There are many pleasures in life and removing stains is definitely not one of them. Getting down on one’s hands and knees with some Baking Soda on the tip of a sponge to remove a mark from carpet ranks highly on my just-don’t-like-doing-it list. I wish removing a stain could be done with a twitch of my nose (Bewitched-style) but sadly some things in life just aren’t to be. Heck, people have written entire books on stain removal, which proves their dirty rotten stuck and filth-ability!
We’ve got a few stains in our house that I’ve put at the bottom of my weekend to-do list. There’s the blue biro picture my four year old scribbled on our microfiber couch. Then there’s the red crayon on the wall one sees on the way to the bathroom, plus the multitude of stains on the same little culprit’s shirts after she’s returned from a ‘day of painting’ at childcare.
Stains are pests – period! And it is only because we are renovating and haven’t painted our home yet or bought that new couch, that I’ve been spared the joy (not!) of having to remove these pesky little nasties.
Heed the following tips to help with the ongoing issue of stain removal in your home
5 serious tips and tricks for stain removal in the home
1. Tannin stains
Tannin stains are the result of spills from tea, coffee, wine, beer, juice and certain washable inks. You can make short work of these stains by massaging a liquid detergent into the stain or handwashing items in hot water. Never use bar soap on a tannin stain as you’ll run the risk of the stain setting in and then it will be impossible to remove. If you can’t get the stain out there are actually professionals who can help such as Stainmaster. If you’ve got brand new carpet or new furniture conducting this professional maintenance will be worth it in the long run. They can also advise how you can protect your important possessions from future issues.
2. Protein-based stains
Protein based stains are the result of culprits like egg, blood, mucus, sweat, urine, dairy products or baby formula. Bodily fluids can set and become unmovable when exposed to heat so using hot water is a big no-no. These stains can be removed by rinsing with a mild soap, shampoo or regular dishwashing liquid in cold water. Try to remove when the stain is still fresh. Loosen the stain particles by soaking the item in cold water first.
3. Oil-Based stains
Oil-based stains come from products like butter, mayo, hand or face creams or even simple greasy cuffs and collars. These are similar to tannin stains and are easily removed with hot water and some heavy-duty detergent soap applied directly to the stain. Store-bought stain remover is also effective on oil-based stains.
4. Dye Stains
Dye stains are the worst and most difficult stains to remove, even when fresh. They come from inks, paints, blueberries and products like mustard. Consider a mix of detergent and bleach that is safe for the material. (Note: Do this at your own risk!) Do your research in case you make the stain worse or ruin the item in question altogether. If it’s coloured fabric, ge use colour-safe bleach. Rub the remedy directly into the stain and then wash rinse in hot water.
5. Combination Stains
Culprits here include candle wax, ballpoint pens, chocolate, tomato sauce, hairspray and lipstick. Such stains require a two-step process as they are made up of an oily component and a dye component. Rub the stain with some dry cleaning solvent and then follow up with some detergent soap. Wash the stain in some hot water and repeat the process until the stain gives in goes away.
Getting stains out of carpets and clothes is joyless. But with a few nifty tricks and know-how the job will be easier. Just learn how different stains react to chemicals and stimulus, do your research first, be patient and be prepared.p>
Be sure to check out my hot tips on Baking Soda and Vinegar, which are both great products for assisting in some stain removal jobs.
Do you have any home remedies for stain removal? Ever had one you couldn’t get rid of no matter what you tried? Did you solve the problem? Share your thoughts in the comments below!