Friday, April 13, 2012

The Mad Scientist…vs. those Bleeding BUTTONS!

I love to embellish quilts and runners with buttons…but not if they leave nasty STAINS!! (See yesterday’s post!) I had to come up with a test to tell the good buttons from the buttons that stain! 

These are those the bleeding buttons off my ‘Let It Snow’ quilt.  I soaked the ‘stain making buttons’ in water and sandwiching them in paper towels but after an hour… nothing!  They left no stain on the towels at all!


So I donned my white coat, went to my lab and got out my button testing chemicals~ some Hydrogen Peroxide, Rubbing Alcohol and Nail Polish Remover…and I put those nasty buttons to the test!  Here’s what I found out…

After rubbing the stain causing buttons with a Q-Tip soaked with Hydrogen Peroxide, there was only a slight brown dye left on the tip.P1180027


The Q-Tip with Rubbing Alcohol was even browner…


But it was the Nail Polish Remover that did the trick!  Just LOOK at what the Q-tip soaked in Nail Polish Remover rubbed off!  Imagine finding THAT mess on a quilt that you spent months making!


So there you have it!!  Rub Nail Polish Remover on buttons to find out if they will stain!  P1180031

By this time I was having too much fun playing Mad Scientist… so I put that Nail Polish Remover through it’s paces and tested several buttons and it really does work…Out of the seven randomly selected buttons…three buttons were good (see the three top right buttons).  The bottom right button was TERRIBLE and the remaining three were moderate bleeders.  EUREKA!!  WE HAVE NOW GOT A BLEEDING BUTTON TEST!!


Hmmm…maybe I should bottle this STUFF and make a million dollars!  Yup…for only $15.99 you could have your own bottle of Bleeding Button Blaster!   Just send cash or cheque…to The Mad Scientist c/o Sweet P Blog!  Nahhh…for YOU it’s FREE…but only if you have Nail Polish Remover in your cabinet! 

Now if you don’t own any Nail Polish Remover then don’t go out and buy some…because I noticed that the matte, dull buttons were the REAL bleeders and the shiny buttons were usually good.  So put those nasty matte buttons into a pretty jar and look at them…those shiny buttons are the ones to use!

Hope you have fun Blasting your Bleeding Buttons!!

PS…Do you think I have too much time on my hands?? :o) P


  1. You do look like you were having fun; are you are retired school teacher? What if you painted any suspect buttons with clear nail polish before using them, just in case?

  2. Good to know...thanks for the tip. Have a great weekend!!

  3. Perhaps if one desperately wanted to use bleeding, matte buttons (because they were soooo cute or the perfect color, etc.) the buttons could be painted with clear nail polish, especially the backs, to seal them. Just a thought........

  4. I suspect the shiny buttons have some sort of plastic coating that prevents bleeding. Synthia has an interesting idea - clear nail polish or some type of shellac might work.

    PS been following your blog for over a year - love it and hope to meet you some day as I live in Victoria.


  5. I will never look at buttons the same way again. Thank you for the info. Very, very useful.

  6. Watch out Consumer Reports. Mad scientist Sweet P has been unleashed. Seriously tho, I'll definitely keep this in mind when adding buttons to my projects. Thanks for the tip!

  7. Watch out Consumer Reports. Mad scientist Sweet P has been unleashed. Seriously tho, I'll definitely keep this in mind when adding buttons to my projects. Thanks for the tip!

  8. That was very interesting.....

  9. Something I never thought about, so I will watch what I use on quilts that get washed.


  10. made me giggle! You are the queen bee of button testing!

  11. I can just picture you in a lab coat, Paulette! And a maniacal grin on your face as you approach the evil buttons. *G* Good stuff to know!!!

  12. Thanks for the info, Paulette! You mad scientest!!:) Sounds like you had fun!:) Never would have thought a button would bleed! Love your snowman quilt and hope there's some way of removing the stains.

  13. I have a wall hanging of snowmen that need little tiny buttons for their mouths and eyes, about 64 of them if I remember right (haven't been enthusiastic about sewing those on!) I would hate to ruin the quilt because of the buttons, so now I can test them out - thank you SO much!

  14. wonder if regular acetone nail polish versus acetone free nail polish makes a difference??? Love it when science and crafts collide!!