Stain Removal 101 – On the House

Stain Removal 101

By on August 26, 2015

Crashing splashes, oozing squishes, crackling smashes and crunching smishes! Whether you’re a dorm dweller, a budding homemaker or an experienced grandparent everyone has heard at least one of these sounds while something is crashing onto something else. Can you say, “yikes a stain”?

A stain doesn’t have to become permanent if you know the playbill:

  • Whatever you plan on doing to prevent a permanent stain – do it quickly. The longer you wait the less chance you will have of removing the stain.
  • Always start with the least toxic cleaning method – when you have the alternative.
  • Test the area to be cleaned. You may be applying a solvent that will damage the item being cleaned.
  • Often, hot is bad! Hot air, hot water and heated chemicals can actually set a stain rather than remove it. Stay cool unless a cleaning procedure specifically calls for heated whatever!

Here are a few simple stain-cleaner combinations:

Cold Water (Least Toxic)

Plenty of Water

Yep, just plain old-fashioned water. Carbonated water also works well.

Use on: Acid, ammonia, blood cement glue, cosmetic, crayon, dyes, food stains, furniture polish, grease, ink, medicine, milk, mud, oil, paint, soft drinks and vomit.

White Vinegar Formula (Not Very Toxic)

½ cup Vinegar

½ cup Water

Use On: Alcohol, ammonia, blood, coffee, tea, cosmetics, crayon dyes, food stains, furniture polish, ink medicine, milk, soft drinks and vomit.

Ammonia Formula (Slightly Toxic)

2 tbsp Ammonia

1 cup Water

Use On: Acid, alcohol, blood, cement, glue, cosmetics, crayon, dyes, food stains, furniture polish, ink, medicine, oil, paint, soft drinks and vomit.

When all else fails try these formulas:

General Cleaning: Soak the item in a gallon of warm water with a tablespoon of liquid dishwashing detergent and a quarter teaspoon of ammonia for a couple of hours. Rinse in fresh water and wash normally using bleach. CAUTION: Do not use detergent that contains bleach when adding ammonia. Bleach and ammonia combine to create a deadly chemical.

Wine and Other Alcoholic Beverages: Sprinkle the area with table salt – lots of it. Scrub the item in a bath of cold water until the stain disappears and then launder normally.

Baby Formula: Use water and MSG (meat tenderizer) and mix up a poultice. Cover the area and leave it overnight. Then wash normally.

Beer: Use a half-cup of ammonia or vinegar in three quarts of warm soapy water. Hand wash.

Grease: Earlier we mentioned that “hot” stuff will often set a stain – and that is true. However, there are occasions when hot is good. For example: Cooking grease, butter and other fats are liquefied and removed easily with boiling hot water. Keep in mind that non-washable fabrics should never be soaked in water – hot or cold! You can look for a grease recycling service to deal with the excess grease you have in the kitchen.

Lipstick & Ink: Lacquered hair spray is a super pre-treatment for ink and lipstick. Spray it on as a pre-wash.

Any stain on marble & granite: Use half a grapefruit dipped in salt. Rub the area clean and then immediately flush thoroughly with fresh water and then towel dry.

For more home improvement tips and information search our website or call our listener hot line 24/7 at 1-800-737-2474.


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