficult stains (e.g., red wine, rust, grease, etc.) from textiles I’ve found at thrift stores and other places that were abandoned passed along when the previous owner gave up on it.  Has it removed everything?  No.  But, if it didn’t remove the stain, at least it minimized it. 

This latest resource may not be a free Internet-based resource, but it was too good to not pass along . . . especially when it only costs about $6.  In the meantime, I promise my next favorite thing will be another freebie!

If you’re interested in learning more about Folex, you may read about it by clicking on the following link   http://www.folexcompany.com/ 

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Comments on: "These are a few of my favorite things – #14: Out Damned Spot" (3)

  1. It does work well on carpets (and obviously on other things as you’ve discovered), however, my dad (light cream carpet) has found that the areas he’s cleaned with folex tend to collect more dirt than the untreated areas, perhaps because it’s not rinsed out. Just a caveat…

    • loomchick said:

      Interesting. I haven’t noticed that . . . but, (then I use it more as a stain remover when I’m doing laundry so it rinses out.

  2. secondwindjewelry said:

    I’m lookin’ for this stuff on my next trip to the store! My carpet is so old & dirty it doesn’t matter. My clothes, on the other hand…..I tend to spill things a lot.

    Thanks for the tip – oops – tipS!

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