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Cleaning Common Household Stains

Last Updated Jan 24, 2012 · Written by Jaclyn Fitzgerald

No matter how careful you are in your day to day life, spills, splashes and accidents occur.  The key is to clean them up before they become permanent stains and we’ve put together some tips for cleaning up the most common household stains.  Now you can get rid of the stains before you get stuck with them for life!   For more cleaning tips or to get out stains you simply can’t, your local cleaning professional will be only too happy to help.

Cleaning up the Coffee

Coffee is one of the most popular household drinks so it’s no surprise that most people have spilled coffee at one time or another!  To get coffee out of carpets, simply sponge it up using cold water.  Paper towels will help to suck out the stain as well.  If that doesn’t work, use a gentle carpet shampoo.  To get coffee out of upholstery follow the same steps as you would for carpet.  To get coffee out of clothes or fabric, soak the material in water initially and then a stain removing solution.  Wash in hot water.  Coffee should always be removed wet wherever possible.

Getting Rid of Curry Stains

There’s nothing nicer than a good curry but it’s a pain when you slop some down your front!  For clothes, spray on some stain remover and then wash as normal.  For carpets, use a stain remover designed especially for carpet and then wash it with carpet shampoo. The key with curry is to act quickly.

Removing Pet Urine

If your pet has had an accident in the house, don’t despair!  It’s easy to get rid of the evidence – including the smell.  Blot up what you can with paper towels first, and then use plain soda water on the stain before blotting again.  Alternatively, you can finish with a solution of vinegar and water to neutralise the smell.  If you wish, you can use a special product for cleaning animal urine such as Urine Off.

Don’t Whine About the Wine!

Wine is a common stain but one that many despair over as it leaves such an obvious mark.  If you do spill wine, try blotting it up straight away with some plain water.  If that doesn’t work, try using soda water to loosen the stain from the fibres.  Alternatively, a paste of borax and baking powder mixed with a little water may work if your stain is particularly stubborn!

Oil or Grease Stains

Oil or grease stains are common but they’re relatively easy to remove.  Try applying baby powder over the stained area and then placing a sheet of brown paper over the top.  Iron the affected area – the heat should cause the paper and baby powder to absorb the stain.  If that doesn’t work, try using either a waterless hand cleaner or shaving cream (It’s one or the other, not both!).  Apply to the area, let sit for a little while and then remove with water.

Getting Rid of Pen Marks

It’s surprising how much mess a humble pen can make!  Use a weak solution of hydrogen peroxide (one part hydrogen peroxide to six parts water) to remove the stain and then wash it out with shampoo.  If you don’t have hydrogen peroxide, milk may work wonders but be sure to wash it out well!

Get the Blood Out

Hopefully you won’t have to worry about blood stains but if an accident occurs, remove blood from carpets or fabrics using cold water.  Never use hot water as it will set the blood.  If you need extra help, use a paste of flour or talcum powder with water to clean the stain.
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