Stain Removal Guide

red wine spill on carpetIf you live in your home in a normal way, there will come a time when something ends up with a stain on it. Whether this is the carpet, your bedding, your curtains or any part of your home, you would be very lucky to avoid stains altogether. Unfortunately it is simply a part of life. However cleaning most stains is reasonably easy as long as they are dealt with quickly and in the right way. The following tips should point you in the right direction.

Carpets

Basic and regular vacuuming is essential for keeping your carpet reasonably clean and free from long terms stains, but sometimes an accident will happen leaving a stain which needs more than a quick hoover.

  • Always blot a stain with kitchen paper as soon as it happens. This will prevent it from spreading. If it is solid you need to scrape off the worst of the mess. Never rub the stain.
  • Try water and blotting as the first attempt to remove the stain. Do not add too much water as you may spread the stain further.
  • If water does not help, you should use a carpet shampoo which is designed for your type of carpet. Follow the instructions, but generally you dab it on and leave it until it penetrates. In some cases you will vacuum it off.

Bedding or clothing

Speed is of the essence here. As soon as the stain occurs you should rinse the area with cold water. Never use hot as it may set the stain. If the item is washable, you can use a stain remover designed for the laundry and place it into a cool wash.

If your bedding cannot be washed in the normal way or is dry-cleanable only, you should use a light laundry detergent diluted with water and dab at the stain. Place a cloth behind the catch the moisture as it washes through. Take care that the colour is not being washed away as well or you could be left with a lighter coloured patch.

Curtains

If your curtains have been stained, you will want to treat the area without having to remove the curtains. This would be too time consuming and actually it easier to do when they are hanging.

Simply try blotting the area with water and see if the stain will come out. Once again place a cloth behind the stain to catch the water. If this is ineffective you can try a dilute laundry cleaner solution. But try it first in an area where it cannot be seen. Curtains are not designed to be washed, so your last resort may be a trip to the dry-cleaner.

Walls

If you have kids, you will be familiar with the scuff marks, hand-prints, pencil and paint marks which come along with them. If you want to avoid repainting you will need to remove these stains carefully.

Most painted walls can stand a household cleaner used on them. This works well on general grubbiness. However you will need to be more creative with paint and coloured crayons. Methylated spirits works on crayon, but you may still have to repaint the area. Stains on wallpaper may be removed with a light household cleaner depending on the type of paper used, but always keep some of your wallpaper to patch up areas which have been badly affected.

Cleaning is never the best job in the world, but if you keep on top of stains and deal with them quickly you should be stain free in no time.

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