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MAIN Arrow to Home LifeHome Life Arrow to Household HintsHousehold Hints Arrow to stain removal Spot & Stain Removal

wipe that stain cleanYou might have a favorite piece of clothing, a shiny countertop, freshly painted walls, new floors, upholstery or carpet.

But a get stain on any one of them and it can also ruin an otherwise perfectly wonderful day! No worries. There's always a solution for most stain problems and, the more quickly you act upon them, the easier they are to get out.

To protect against mishaps, a typical kit can be assembled from the following Top Ten items anyone should have in their stain removal arsenal:
1. cloth or paper towels
2. laundry detergents
3. bleach
4. baking soda
5. vinegar
6. hydrogen peroxide
7. rubbing alcohol (for inks and markers)
8. oil solvents (for grease)
9. turpentine (for paint)
10. enzyme presoaks (for organic stains such as blood, food, and cat pee.)

One more thing: get yourself a good spray bottle (available in most garden centers or hardware stores) to apply your homemade solutions to carpet or upholstery

Do's and don'ts of removing stains in clothing, carpet or upholstery

  • Always remove the stain as quickly as possible before it sets. 48 hours is usually the deadline for any hope of getting rid of stains.

  • Before attempting to rid any kind of stain from clothing, carpet or upholstery, always read the clothing tag or manufacturer's suggestions for tips and special care instructions.

  • When using any stain-removal technique, first experiment on less visible areas to test for color-fastness.

  • To avoid worsening the problem, never rub a stain. Instead, blot the stain gently with a cloth and cleaning solution.

  • Stains on leather, suede, silk or other delicate fabrics are best left to a professional cleaner.

Getting rid of stains and spots all around the house

also see in Household Hints:
pet odors
How to get rid of pet
stains & odors


CARPETS: To learn more about homemade solutions for getting stains out of carpet, see: how to get rid of carpet stains and odors. For more household stain removing tips see: kitchen cleaning tips and furniture & upholstery cleaning.

PET STAINS: For how to get rid of pet stains or odors, note that most homemade solutions may include the use of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda, or vinegar

Indeed, they may prove effective for minor stains and odors. (Note: ammonia should always be avoided for cleaning cat stains and odors since it mimics the smell of cat urine and may even attract your cat back to the problem spot.) However, when all else fails, a sure-fire solution - although more expensive than homemade remedies - would always derive from the use of a commercial enzyme stain and odor remover.

LAUNDRY: For clothing soiled by perspiration, chocolate, ink spots, blood stains and grass stains see: getting rid of common laundry stains.

More stain removal tips and tricks around the Web:

Around the Web, stain removal experts have compiled additional detailed tips and tricks to help with stains ranging from minor mishaps (like water spots on furniture) to even more stubborn stains (like wine or chocolate) using cleaning materials commonly found around the house: Stain Removal Guide - Use the left hand menu to find tips for removing coffee, wine, chocolate, blood, egg yolk, grease and paint stains, lipstick and other cosmetics, grass, wood sap, and other other stains including laundry washing tips and advice on stain removing detergents.

Do It Cleaning and Stain Removal - A complete library of how to's by category including adhesive removal, bathroom tiles and kitchen countertops, getting rid of makeup and cosmetic stains, ink, grease, dye and wine stains, cat pee and other pet stains and odors, plus helpful hints on removing spots and stains from plastic, metal and wood furniture. Upholstery Stain Guide - An extensive directory of tips and information on upholstery and general rules for stain removal in an A-Z list, including how to remove chocolate, coffee, juices and fruit drinks, grease and oil, red wine stains, gum and wax. Carpet Stain Removal Guide - Instructions for getting rid of Kool Aid stains, inks and fingernail polish, red wine, mustard and more tough stains from carpets with related tips on carpet cleaning and repair.

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