TACKLE ANY STAIN WITH THESE 9 COMMON HOUSEHOLD ITEMS


You don't need a cupboard full of specialist products to take care of spills and smears on clothes or furniture. But some ordinary household items can also do the trick. You just have to know what works on what.


Spills, splats, and splotches always seem to happen at the worst times. And since the best time to treat a stain is right away, it's good to be prepared. You can put together a home kit for almost any stain problem – and most of the items you probably have already:

1. White vinegar
2. Lemon juice
3. Shaving cream (not the gel kind)
4. A roll of kitchen towels
5. Clean cloth
6. A blunt knife
7. An old toothbrush
8. Hand cleaner, the kind mechanics might use. You'll find it at hardware stores.
9. Hand-washing detergent.

Since you never seem to have enough of these in the kitchen to handle a stain, so keep a separate supply in your kit.

FIRST STEPS
The first rule for removing a fresh stain is to soak up as much as you can off the surface. The second rule is dab, don't apply pressure or you'll be forcing the dirt deeper into the material.

Third rule: keep it wet. Once a stain sets, which means the dirty stuff forms a chemical bond with the fabric it landed on, it might never come out. So keep it away from heat. Soak in water right away and all the way through the fabric.

Generally, cotton responds best to detergents and light acids such as lemon juice and white vinegar. For synthetics such as rayon and polyester, use washing powder (or dishwashing liquid for heavy stains). Wool needs extra care. Lay it down flat before you soak so it doesn't pull out of shape and use only water or wool detergent.

Test anything other than water on an inside seam or hidden part to make sure it doesn't discolour or damage the fabric or surface. You'll see lots of advice on stain removal, but here are some of the methods recommended most often.



BODY AND BEAUTY
Blood: Rinse immediately with cool water. Try pouring white vinegar over it. Let it soak in for five to ten minutes, then blot well, repeat if needed and wash right away. On the road: rub salt or saline solution (for contact lenses) on stained panties and wash.

Sweat stains and yellow collars: Don't use chlorine bleach, since the chlorine can react with the proteins in sweat and make the stain darker. Scrub with half lemon juice and half water until the stain is gone. Or add two tablespoons of white vinegar to one cup of water and apply to the stain. Leave for half an hour, then wash.

Nail Polish: Lay with stain down on paper towels and apply nail-polish remover on the back. Replace the towels often to soak it up. Repeat, then rinse with cold water.

Foundation: If it's oil-free, spray-on shaving foam and leave for a few minutes. If it's oil-based, dampen with water, put a few drops of dishwashing liquid on it, wait a few minutes, then rub into the stain. Blot with a kitchen towel and rinse under cool water.

Lipstick: Place the clothing stain down on a paper towel. Dab with dish-washing liquid, leave for ten minutes and dab with a paper towel. Change the paper under the clothes when the lipstick comes out so it doesn't smear somewhere else.



FOOD AND DRINK
Butter, lard or cooking oil: Wet with lukewarm water. Dab with washing powder then leave it stain down on a paper towel for a while. Repeat if needed.

Tomato-based stains: Scrape off what you can with a blunt knife. Rinse with cold water from underneath the stain. Spray on non-gel shaving cream, rub in gently and let dry before washing.

Coffee: Run cold water through the front and back of the stain. Scrub with a towel dipped in a mix of vinegar and water.

Wine: Rinse in warm water. Pour on salt and leave until dry. Rinse it off, dab with washing powder and lay stain down on a paper towel. Rinse again and wash.

Cold drinks: On clothes, sponge with 15ml of dishwashing liquid in 500ml of cool water. Blot until the liquid is absorbed. Repeat if needed and blot dry. On a carpet, sponge with 5ml of dishwashing liquid and 15ml white vinegar in 500ml warm water until stain disappears.

Ice lollies: Sponge on lemon juice mixed with water. Leave for 30 minutes and wash.

Chewing gum: Heat white vinegar to just below boiling point. Apply and scrape off the gum off with a blunt knife – gently, so you don't damage the fabric.

AROUND THE HOME
White clothes or linen: Wet the stain with water. Squeeze the juice from a lemon directly on the stain. Pour salt over the lemon juice and rub the material together. Rinse with water. Squeeze more lemon juice over the stain. Hang in the sun for as long as possible.

Ink on coloured clothes: Put non-gel toothpaste on the stain and rub the fabric vigorously together. Rinse with water and repeat if necessary.

Permanent marker: On wood, apply non-gel toothpaste and rub with a damp cloth. For plastic, rub on a mixture of baking soda and toothpaste.

Carpets: Rub light stains with 30ml salt dissolved in 125ml white vinegar. Let it dry, then vacuum.



THE TOUGH STUFF
Engine grease or machine oil: As soon as possible, soak in warm water with washing powder. Remove, rub detergent on the stain and lay stain down on paper towels. Wash separately.

Grass: Soak for 15 minutes in white vinegar. Dab lightly with a clean white cloth. Wash as usual.

Mud or dirt: Wiping wet or damp mud will spread the stain. Wait until it's dry and scrape off what you can. Rub dishwashing liquid into the stain. Add a few drops of water and rub in circular motions with a toothbrush on both sides of the garment. Repeat if needed. Do the same for set stains, but use heavy-duty hand cleaner and leave it on for an hour or more before a warm wash.

Pee and poo: Rinse right away in cool water – heat can set the proteins. Soak and swirl in cool water with the hand-washing powder. Drain and soak again for up to 30 minutes. Wash right away.

Sources: www.mnn.com, howstuffworks.com, www.rd.com, www.moneytalksnews.com, www.cleanipedia.com, firstforwomen.com, www.howtocleanstuff.net, www.bustle.com, www.collegefashion.net, www.popsci.com.



TACKLE ANY STAIN WITH THESE 9 COMMON HOUSEHOLD ITEMS TACKLE ANY STAIN WITH THESE 9 COMMON HOUSEHOLD ITEMS Reviewed by Jet Club on October 25, 2019 Rating: 5

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