Here are some basic tips on how to remove stains:
Always blot up excess liquid from the stain before starting the stain removal process.
Do not rub a stain (this causes the stain to spread).
Use a clean white cloth or paper towel on the under surface of the fabric if possible.
To prevent the stain from spreading, work the stain from the outside edge to the middle.
For successful stain removal, do not dry clothing until the stain is completely removed. Drying will set the stain in further.
Always use ammonia and rubbing alcohol in well ventilated areas. Keep rubbing alcohol away from heat, flames or cigarettes).
For carpet stains, do not scrub the stain, blot gently.
Below are some particularly challenging stains and stain removal tips for each.:
To remove blood stains: To remove blood stains on a hard surface floor, first try clear, cold water. If this does not remove all of the stain, use a solution of tablespoon ammonia added to ½ cup of cold water. Keep the floor from becoming discolored by rinse quickly. For blood stains on washable clothing, soak first in cold salt water or try 3% hydrogen peroxide. (Make sure cleaning agents are at room temperature). If these two methods do not remove the entire blood stain, use the ammonia solution listed above. Also try mild hand dishwashing detergent: Mix 1 teaspoon of clear dishwashing detergent with one cup of warm water. Hand wash and rinse thoroughly to avoid resoiling. A cornstarch paste made of cornstarch and cold water can also be gently rubbed on the blood stain; allow it to dry and brush off lightly
To remove alcohol (non-wine) stains: For clothing and fabrics: Blot up any excess alcohol. First try sponging with cool water and mild dishwashing detergent. Next, try 1 teaspoon ammonia to 1 cup of cool water and rinse well. A third solution to try is a mixture of 1/3 cup of white vinegar (5% acetic acid) to 2/3 cup of water. For hard surface floors, try dishwashing detergent first or rubbing alcohol on a clean cloth or sponge. For alcohol stains on carpet, blot up excess liquid, then quickly sponge the stain with cool water. Try using a vinegar solution of 1/3 cup vinegar to 1 cup cool water and rinse.
How to remove chocolate stains: For washable clothing: First, try washing in a mixture of warm water and dishwashing detergent. Second, a mixture of 1 tablespoon of ammonia and ½ cup of water. A vinegar mixture of 1/3 cup of white vinegar and 2/3 cup of water can also be tried.
To remove a rust stain: To remove a rust stain on fabric, moisten the rust stain with cool water. Next, sponge in a salt and lemon juice mixture. If the fabric is bleach safe, try a color safe bleach.
Wine stains: For fresh wine stains try pouring club soda or warm water over the stain. Another suggestion is to use table salt to thickly covering the stain. Let it sit for one hour then wash with dishwashing solution, rinse and let dry. (For carpet or clothing). For washable clothing, try pouring boiling water over the stain from a distance of 12 inches.
To remove candle wax stains: For carpet and floors: Chill the candle wax by rubbing an ice cube over and around it. Next use a plastic spatula or dull knife to scrape it up. For clothing: Scrape off excess wax first. For washable clothing, place paper towels or facial tissues under and over the candle wax (sandwich style with the candle wax in the middle), then lightly press over the area to melt the wax onto the paper towel or tissues. Also, from a distance of 12 inches, pour boiling water over the wax.
Perspiration stains: To remove perspiration stains: Use an ammonia mixture of 1 tablespoon of ammonia and ½ cup of water. Also try the vinegar mixture of 1/3 cup of white vinegar (5% acetic acid) and 2/3 cup of water.
Trying to figure out how to get a stain out of favorite clothing or carpet can be quite distressing. Following stain removal tips can help get rid of those dreadful stains once and for all.
Clean It! Mary Jo Appel, Edited by Jaala Weingarten,