Stubborn stains, whether they’re on your clothes or furniture, are not only unsightly but also frustrating to deal with. Worse, if you don’t remove them the right way, they could end up becoming permanent.
To save yourself from cleaning bills or from throwing away a rug or a piece of clothing, here are some tips on getting rid of some of the most stubborn kinds of stains.
The first thing you have to do is to scrape off as much of the excess chocolate as you can. Then, as soon as you are able, soak the garment in cool or tepid water for a few minutes before pretreating it with a stain remover. If needed, use a soft toothbrush to spread the detergent more effectively into the fibers. Let the stain remover soak into the fabric for about ten minutes (longer if the fabric is thick or the stain is worse) then wash using the hottest allowable temperature for the fabric.
If the stain isn’t removed completely and the stained garment is not made from leather, mohair, silk, spandex, or wool, try spot-treating it using some fabric-safe bleach.
Rinsing the stain with cold water is the best course of action for grease stains. Applying some dish soap onto the stain is also a good idea to loosen it, since these detergents are specifically formulated to combat grease. For heavier stains, use paper towels to absorb the grease (press the fabric onto paper towels, not the other way around) before applying the dish soap. Let the detergent sit for a while before washing with hot water.
For grease stains on surfaces like stove tops, sinks, and counters, you can simply wash these surfaces using dish detergent and a sponge. If needed and if the surface doesn’t require special care, you can use a scrubbing pad to remove older stains that have stuck, then rinse and dry thoroughly afterwards. You can also use microfiber cleaning cloths or towels to wipe off minor grease splatters immediately after they happen.
For clothing and carpets that don’t have a deep pile, you can use salt to absorb the wine. You’ll know it’s working when the salt turns pink. Otherwise, use a wet sponge or microfiber cloth to absorb the stain. Once most of the wine is removed, soak the fabric in cold water for at least a couple of hours. Treat the stained area with a prewash stain remover before washing as usual.
4. Chewing Gum and Other Sticky Residue
Harden the “stain” using ice or cold water to make them easier to scrape off. If there are any lingering stains, you can use a stain remover or a cleaning fluid, then simply wash the garment as per the instructions. Alternatively, you can also soak the stained clothes in hot vinegar before washing it, as long as the fabric is colorfast.
If dealing with sticky residues on surfaces like wood or stone, simply use the appropriate cleaner so as not to damage the surface. To further protect the surface, use a microfiber cloth in applying and wiping off the cleaner.
Ink can be a bit tricky to remove since some inks actually set when you wash the fabric. The key is to remove as much of the ink first before trying to wash. One DIY tip is to use hairspray or rubbing alcohol. Just lay some paper towels under the stain, spray the back of the stain until it’s saturated, then blot ink using fresh paper towels. Another method is to use denatured alcohol. Stretch the fabric over the mouth of a jar or glass, then slowly drip the alcohol onto the stain; the ink will be loosened through this method and drip into the container below. Once the ink is gone, rinse the fabric thoroughly before laundering as usual.
For ink stains on wood, the most common method is to create a paste made of baking soda and water then spreading the paste over the ink stain. You can use your fingers to apply the paste so you have more control and prevent the baking soda from scratching the finish. Once the ink is loosened and removed, use a microfiber cloth moistened with a bit of plain water to scrub the area clean.
Just like any cleaning chore around the house, you can get rid of stains using a combination of the right cleaning supplies and a little bit of patience. Keep these tips in mind the next time you’re confronting a stain that’s proving hard to remove.