Life is messy, and spills and stains are a part of that mess. You shouldn’t have to worry about enjoying a glass of red wine on the couch or a scrape on the floor when moving your coffee table. To make your life “less-mess,” we’ve made a list of the 6 most common household stains and how to remove them.
Let’s start with the infamous stain queen herself: red wine. One of the deepest and most intense stains, wine can be a sticky mess to clean up, both on fabric and on hard surfaces. But the solution doesn’t have to be hard.
1. Blot with water or club soda. Do not scrub, or you may make the stain set faster.
2. Salt, when sprinkled on in the first few minutes, can help to draw the stain out quickly.
3. Blot with a cleaning solution. There are two solutions for powerful cleansing:
Hydrogen peroxide will instantly lighten the stain on white or light colored fabrics. For a deeper set stain, you can even mix dish soap and hydrogen peroxide together.
4. Spray on with a spray bottle to get a bubbling effect that will lift stains (this works in the same way as club soda).
5. Blot again with a damp, clean cloth to remove the hydrogen peroxide and any remnants of the stain.
If you’ve spilled wine on light-colored countertops or flooring, the process is a little different.
1. Apply baking soda and water as a base to soak into the surface.
2. Pour vodka on the stain. That’s right, vodka! Red wine contains color pigments (anthocyanins) that can be dissolved by higher-proof alcohol, like vodka or gin. (Vodka isn’t recommended for carpeting because it can seep in and cause odors).
3. Wipe down the surface with water or a steam mop, which painlessly lifts stains from floors.
Another red demon is the accidental lipstick spill. Little bits can get loose, melt, or smear, and you’re stuck with a lasting red line that seems to get worse when you treat it. The solution is actually simpler than you think!
1. Gently remove any excess lipstick from the fabric using a butter knife.
2. Blot the stain with an acetone-based nail polish remover.
3. Follow this with a dish detergent solution of a quarter teaspoon and three cups water.
Whether red, pink, or purple, your lipstick stain should be gone in an instant!
Those dark colored beverages seem to soak into carpets and couches before you even have time to get a paper towel!
1. Blot with wet paper towels to remove all excess liquid.
2. Blot on a solution of mild dishwashing detergent, water, and ¼ cup of lemon juice. Lemon lightens stains in a similar way as hydrogen peroxide, but it will also remove that lingering coffee smell.
3. Sponge or soak the stain in cool water for several minutes.
4. Sprinkle baking soda on top to absorb the coffee-water moisture that the soaking lifted up.
5. Vacuum the baking soda up.
The stain should be gone, and you can keep drinking your coffee! If the stain persists, continue to blot the spot in the solution and cool water, rubbing gently in circular motions, working from the outside of the stain inwards.
This same method also works for pet urine stains!
If you’ve ever lost a piece of gum, you know how hard it can be to remove that stickiness from any surface. Don’t put peanut butter on it, though (like you might in your hair). This process can be used for crayon marks as well!
1. Lift off as much of the gum or crayon tip as you can.
2. Dab with extra-strength Bengay.
3. Heat with a hair dryer to loosen the substance.
4. Blot cling wraps or press-and-seal paper. This can grab on to free-floating particles to help lift them up from the fabric!
5. Use a dishwashing detergent or hydrogen peroxide solution, as mentioned above.
6. Rinse with cool water.
If you have scuffs on your floors or walls from furniture, shoes, and bags, don’t rub with a solution until your back aches. The answer is just a simple Mr. Clean magic eraser. With just a little bit of water, a magic eraser does wonder to clean up scuffs and “wall bruises.” It can also remove coffee rings and polish surfaces!
Have you or your kids ever used gel window clings for holiday decorations—and then realized that they can leave a deep-set dye on your windows, fridges, and walls? Scrubbing and rubbing do nothing to removes these weeks of seeped-in color.
1. Take care to avoid your eyes and use rubber gloves. Spray bleach cleaner directly onto a paper towel.
2. Use scotch tape to keep the towel attached to your fridge or window. Ensure that the bleach is sitting flat against the dye stain.
3. Leave on for several minutes. (Make sure to leave the room so you don’t breathe in the bleach.
When you remove the paper towel, the stain should have vanished! If not, leave on for a few more minutes.
For carpets and fabrics, ensure you are blotting and not rubbing.
For hard surfaces, we recommend using a steam mop to disinfect the floors and easily lift stains out. It’s also safer to use for pets and family because no detergent is necessary.