Tips to Tackle Tough Stains

The art of stain removal really is more like a science. Old wives' tales and myths float around about using club soda or other items to remove stains. But, the Good Housekeeping Research Institute actually has determined what works. Learn about how you can remove stains on carpets and even furniture. Check out the suggestions below.

Scribbles, Scuffs and Stickers

Crayon Scribbles on the Walls
Use Citrus-Based Cleaner
Use a citrus-based cleaner like Goo Gone. It costs about $5. It performed very well in the Good Housekeeping Research Institute tests. Apply it with a soft cloth, and once the stain disappears, wash the area with soap and water. Then, let it air dry.

Scuffs and Scrapes
Use Mr. Clean Magic Eraser
If your spray cleaner and sponge don't do the job, then try Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, which costs about $3. Just wet the pad and press only as hard as necessary, to avoid marring the paint.

Safely Removing Stickers and Decals
Use a Hair Dryer
This is a clever solution that doesn't require you to buy anything. Soften the adhesive with heat from a blow dryer for 10 seconds or so, then peel. Repeat if necessary. If there's gunk left behind, saturate a cotton swab with laundry prewash stain remover. Rub until it penetrates the residue. Scrape it off with a credit card or spatula. Blot with a damp cloth and allow it to dry.

Nail Polish on Upholstery
Use Nail Polish Remover
A few drops of acetone or an acetone-containing nail polish remover. Avoid removers with other ingredients, like moisturizers, because they can stain.

Carpet Care

Muddy Footprints on Carpet
Let Stain Dry, Then Vacuum
The solution here is to go against conventional wisdom and let the stain dry first. Then vacuum it up. Most of it will be gone by then and it may only need a light cleaning. A dry mud stain is much easier to remove than a wet one.

Red Wine on Carpet
Let Table Salt Sit Overnight
This one is actually much easier than you might think and you can find the ingredient right in your home. Just use table salt. Then, let the stain sit overnight and wash away the remainder in the morning.

After the Stain
Pile Paper Towels on Spot, Leave Them Overnight
After removing a stain from carpeting, pile on a stack of paper towels and weigh it down with a heavy pot or vase. Leave it overnight to absorb any residual stain. In the morning, toss away the paper towel and fluff the carpet. This prevents the stain from reappearing as the carpet dries.

Click here for more stain busting tips to clean just about every smudge, spot and spill imaginable.

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