Stains happen. None of us can avoid them, and only a select few of us are good at removing them. We have all turned to fancy cleaning supplies with fantastical claims to fame only to be let down and frustrated by the wasted time and money. Most of us have also sought professional help at one point or another, and the results can sometimes be favorable, but you know it is going to cost you in the end. Before you go out and purchase a special spray to remove that wine stain from your shirt, and before you resort to calling in the pros, you may want to try out some natural cleaning methods with stuff you probably already have around the house.
Red Wine Stain
This can be pretty awful looking when it happens. You spill wine on a piece of clothing, the carpet, or your couch, and the deep red stain will look impossible to remove. Many harsh cleaners with bleach and other chemicals will claim to be the answer, but if you have ever tried them you know that they can discolor or deteriorate the surface you are cleaning, and they are not always able to complete the job to your satisfaction. This is one stain that club soda or baking soda can be very effective on.
Red wine is very acidic due to the high levels of tannic acid in it. This is why something like club soda is able to remove it. Use club soda alone or dilute some baking soda into water to create a basic solution to for cleaning up the wine. As we all know, opposites attract, so the acid in the wine will cling to the carbon dioxide in the water mixture or club soda, so it will sort of lift off the stained surface to make it easy to remove. Simply saturate the stain with your club soda, and then blot the stain out to remove most of the coloration. Continue with another dose of the baking soda solution or club soda to clean the remaining stain. Once it is almost gone, it will be a matter of flushing the area clean with plain old water. This type of technique will do the trick in many cases, but for more severe staining try something a little more powerful like Quick N Brite. It is a natural cleaner, so it’s safe to use on any type of surface, and it is perfect for organic staining like this. When all else fails, this stuff will always do the trick.
Dirt or Rust Stain
Regular old dirt can be pretty easy to remove, but some of it is kind of stubborn. Rust on the other hand, is one of those stains that can be nearly impossible to remove from certain surfaces. Because the two are alkaline or basic, you will want to approach them in a similar, but kind of opposite way as the wine. The same opposites attract style method will be used, but you will use something acidic to remove these two types of stains. Vinegar can work great for this, and lemon juice is another highly acidic tool that can be quite effective as well. If you are going the vinegar route, always choose a distilled white vinegar, as it has proven to work the best.
Rust is an iron oxide, and it is not soluble in water, so most regular washing techniques will be useless to clean it. As soon as you add something acidic to the rust stain, it will begin to break apart, to make it easy to remove. For a rust stain in the bath, spray on some lemon juice and let it sit for a few minutes. Give it a quick scrub to further loosen the stain, and then rinse clean with water. For rust on clothing, a pre-treat method works well. Saturate the rustiness with your acidic solution and let it sit until you do a load of laundry. In most cases the stain will be gone or greatly diminished once the clothes come out of the dryer. For regular dirt, use the vinegar, and clean like you are using any other type of cleanser. Simply spray on, and then wipe the dirt away. You can also use it on laundry stains prior to washing in much the same way as described above with the lemon juice.
Stains from ink are pretty easy to come by. We have all done it before, and many just toss the clothing, or surrender in defeat. Don’t let your furniture sit ruined, or your hard earned money go to waste by throwing out clothes. It is possible to remove an ink stain with stuff you have around the house too. For this type of stain, try hairspray or rubbing alcohol. They will do the trick if used properly, but they also run the risk of ruining stuff, so be careful! Both of these contain ethyl alcohol which is a surfactant. In technical terms, this means that one side of the molecule is hydrophilic and loves water, while the other side is not, and it is more attracted to organic molecules like carbon which is what gives ink it’s color. In more simple terms, these things are able to float the color off the surface so that you can remove it. The stain is lifted up and is able to mix with the water or attach to another surface, in order to exit the surface you are cleaning.
Simply spray on the alcohol, and work it in. Then buff the stain with a clean dry towel, or flush the area with water. Some more permanent inks will be impossible to remove all the way, but many are able to clean easily. Ball point pen ink is the most simple, and something like a fat black marker would be much harder. These substances have proven to work fairly well, and you probably have one or both at your house right now. If you have tried these without success, or you just want something a little more fool-proof, again, we would suggest you check out what Quick n Brite has to offer in the way of stain fighting.
You don’t have to be a criminal to come across a blood stain. Many parents are very familiar with this one, and it can be pretty hard to remove. Salt water can work quite well, and there probably is not a house in the US that would have trouble coming up with some to try. The reason why blood is red, is due to the iron content. This is also what is most responsible for any stain that might result. If you clean with a salt water solution, the salt is able to displace the iron in the blood, which will cause the deep red color to fade as the stain is removed. If left to set in, a blood stain can become bonded with the fabric, making it very difficult to clean. For this reason, attacking the stain quickly will make the job easier, and also ensure better results. If you get to work right away, the water will keep the blood wet and prevent this bonding from taking place.
To clean a blood stain on clothing, simply spray the area with your salt water, and begin to blot and work the stain out. You will want to completely clean the area without stopping for best results. For this type of stain, a pre-treat method is not recommended because the blood will dry and make itself harder to clean. Blood stains are another one that Quick N Brite can easily remove, so if you have tried the salt water method and have not had success, you may want to give it a try. It will even remove left over stains that you have tried other stuff on previously.
For many stains that we encounter, everyday household supplies can be quite effective at cleaning. So before you take that shirt to the cleaners, and before you buy some expensive stain fighter that may or may not work, give some of the above methods a try. You most likely already have the supplies you need, and with any of the above techniques you run very little risk of further damage. If you have tried some of these without any luck, or you just want to have a safe and proven method of removing practically every stain you will ever encounter, try Quick N Brite.