Life can get messy. Be it a glass of wine spilled on the couch or a plate of pasta that hits the carpet, stains are an unavoidable part of life. Although a massive grease stain in the middle of your favorite rug can feel like a lost cause, it might be more manageable than you think.
With the proper knowledge and the right products, you can keep your home free of unsightly blemishes. In this post, Millers Well-Kept Services reviews seven common stains and how to remove them.
Best Practices for Stain Removal
Regardless of the substance, you need to treat stains quickly and carefully. Having a basic understanding of how to address these unruly splotches as soon as they happen can help ensure you’re not constantly replacing your clothes, carpets, and furniture.
Prepare your home for any possibility by keeping some common stain removers on hand. You’ll want to be sure you’re cleaning cupboard is equipped with:
Different fabric types require different levels of care depending on how they absorb stains and how tolerant they are of treatments.
Cotton products are some of the more durable fabrics and can withstand washing, scrubbing, most chemical treatments, and a range of temperatures. On the other hand, wool is very delicate. You should wash and dry it gently and without heat. Stains on silks and synthetic fabrics are particularly difficult as many common solvents like detergent and acetone can harm the material further. For that reason, you should find a professional that is trained on how to work with those materials.
Colored fabrics might be susceptible to heavy bleeding or other discoloration when treating them for stains. Check the care labels on your rugs, upholstery, and clothing. Fabrics labeled “colorfast” are usually less susceptible to bleeds and can generally withstand any stain remover. Otherwise, test your cleaning solutions on a small portion of the fabrics before addressing the whole stain.
Of course, the stain substance impacts what treatment will ultimately work for removal, so it’s essential to know what solvent to reach for when the time comes. Common household stains may include:
1. Bodily Fluids
Whether it’s a bad bloody nose or a potty-training pup, stains from bodily fluids are common, especially in homes with kids and pets. Enzyme cleaners are best for treating any stain from bodily fluids. They naturally contain bacterias that help break down organic matter like blood, urine, and some foods. Moreover, they actively eliminate odors rather than just mask them with a heavy fragrance.
If you’re dealing with a stain from bodily fluids or other organic material, soak the problem area in an enzyme cleaner for around 30 minutes. For a tougher, more set stain, you may have to soak for an hour or more. If you can launder the item, wash it with a small amount of bleach solution. If, however, the stain occurred on a piece of furniture or carpet, consider using an oxygen bleach solution. Oxygenated bleach is chlorine-free, meaning it’s less toxic and safe on most surfaces.
A little chocolate might be one of the more enjoyable parts of life, but a chocolate stain can quickly turn your enjoyment into frustration. These stains set in with heat and time, so you’ll want to act as soon as possible.
Gently scrape any excess chocolate away and dampen the stain with cool water. Use a detergent (heavy-duty dish soap or laundry soap) to lather the area thoroughly. Let sit for a few minutes, and then soak in cold water for roughly 30 minutes. If the stain persists, repeat the steps until it lifts.
*Pro-Tip: Most chocolates have oils that could leave a grease stain even once the chocolate has lifted. In this case, launder or thoroughly wash in hot water with a detergent booster to help eliminate any greasy residue.
3. Coffee and Tea
Coffee and tea stains happen often, but they’re relatively easy to remove. Simply rinse the affected area with cool water and let a detergent or other solvent sit on the stain for a few minutes. Wash with color-safe, oxygenated bleach. If, however, the stain is older and persists, soak in an enzyme cleaner and then wash gently.
4. Fruits and Juices
An overturned sippy cup can wreak havoc on your couches and carpets. However, enzyme cleaners generally lift fruit and juice stains from most surfaces. Soak the area with an enzyme cleaner for at least 30 minutes. Dark stains (like those from fresh blueberries, grape juice, etc.) or old ones may need to soak for a few hours. Wash or launder per the fabric’s instructions. If the stain remains, consider a color-safe bleach solution.
5. Grease and Oil
Though most stains react best with cool water, grease and oil stains respond best to hot water. Soak the fabric in the warmest water possible, and treat with liquid laundry detergent. Let it soak for roughly 30 minutes, and then wash in the hottest water the fabric can withstand.
*Pro-Tip: For old or heavy stains, sprinkle baking soda on the stain and allow it to sit overnight. Clean up the powder, and then treat with the above method.
6. Tomato Sauce
While most stains can be removed by allowing them to soak in a solution, tomato stains should be treated in full as soon as they occur. Rinse the stain in cold water, and apply a stain remover or heavy-duty dish liquid to the affected area. Scrub until the stain lifts. If the stain remains after a few minutes, try repeating the process with an enzyme cleaner. Rinse thoroughly in warm water.
Wine is one of the easiest stains to remove. Simply soak the affected area in cool water and let it sit for about 30 minutes. Gently wash with a fabric-safe detergent and rinse thoroughly.
Let Millers Help You Tackle Tough Stains
A stain or two here and there is manageable for most people, but older carpets and used furniture can quickly become shabby-looking if stains aren’t dealt with properly.
The experienced cleaners at Miller’s Well-Kept Services have dealt with nearly every stain imaginable. Plus, we bring our own products and equipment so we know we’re handling every job as effectively as possible. Simply tell us what you’re dealing with, and we’ll do the rest! Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you tackle tough stains.
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