Stains have ruined many nice clothes, carpets and couches. They can be stubborn and infuriating, not to mention extremely costly at times. The most common stains to inflict their wretched presence on fabrics include wine, coffee, blood and mud. While chemical detergents may offer a decent solution, there are some household ingredients that work just as well and cost a fraction of the price.
These ingredients are also sitting in your pantry right now – enabling you to tackle the stain immediately and effectively. The longer you wait, the worse the stain will get. Once it dries out, the stain can become impossible to remove completely. The following tips will allow you to get rid of some common stains from fabric, linen and upholstery.
This is the worst culprit of all; everyone dreads the day that red wine imposes its murderous effects on their expensive carpet, couch or clothes. Red wine penetrates quickly, so cleaning time is of utmost importance. Two simple household ingredients can be applied to the wine stain immediately – white wine or soda water. Either liquid can be applied to dilute the red wine. Use a clean sponge to soak up the mixture by dabbing the surface. Shaving cream can also help, surprisingly.
Caffeine is a lifesaver for many people, but it can also turn its back and betray the most devoted coffee lover. To remove a coffee stain, mix one teaspoon of a mild, pH-balanced detergent with one cup of warm water. Wet a clean, absorbent cloth with this mix and blot the coffee mark. Then, create a one-to-one mixture of water and vinegar and dab the stain again. Soak up any excess liquid with a paper towel and leave the affected area to dry.
People with children and pets will know all about muddy clothing and carpets. The trick to removing these stains is to rub liquid laundry detergent onto the affected area and let it soak for 15 minutes. Use a wet toothbrush and a few drops of water to scrub the detergent into the stain for added penetration. Put the fabric into a washing machine and run it on a normal cycle. White vinegar may also be applied over the stain before putting the garment in the washing machine.
When accidents happen, blood often drips onto clothing. A simple nose bleed can leave a shirt looking far worse than the problem. Blood stains often turn brown and can leave a permanent mark on textiles. The best solution is to soak the stain in vinegar for 30 minutes and then rinse with cold water. This can be repeated a number of times for more stubborn stains. Alternatively, you can create a paste from baking soda and water. Rub this paste into the blemish and let it soak for an hour before rinsing with cold water.
Butter and oil spots
Cooks and bakers are aware of the perils when dealing with liquid butter and hot oil. These greasy substances make food taste amazing, but they can permanently discolour fabrics and leave them looking like they have wet spots. To remove a butter or oil stain, apply a small amount of dry cleaning solvent with a clean cloth to the affected surface. Dab the stain and be careful not to rub it in. Mix a tablespoon of mild detergent with one cup of warm water and blot the stain again. Using a clean sponge or paper towel, remove the liquid and allow the spot to dry.
Tomato sauce stains
We’ve all been there – amidst a delicious burger and chips, some treasonous tomato sauce targets your shirt or pants. Immediately remove the excess sauce from your clothes with cold water. Then, pour some lemon juice or white vinegar over the mark and leave it to soak for 30 minutes. Place the garment in the washing machine and rinse it thoroughly.
These tips will enable you to tackle the most common stains using household ingredients and detergents. Quick action will make the difference between keeping or throwing away the affected textile. Specialised cleaning products can also be used to target these stains, but these are not often available immediately. For more stubborn stains, perhaps consider getting help from a professional cleaning company.
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