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Top 10 Stain Removal Tricks

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There are few things as frustrating as spilling on a favorite piece of clothing or furniture. As you watch the dark red wine, pizza grease, or black coffee slowly spread across the fabric, you may feel a sense of defeat--that is definitely going to leave a stain.

However, there are a variety of tips and tricks to ensure you can remove any stubborn stain quickly and effectively. Read on for 10 of the most useful methods for removing any and all types of stains--from grass to ink to blood!

1. Don't delay:

Acting fast is the most important tip to remember when removing a stain. The longer you wait, the deeper the stain will set, making it more difficult to remove.

2. Test discreetly:

Whatever product or method you use to remove a stain, always test it first in a easy-to-conceal area of the fabric. This will ensure that the solution is suitable for that particular fabric before you douse the entire stained area with it. For example, if you stained your sofa, test your stain remover on the couch's backside (or any area that faces a wall).

3. Apply remover to the back of the stain:

Applying stain remover to the underside of the fabric prevents the stain from further seeping in and forces the offending substance off of the fabric rather than allowing it to soak through.

4. Blot, don't rub:

 One of the major rules of thumb in stain removal--always blot gently, never rub vigorously. Rubbing is abrasive and can damage your fabric--whether you are struggling to remove a stain from an upholstered couch or a delicate silk blouse. It also rubs the stain deeper into the fibers, making it more difficult to remove.

5. Removing grass stains:

 If you have young children, you know how it difficult it can be to remove those pesky greenish-brown streaks from their clothes after a day of outside play. Rubbing alcohol is the best for diluting the difficult stain--it dissolves  chlorophyll’s green pigment. Dab the alcohol into the stain, allow it to air-dry, rinse with more alcohol, and repeat until the stain has faded. Then apply detergent into the stain before throwing the piece into the laundry. You may need to repeat the process several times before the stain is completely gone.

6. Removing red wine stains:

Enjoying a glass of red wine is pleasant and relaxing--until you spill onto your favorite top or your cream-colored sofa. As our first step says, don't delay--act fast when removing a red wine stain. Douse the stain in club soda (or plain water if necessary) and blot out as much of the stain as possible. Cover the damp area with salt to soak up the stain and then wash the fabric as you would normally.

7. Removing blood stains:

Unsightly blood stains can easily ruin any fabric. To remove fresh blood stains, blot the area with cold water, ad then rinse it thoroughly. Next soak the piece in an ice-cold salt bath for an hour or two. If the stain remains, apply a three percent hydrogen peroxide solution, rinse, and launder as you normally do. For older blood stains, peroxide or even milk can work to loosen the stain. Try these methods before laundering your item.

TIP: Never put blood-stained clothing in the dryer or the stain will set.

8. Removing coffee stains:

Coffee and tea provide a boost of energy, as well as a difficult-to-remove stain after a spill. The cream often added to these drinks makes the stains doubly difficult to remove--cream contains oil, which also stains easily. Black tea or coffee may be removed by blotting and rinsing in cold water, then applying a little detergent for especially stubborn stains. However, if your hot beverage contained milk or cream, blot the stain, apply detergent, blot away, and rub white chalk on the stain to remove the grease.

9. Removing oil stains:

Drop a greasy slice of pizza face down on your carpet? Douse yourself in cooking oil when you turned the heat up too high and it splattered? Grease and oil stains are incredibly stubborn and difficult to remove because the slippery substances sink into fabric fibers and don't budge. White chalk is useful hack for removing oil from fabric. First blot the oil with a paper towel to remove the excess and then grently rub a stick of white chalk over the stain, working from the stain's center outward. Baby powder and baking soda also work, but are not as effective.

10. Removing ink stains:

To get ballpoint ink out of fabric, spray the area evenly with aerosol hair spray from approximately four to six inches away. Next, blot the area gently, and repeat the process as necessary. Wash the fabric as you would normally.

Nicole La Capria  Posted by Nicole La Capria on April 9, 2013

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