Who hasn’t been there? You’re hosting a party, and a careless guest sloshes some red wine on your light-colored carpet.
Panicked homeowners might head to the store for an expensive remedy. But the items you need to properly remove that stain often are right there, in your home.
For all of these remedies, test them in a hidden spot. Also, act as soon as you can to remove a stain before it sets. First, quickly blot the stain with an absorbent material. Do not rub.
Read on for more ideas on how to proceed.
Common stains on clothes
A mix of equal parts of ammonia, liquid dish detergent and water in a spray bottle can remove stains. Spray it on and wash later, after it dries.
Hydrogen peroxide (3%) is the star of this recipe that removes stains from clothing and other fabrics. Mix together one part hydrogen peroxide and two parts Dawn dish detergent. A spray bottle is the preferred method of application.
Robin Shreeves used a combination of lemon juice and salt to treat a stain that had set on a favorite white blouse, then reapplied lemon juice and hung it in the sun.
This How Stuff Works article about the power of lemon as a stain remover says a mixture of lemon juice and water will remove those dreaded armpit stains. Just be sure you wash the clothes quickly after applying.
Two crushed aspirin tablets dissolved in a cup of hot water also is good for perspiration stains, Mrs. Clean says.
Ink, lipstick and similar types of stains
WD-40 lubricant can remove grease, oil, crayon and lipstick from clothes. In fact, there are scores of ways in which WD-40 can be a life-saver.
Reader’s Digest says an overnight soaking in milk will remove ink.
Unflavored meat tenderizer is a good stain remover for protein-based stains like blood. Make a paste with a little water and apply to the stain. Let it sit a little while, at least five minutes, before rinsing it off.
Stains on pots and pans
Half a lemon dipped in salt will eliminate stains from the copper bottoms of pots and pans. Rub lightly. That combination of lemon juice and salt is also said to remove rust stains from a variety of surfaces.
Keep a spray bottle of half white vinegar and half water for many cleaning tasks, including removing hard-water stains.
For stubborn spots, use vinegar and let it soak as we detail in “9 Expensive Cleaning Supplies You Can Easily Make for Pennies.”
Paul Michael of Wise Bread vouches for this method of removing a water ring from the dining room table: Mix mayonnaise with some cigarette ash and leave it on the stain overnight.
Stained toilet bowls
For a stained toilet bowl or grease on your garage floor, use Coke (or any cola brand). Even if you don’t drink the stuff, keep some around, and check out: “From Greener Grass to Better Pulled Pork — 47 Remarkable Ways to Use Coca-Cola.”
Have you tried any of these substitutes, or have ideas of your own? Share the wealth on our Facebook page.
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