As much as we want to keep our homes and belongings safe and protected, accidents happen and the more pets and people you have in your home, the more likely you are to encounter a laundry list of spills, stains and other accidents. Here are 5 great tips to help you deal with some of the most common mishaps you may encounter in your home.
1.) Clear liquid spills
Baking soda is something of a magical cure-all for most liquid spills, particularly those that also have a foul odor such as urine. The baking soda not only soaks up and absorbs the liquid but it also absorbs the odor. Baking soda is also safe for almost all fabrics, floors and carpets and will actually pull liquid that has seeped down into carpets up to the surface. Just sprinkle baking soda liberally over the spill, let it dry for a few hours and vacuum it up. The baking soda may initially leave a white stain on carpets, but a good brushing will shake the dried baking soda loose and a second vacuuming will clear up the residue. For upholstery and microfiber items, once you have vacuumed up the backing soda, a stiff brush such as shoes shine brush or a clean dish brush with nylon bristles will restore the nap. If you have young children that spill often or pets that regularly have accidents, you can purchase baking soda in 5 lb bags at most membership warehouse clubs like Sam’s Club or Costco or any place that sells swimming pool cleaning supplies.
2.) Gum and Wax
Gum and candle wax are two very common problems that most people will often need to address at some point in time. To remove gum, simply hold an ice cube over the gum and the gum will freeze, making it easier to remove. The easiest way to remove candle wax is to place a cloth rag or old dishtowel over the wax and run a hot iron over the rag. The heat from the iron will melt the wax and the rag will absorb the liquid wax. If the wax is in a location that is not feasible to use an iron and dishtowel, freeze the wax with an ice cube inside a plastic bag and then use a plastic knife or credit card to scrape away the largest pieces. Then use a blowdryer to heat the wax and use a paper towel to blot the wax away as it melts
3.) Coffee stains
To remove ring stains from coffee cups on counters and other surfaces, rub moistened salt over the stain. To remove built up residue in your coffee carafe or travel mugs, pour in a cup of vinegar and let it soak. It will leave your carafe and even stainless steel coffee mugs as shiny and sparkly as the day you purchased them. To remove coffee stains from fabric, hold a wet cloth sprinkled with a few drops of white vinegar against the stain and then hold a dry absorbent cloth against the stain. Alternate back and forth between wetting the stain with the wet cloth and using the absorbent cloth to absorb the stain as it loosens. Always remember to blot stains by pressing firmly with the absorbent cloth, but do not rub the stain. For coffee stains in carpet, pour a little beer over it, rub gently and the stain should disappear.
4.) Ink Stains
For removing ink stains from surfaces like countertops, rubbing alcohol works best. Acetone or fingernail polish remover also work well, but be careful to color test them to be sure they don’t remove more than just the ink. To remove ink stains from fabric, mix one tablespoon cream of tartar with a tablespoon lemon juice and a little bit of water. Pour onto the stain and let it sit before blotting up the ink. If the item is washable, you can also use the mixture to pretreat the stain and then just wash as usual. If you have lemon juice but no cream of tartar, you can also mix the lemon juice with a tablespoon of detergent. Alcohol based hair spray and shampoo will also help loosen stubborn ink stains as well as a mixture of 2 parts liquid dish soap to one part rubbing alcohol.
5.) Red Wine
When red wine spills are still wet, two of the best options are baking soda or salt – both of which will absorb the majority of the liquid, leaving very little leftover stain. Club soda also helps prevent wine from setting into a stain. For dry stains, mix either 4 parts water with one part oxi granules or equal parts hydrogen peroxide and dish soap and pour over the stain. Let sit for 2-3 hours and then place a wet cloth over the stain and then blot with a dry absorbent towel. Continue to trade off until the stain has been absorbed.