Stain Removal

How to remove stubborn stains

Stain removal, like oven cleaning or furniture cleaning, can sometimes prove to be a difficult task. Given the time it can take to determine the cause, type and severity of the stain, you may end up unsure if you'll be able to remove it fully. However, having a few laundry and carpet cleaning tricks up your sleeve can make the job of eliminating unsightly marks much easier. Below are some general tips for removing stains as well as ways to get rid of some of the most common stains that pop up in households.

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General Stain Removal Tips

  • You must act quickly. A stain becomes much more difficult to remove as time elapses. If at all possible, you should begin to treat the stain as soon as it occurs.
  • Test out stain removal products in an inconspicuous area. If you are using a new product on furniture or carpets, be sure to perform a spot check in a hidden area. This will ensure that the color or fabric will not be ruined by the stain treatment.
  • Have patience. Though stains only take seconds to make, they may not come out nearly as quickly. Repeat treatments may be needed, and it may take a couple of days for the stain to vanish completely.
  • Different surfaces require different treatment methods. Due to differences in texture, fabric and color, clothing stain removal may differ from carpet stain removal. For this reason, you should use specific methods for removing stains on each separate surface.

Common Stains

There are certain stains that seem to pop up at one time or another for everyone, so people have devoted a good deal of time and attention to common stubborn stains. In many cases, simple household products will be your best weapon, but there's no universal treatment out there. Instead, read up on specific solutions are specific messes to get the best possible result.

  • Red wine stain removal. Rinse with cold water and blot until the stain lifts. Repeat as many times as needed. Then, apply a baking soda and water mixture to the affected area. Allow it to set in for 10 to 15 minutes before vacuuming.
  • Coffee stain removal. Blot up as much of the coffee as possible using a paper towel or clean cloth. Pour cold water on the stain and blot again. Apply a stain remover, following to the product's directions. Vinegar can also be applied if the stain remains.
  • Blood stain removal. For fresh blood, rinse the fabric with cold water or club soda and blot it with a clean cloth. Repeat as necessary. For dried blood, treat the affected area with peroxide. Test a small spot before treating the stain to ensure no bleaching occurs.
  • Ink stain removal. Apply water to the stain and blot it with a clean cloth. Apply laundry detergent to the area and leave it to sit for at least 5 minutes before washing. Wash the garment in hottest water possible for the fabric. Repeat the steps if the ink stain is not removed. For permanent inks, try using rubbing alcohol, fingernail polish remover, acetone or baking soda mixed with water.
  • Lipstick stain removal. Apply liquid dishwashing detergent (especially one with a grease fighting formula) to a clean cloth. Dab the stain with the cloth, and allow it to sit for 10 minutes. Begin rubbing out the stain working from the outside edge inward.
  • Oil stain removal. Dab the stain with a clean cloth dipped in rubbing alcohol. Do not rub too vigorously, and be sure to begin on the outside edge of the area and work inward to remove the stain.
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