Stain Removal 101
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.
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