8 Tips for the worst cleaning challenges
Stains – we all get them. For those of us with young children, clothing and carpet stains can be an everyday occurrence. The key to dealing with stains is not to panic and to get to them as soon as possible. Here is my simple guide to what to do in a cleaning emergency. Most stains can be dealt with very easily. Here are a few of my favourite simple, yet effective, treatments to banish stains quickly. Always use a white cloth to tackle stains, as this allows you to see how much of the stain you are actually removing.
1. Spilt coffee on clothing
Sponge off straight away with cold (not hot) water. Dab the stain – do not rub or you will spread it even further.
If you are out and about, your hand sanitiser gel can act as an instant stain remover, if you get to it quickly.
Once home, turn your stained clothing inside out and hold under cold runnning water, letting the water flush the stain through the fibres. Turn back the right way and rinse again under warm water. Rub in a little washing-up liquid and then leave for 30 minutes. Rinse and wash as normal.
2. Red wine on carpet
Wine spillages at dinner parties are a common occurrence. Take a white cloth, place it over the stain and allow it to soak up any excess wine that hasn’t yet soaked into the carpet. Half-fill a washing-up bowl with warm water, add one squirt of washing-up liquid and a drop of white wine vinegar and scrub the mixture into the stain. Leave to work for a few minutes, then use a white cloth to blot dry.
This is one of the easier stains to remove. Simply rub a little neat biological laundry detergent into the stain (a toothbrush is really good for this, as it will help loosen it). Leave to work for 15 minutes, then wash as normal.
Have you ever sat on a chocolate and ended up with a great big stain on your trousers? I know i have and it can be rather embarrassing. Take a blunt knife and scrape away any excess chocolate, flush under cold running water, then rub in some biological laundry detergent. Leave for 15 minutes, then wash as normal.
The sooner you act, the better – getting rid of dried-in blood stains is not easy. Turn the garment inside-out and flush under cold running water (do not use hot water, as this will embed the stain even further into the fabric). Apply some neat white vinegar to the stain and leave for 30 minutes, then wash as normal.
6. Grease and oil
Forget to put on your apron when cooking? Covered in splash marks from cooking up a tasty steak? Grease and oil stains can get everywhere – try to get to the stain as soon as possible. Squeeze over some fresh or bottled lemon juice to cover the stain. Then, take some table salt, sprinkle onto the stain and rub it in. Leave for a few minutes, then rinse with warm water and wash as normal.
7. Nail polish
When painting our nails we can occasionally get nail polish on the furniture – usually an acetone nail polish remover will remove this easily. However, if you spill some onto the carpet, it is a different story. The go-to product for this type of spillage is window cleaner. Apply direct to the stain and use circular motions with a white cloth to remove it. Rinse with warm water and repeat, if necessary.
Paint is a relatively easy stain to tackle and will normally come out with ease using washing-up liquid. Rub neat into the stain and leave for 30 minutes or so. Rinse and then wash as normal. Repeat the process, if necessary.