Stain Removal Tips: Make Your Fabrics as Good as New

Need to find a way to get that stain out of your favorite shirt? Can’t seem to find a product that will really clean your carpet? The answers could already be in your cupboards. Here are some stain removal tips that have been proven to get your clothes, shoes, and household items stain-free-for a price you’ll always be able to afford.

Ink spots. Ink spots are fairly easy to remove. You’ll need to use a sponge along with laundry detergent to treat the spot, then rinse in the washing machine or by hand as soon as possible. If that doesn’t work, hair spray may do the trick. Spray a considerable amount on the fabric, then blot with a washcloth. For relentlessly stubborn stains, a combination of alcohol, nail polish remover, and color-safe bleach (in that order) should make your fabric completely ink-free.

Coffee stains. For coffee stains, a little vinegar and a sponge could get the stain right out; be sure to let the fabric air dry after treatment. Of course, you could take your garment or fabric to the cleaners; dry cleaning fluid is great for removing coffee stains. If the stain persists, the fabric can be bleached with hydrogen peroxide.

Paint stains. For paint or latex stains on your clothes or carpet, blot the stain with colorfast towels or paper towels first. You can also use a large spoon to take any excess paint from the carpet. Then, apply isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) to a towel and use it to wipe the stain, but make sure the alcohol doesn’t touch the backing of the carpet at all, since this can cause damage. Dry cleaning solvent and citrus cleaners can also be used for paint removal on carpet (avoid the carpet backing when using these materials as well) and fabrics. After cleaning solution has been applied, rinse the carpet with warm water and apply liquid dishwashing detergent to the stain, letting it soak for about five minutes. Then apply hydrogen peroxide to the stain, allow it to soak into the material for thirty minutes. After rinsing the carpet or fabric a second time, applying ammonia or vinegar to the stain should remove any excess paint.

Lipstick or shoe polish stains. To get lipstick out of your fabrics, try to scrape off the remaining polish or lipstick without spreading the stain. Use dry cleaning fluid to blot the stain, then sponge with ammonia and hand rinse. If the stain persists, blot stain with rubbing alcohol and hydrogen peroxide, in that order.

Many household cleaners, like Comet, AJAX, and Mr. Clean can remove heavy stains for tablecloths, shower curtains, and even some clothing. Before applying these solutions to your fabrics, be sure to read the labels to check for diluting instructions. And if you regularly take your clothes to the cleaners, many stains can be removed with dry cleaning solution, even if your clothing is not ‘dry clean only’. So, before you throw your favorite dress away, buy a new tablecloth, or get your carpet replaced, try some of these affordable home remedies for stain removal that won’t have harsh effects on your fabrics-or your wallet.

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