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More Clever Ideas for Removing Stains

This useful stain removal guide was recently featured in Family Circle Magazine and I thought it was well worth sharing.  Tips are from a book called "Talking Dirty Laundry With The Queen Of Clean" by Linda Cobb. Below are a few highlighted excerpts:

Getting Sharpee Marker off of a Table

THE CLEANUP - For washable markers, soap and water will do the trick.  If they used Sharpees, firmly rub the stains with a dollar bill.   Don't ask me why, but it works.  Another route is to pour a little lemon oil (furniture polish) on the spots and buf gently with very fine steel wool (or a magic eraser).

Getting black heel marks all off the floor

THE CLEANUP - Erase black heel marks by gently rubbing with a dryer sheet.  Fill in scratches with a crayon that matches the color of the wood (you may have to mix).  Then buff with a cloth that has been warmed in the dryer.  To clean and brighten wood floors, try mopping with a strong black tea at room temperature.   The tannic acid in tea shines the wood and lightly colors imperfections.

Help!  One of our party guests sloshed Shiraz on the sofa!

THE CLEANUP - When you serve red wine, always have white on hand for fast cleanups.  It's a neutralizer for the red stains.  Pour white wine into a tablespoon ad apply immediately to the spot.  Club soda also works.  The bubbles push the color to the surface and the salt prevents staining.  Never overaturate upholstery, which can leave water marks.  And blot - don't rub - with a clean cloth and repeat if necessary. 

My white china cups have coffee stains - please tell me they aren't permanent!

THE CLEANUP - Pour a teaspoon of lemon juice (which acts as a miled natural bleach)) in a cup, then add a little salt to create a paste.  Rub with a paper towel or cloth, rinse, and voila!  Good as new.

My Aunts left fuschia lipstick on my good cloth napkins!

THE CLEANUP - Scrape up what you can with the dull edge of a butter knife.  Apply a little WD-40.  Let sit for a few minutes, then work in a drop of liquid dish soap with your fingers and flush with warm water.  Once the lipstick is gone, apply a laundry pretreatment product and wash as usual.

After we hauled out the Christmas Tree, I found sticky sap residue on the carpet!

THE CLEANUP - Mis a solution of equal parts glycerin (a clear moisturizer and lubricant available a t drugstores) and warm water, and pour on the tacky spots.  Wait a few minutes for the glycerin to dissolve the pitch, then pull up on the soiled fibers with a dry cloth.  Finish by applying a commercial carpet stain remover to take out any remaining residue.

The mantel is a mess from my supposedly dripless candles!

THE CLEANUP - Heat the wax with a blow-dryer set on high.  While applying the hot air, wedge a credit card, plastic putty knife, or something with a flexible straight edge under the drips.  They will pop right off.  For painted wood which is susceptible to staining from colored wax, try a paste of cream of tartar mixed with a few drops of lemon juice (both are natural bleaching agents).  Let sit for a couple of hours.  Wipe off the excess.  No luck?  You'll need to repaint.  Sand and brush on a primer marked as a "sealer" and "stain blocker" first.  Otherwise, the wax pgment may penetrate the fresh paint.

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