Removing Fabric Stains

Not sure how to get rid of those annoying little stains that ruin the look of a carpet or drapes? Follow these simple tips.

Stains and spots can happen just about anywhere, often when you least expect or want them. It's easy to spill something at home, in the car, at work, or at a friend's house. In addition to feeling bad about it, you may want to pitch in and help to get rid of the spot. Here are a few tips.

Keep a special spot and stain remover kit handy. The kit should contain clean white terry cloth, a white absorbent cloth to see if the stain is coming out, dish-washing detergent, household ammonia, white vinegar, dry cleaning fluid, bleach, odor eliminator, a mop, sponges, and a bucket. You will also need a spotting brush, putty knife, and a scraper. You will be able to find other products that can make your job easier and work better the more you start removing spots and stains on a regular basis.

Alcohol stains need to be blotted. After blotting, use a sponge and water on the spot. Next, apply a sponge with vinegar, blot the stain again, and rinse the area thoroughly. You might need to use bleach and hydrogen peroxide if nothing else works.

Scrape a bloodstain all you can at first. The next step is to blot it with cool water. If there is still a residual stain, blot it with ammonia and rinse well. Use hydrogen peroxide if nothing else works.

Candle wax can be scraped off with a scraper. Then apply a clean cloth over the spot and take a warm iron to melt and absorb the wax into the cloth. Use dry cleaning fluid to pick up the remaining residue.

Chocolate needs to be scraped first and sponged with dry cleaning fluid. Sponge the spot with detergent solution, blot, and rinse. Use a correct bleach solution or hydrogen peroxide if nothing else takes it out. Blot coffee with detergent solution and then rinse the area. Blot it with vinegar, rinse carefully, and air dry.

For fabric stains, sponge them with water and then daub with alcohol, except when working with wool, silk, or acetate. Then you need to use vinegar. Sponge the spot with detergent solution and rinse it. Bleach the area with hydrogen peroxide if all else fails.

To remove ink stains, sponge them with detergent solution and then rinse thoroughly. If the stain remains, saturate it with cheap hair spray and blot the area. Or try alcohol, acetone, or non-oily nail polish remover and bleach that is safe for fabric, in that order.

Dry brush mildew on the surface as best you can. Sponge it cautiously with disinfectant solution and blot. Sponge next with ammonia and rinse. Attack the stain with chlorine bleach if it is safe for fabric; if not, use hydrogen peroxide.

Mustard and catsup stains should be scraped and blotted to remove as much as you can. Sponge these stains with detergent solution, then with vinegar, and rinse.

You can remove rust stains with rust remover from the hardware store. Or you can use salt and lemon juice, which takes a while, but it will work.

For tar and grease stains, scrape up as much as you can. Then remove lingering residue by blotting with dry cleaning fluid. After that, blot them with detergent solution, and then rinse.

These common spots and stains need not become insurmountable blots. Follow these simple tips to get rid of them completely and permanently.

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