Life hacks: household stains

Amy Buxton Amy Buxton
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We often think about how you can best maintain your fabulous dream homes once you have built and decorated them and wonder if you worry about cleaning stains and mess. We don't just mean the odd bit of mud that clings to your shoes on a wet day, we mean stains that can actually ruin a carpet, pair of curtains or any of your treasured soft furnishings. 

If you do worry about these things, you can breath a little sigh of relief, as we are here to give you some handy hints and tips for dealing with common household stains, so grab your dishcloth and paper towels and let's get started!

Ice screams

Any dairy-based stains can quickly start to smell bad if you don't deal with them quickly, but you can tackle them nice and easily!

1. Scoop up as much of the ice cream as possible.

2. Wipe with a damp cloth or kitchen roll that has a gentle detergent on it. Fairy liquid is a good bet for most fabrics!

3. Repeat step two until the stain is lifted completely, then leave to dry. If you are able to pop your item in the washing machine, we recommend doing so, just to be sure all that sticky sweetness is removed.

Red wine woes

classic Wine cellar by JMF
JMF
JMF

Red wine is a huge part of many people's lives, as this wine cellar from JMF demonstrates, but it is also one of the most feared cleaning stains out there, so how do you deal with it?

1. Blot any excess liquid with a clean cloth or piece of kitchen roll, but be careful not to rub as this will make it get further into your fabric fibres.  

2. Add some salt to the stain before it dries as this will stop it soaking in any more.

3. After applying the salt dab with fizzy water (or white wine, as crazy as it sounds!) to lift the stain until it won't lift any more. At this point, if you can pop your item in the washing machine, do so now and if not, grab a fabric specific cleaner, such as carpet mousse or suede spray, to get the rest out. Easy!

Coffee calamity

Rame Head Collection - Fine Bone China, Limited Edition Mug: country Kitchen by Helen Round
Helen Round

Rame Head Collection—Fine Bone China, Limited Edition Mug

Helen Round

Coffee is an absolutely killer stain, especially for new cream carpets, so follow these steps to remove it!

1. Blot the stain to remove as much as possible before rinsing with clean water and blotting again.

2. Add some fabric-safe washing powder and work in gently to get the stain lifting. This should see it removed completely, but some stubborn stains might need step three!

3. Mix washing powder with equal parts of white vinegar and water into a paste and apply with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Rinse the mixture away and you should have no trace of your coffee left! Magic!

Grass grazes

Hardwood Conservatory: modern Conservatory by Hampton Windows
Hampton Windows

Hardwood Conservatory

Hampton Windows

The bane of so many parents' lives, grass stains are as stubborn as they are vivid and that is a tough combination but they are, sadly, not exclusive to clothes and kitchen floors.!

1. Never use hot water on a grass stain, as this will bleed the green pigment and make a much bigger mark! Use cold water only and soak the stain, to effectively soften it up a bit.

2. Alcohol is widely regarded as the best way to lift a grass stain, so use rubbing alcohol sparingly, dabbing at the stain until the pigment lifts. If this doesn't work completely, follow up with some washing powder paste, but be gentle!

3. Rinse with cold water and leave to dry. It's like it never happened when cleaning stains is this easy!

Grease isn't the word

Henley on Thames - After:   by Garageflex
Garageflex

Henley on Thames—After

Garageflex

Washing powder really is your friend when it comes to tackling the kind of greasy stains that should be left in the garage!

1. Use warm water to make a washing powder paste and gently rub into the stain. Rinse with warm water afterwards.

2. Repeat step one until the whole stain is gone, but for delicate fabrics, be sure to not rub vigorously as you could damage individual threads.

Bubblegum battle

country Kitchen by Mason Jar Kitchen
Mason Jar Kitchen

Mason jar voorraadpotten

Mason Jar Kitchen

For anything removable, such as cushion covers, curtains etc, bubblegum can be easily removed by placing the fabric in a freezer, leaving the gum to set, then levering it off with a flat knife. For carpets however, you need an on the spot solution.

1. Fill a sandwich bag with ice cubes and place directly on top of the gum for a few minutes

2. Once the gum has hardened, peel it off the carpet, before using a washing powder paste on the leftover sticky residue straight away. You may need to repeat this step to get all of the stickiness out.

So there you have it, simple solutions for cleaning stains that want to ruin your home. We hope you found it useful!

For more cleanliness inspiration, take a look at this Ideabook: The Spring Clean: Tips to Refresh Your Domestic Space.

Have you got any tips for easy stain removal? Tell us below!
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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