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Lipstick-on-collar---CropValentine’s Day has come and gone, and as we finish up our last bit of yummy chocolate and enjoy our beautiful bouquet of roses, we are left with beautiful memories and a variety of stains. Maid Brigade to the rescue, with some handy cleaning tips to help remove these stains.

If you choose to remove stains naturally, without using any harsh chemicals at all, you may want to stock up on white vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, lemon juice, baking soda, and liquid dish soap or Fels Naptha soap. These ingredients are not only cheaper to buy than standard household cleaners, they have also been proven to work again and again.

Here are a few types of stains we have all tried to conquer sometime or another, followed by easy cleaning tips to combat those stains once and for all:

  1. Chocolate. Blot off excess chocolate. With a small eye dropper, apply diluted white vinegar to the stain. Rinse the spot with cold water.
  2. Coffee and Tea. Make a paste of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. Scrub onto stain with a small toothbrush. Rinse.
  3. Red Wine. Pour a mix of liquid dish soap, hydrogen peroxide, and cold water onto stain. Blot. Rinse. For stains on upholstery, blot stain with a microfiber cloth to gather up excess liquid. Pour a little white wine or club soda on the stain. Blot dry.
  4. Flower Pollen. Never rub pollen with a cloth or with your hand. This only pushes the pollen into the fabric more. If the pollen seems to be only on the surface, it can still be removed easily. Shake out clothing to remove as much pollen as possible. Alternatively, you can use a piece of tape and gently lift up as much of the pollen as possible with the sticky side of the tape. Gently, rinse stained area with cold water from the back of the clothing. Next soak stained garment for 30 minutes in an enzymatic detergent mixed in cold water. Launder as usual.
  5. Pen Ink. Rubbing alcohol is great for removing ink from clothing. Just remember to let the alcohol set for about half an hour. If rubbing alcohol doesn’t work, try denatured alcohol.
  6. Permanent Magic Marker. If the marker reads permanent, it is just that – permanent! You can try dabbing some concentrated orange cleaner on the stain, letting it sit overnight. The next day, rinse the garment. To lighten marker stains, brush some toothpaste on the stain.
  7. Lipstick. Rub castile or Fels Naptha soap into the stain and let it sit overnight. The next morning, wash as usual.
  8. Underarm stains. The stain is actually wax from deodorant. So place a white paper towel both on top of the shirt and on the ironing board to protect the ironing board. Set your iron to medium heat and iron the area. The wax melts into the paper towel and the stain disappears (See general cleaning tips, below, about heat and stains. If the garment has been laundered before the stain was removed, you will not be able to fully remove the stain.)
  9. Pet accidents and odors. If you are an animal lover, then you should keep Nature’s Miracle (enzyme) nearby! Pour enough enzyme product on the spot to saturate the padding. Then rinse with a ½ cup white vinegar per quart of water then again with plain water. Vinegar also helps neutralize odors.
  10. Candle wax on carpet. If candle wax has dripped onto your carpet, let the wax cool before attempting to remove it. Once the wax has hardened, take a dull knife and scrape away all the excess wax that you can. Remove stubborn wax droppings by covering them with a paper bag and iron on medium heat, pressing the bag down gently. The remaining wax will be transferred off your carpet and on to the paper bag.

spilled-red-wine

General cleaning tips for removing stains:

  • Give your product time to work. Dab on your cleaner and give the product time to dissolve the residue eliminating all the rubbing and scrubbing.
  • Try and remove the stain as soon as you can. The longer a spill sets the worse the stain.
  • Rinse the cleaner out of fabrics and carpeting by dabbing on a mixture of 2 cups water and ¼ cup white vinegar, then repeating with plain water.
  • Heat sets stains. So avoid the use of hot water to remove stains and definitely don’t put stained garments in the dryer until you have removed the stain.
  • Be sure to place a clean white cloth under the fabric you are removing the stain from, in order to prevent the stain from spreading to another surface.

Holidays and special occasions may come and go, but stains can live forever, unless we clean them properly.

Hopefully these cleaning tips will help you look forward to holidays, armed with the knowledge you need to eliminate pesky stains that often come with the celebration.