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Article: All Natural Stain Removal Guide

Time is tight, dinner is cooking and the dog just had an accident on the carpet. Let's take a look at some ideas to quickly remove stains using natural products - perhaps with an exception or two.

First a few general rules for removing stains:
1.My number one rule: Give your product time to work. Rubbing alcohol removes ink off most surfaces but not the minute you blot it on. Dab on your cleaner then allow a 30 minute wait. This gives the product time to dissolve the residue eliminating all the rubbing and scrubbing.

2.Always get to a spill immediately. The longer a spill sets the worse the stain.

3.Rinse the cleaner out of fabrics especially carpets with one-quarter cup white vinegar in two cups of water. Then repeat with plain water.

4.Blotting properly prevents fraying of fabric. Blot using a damp
towel.Form a knuckle with your index finger and push into the towel. Rock you finger back and forth, move the towel then rock your finger left to right. Repeat. Reapply the cleaner if needed. After the second application of cleaner, again make a knuckle with your index finger. Push your knuckle and the towel into the carpet then twist your wrist clockwise. Carpet fibers are twisted clockwise. This removes the stain from between the fibers without leaving them fuzzy.

5.Use heat of any kind even hot water. Heat sets stains. Dryer heat particularly means certain death for easy removal.

6.Put a clean rag under the fabric you are working on to prevent the stain from spreading to another surface.

Most stains land in 4 categories; food, grease etc., dirt and who
knows. Throw in easy solutions for wax and gum and most perplexing problems tuck their tails and run.

Washing Clothes
Do your white clothes appear dingy even though you bleach them? Bleach causes the discoloration. Add one-half to 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide per regular washer. The first time allow the clothes to soak in the washer for 30 minutes. Then wash normally only use less detergent. White clothes return to their normal brightness and colored cloths perk up as well. Add one quarter cup of baking soda to your washer for additional freshness.

Back to basics on laundry. Begin filling your washer with water
(not for front loading machines.) Add your detergent and peroxide then the clothes. The detergent can?t clean unless it dissolves. Switch to liquid detergents for front loading washers.

Fill your tub only three-quarters full. Clothes clean by the
agitating action amongst themselves. Crowd them and this cleaning action comes to a halt. Pretreat most stains with a dab of liquid dish soap. Add a few squirts to a spray bottle filled with water. It's cheaper than prewash sprays, works better too

Remember heat sets stains. Don't dry clothes unless the stain is
gone.

Food
Food never spills down your front unless you are out in public
where it quickly makes a mockery of your front side. Should, that
happen, head to the closest restroom. Gently dab a bit of liquid soap on the spot and resist the temptation to rub. Let the soap set. It may look funny until you get home, but the food stain comes right out.

Popsicles, red wine and other red dye stains
Cherry popsicles are a favorite treat except when they land in
your lap. Mix a 50/50 solution of hydrogen peroxide and cool water. Spray on and let it set 30 minutes. Rinse with a vinegar and water solution. It may take a treatment or two but it comes out. Peroxide is bleach, so always test a spot first.

If a favorite shirt has an old stain, soak it in a 50/50 solution
of peroxide and water for 30 minutes. It might surprise you and come out, even after going through the dryer.

Coffee, coke, mustard and the likes of whatever your dish soap
doesn't remove: First dab on liquid dish soap and let that set several hours. Blot and rinse as above. If the stain insists on being stubborn, try foaming shaving cream. Spray on the spot, no need to rub it in, and wait 30 to 60 minutes. I've had more good luck removing food stains with shaving cream. It contains 2 or 3 kinds of alcohol and they do an excellent job. The gel shaving cream does not work so use foaming.

Grease, oil, ink and magic marker
Grease and oil
In the driveway or garage: Kitty litter will absorb most of the
oil and grease. Apply and use a brush to work it into the concrete. In the evening, pour on concentrated orange cleaner letting it set overnight. It pulls any oil or grease to the surface. Use old towels to absorb what you can and hose down.

Oil or grease on fabrics or other surfaces: Dab on a bit of a
natural orange cleaner and let that set at least an hour. Then blot
with a clean cloth. It may take a treatment or two, but it works.

PLEASE follow this advice very carefully. If you spill gasoline
on your clothes or in your car, dispose of your clothing properly and replace the carpeting in your car. Gasoline and water don't mix making complete removal impossible. Gas spontaneously combusts especially when the weather turns hot.

Always put a container of gas inside a plastic tub when carrying
it in your car. If the tank spills over, the tub keeps the gas
contained saving your carpet.

Ink
Rubbing alcohol does a great job every time. Remember to let the
alcohol set for 30 minutes. If regular rubbing alcohol doesn't work
ask your pharmacist for denatured alcohol.

Magic Marker
Permanent magic markers mean just that. They are nearly
impossible to remove. Try dabbing on a bit of concentrated orange
cleaner. Let it set even overnight. Rinse to remove. Sometimes
toothpaste will help lighten marker stains.

Dirt
Grass stains and knees It's a given, walk across the lawn and
they appear from nowhere. Immediately rub in some liquid dish soap, let it set overnight, wash as usual.

Treat dirt or red clay on children?s baseball uniforms in the
same manner. For really stubborn spots mix a paste of dishwasher detergent and work in. Don't rub real hard, or you could damage the fabric.

Baseball Caps
Wash on the top rack of your dishwasher. Remove before the dry
cycle and air dry.

Gum and Wax
Freeze gum with an ice cube. Ice hardens it making removal easy.

Oh those dripless candles. They can and do drip, but nobody told
you. First freeze the wax with an ice cube in a ziplock plastic bag.
Then chip off as much as you can with the blunt side of a knife. Using a hair dryer and a plain white paper towel, heat the wax blotting with the paper towel as it melts. This works just fine for carpets as well as fabrics. Remember to put plastic under a fabric so the wax doesn't transfer to the other surface.

Underarm stains.
Place a white paper towel both on top of the shirt and on the
ironing board to protect the ironing board. Set your iron to medium heat and iron the area. The wax melts into the paper towel.

Then spray the stain with hydrogen peroxide. Allow it to set 30
minutes and launder. If the shirt has cycled through the dryer, the
stain may be more difficult to remove.

Rust
Squeeze the juice from a lemon on the spot. Sprinkle on some salt
and let it set several hours keeping the spot damp with lemon juice.

Who Knows
This is the order of business:
1) Dab on liquid dish soap;
2) Try WD40;
3) follow with hydrogen peroxide/water mixture or club soda and
finally;
4) Break cleaner. If all those fail, send in your suggestions.

Pet Problems
So your pet got sick after lunch and your carpet now has red
stains. First of all switch food. It's the red dye in the dog or cat
food that causes the problem. Dogs and cats are colored blind so they can't tell the difference. They want good tasting food not good looking food.

Follow the directions for popsicles above to remove the stain.

Pet accidents.
Always keep a bottle of a live enzyme product handy. Nature's Miracle is an excellent product. Remember when liquid hits the padding it spreads. A stain on the padding is twice as large as the surface stain. Unless the entire area is treated the pet
continues to return to that spot. Pour enough enzyme product on the spot to saturate to the padding. Follow bottle directions allowing the enzymes time to eat away the residue. Then rinse with ½ cup white vinegar per quart of water then again with plain water. Vinegar also helps neutralize odors.

Mary Findley spent 12 years professionally cleaning homes. Her book "Whistle While You Work" is the first ever written for the care of RVs. It also covers home cleaning as well. She writes articles for several magazines and conducts informative and humorous seminars. You are welcome to print out her complete stain removal guide from her website at www.GoClean.com.
 

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Everyday products used as STAIN REMOVERS

Oily/Waxy Stains - Try one of the following: "Scrubbing Bubble" bathroom cleaners; Rub white chalk into the stain before laundering; Rub with damp cloth dipped in Borax; Apply a paste of cornstarch and water, let dry and brush off.


Blood Stains - Fresh - use cold water. Dried - Use Hydrogen Peroxide. Pour over stain as soon as possible.


Red Stains (Koolaid, Popsicle, Berry Juice) - Rubbing Alchohol. Pour over stain before washing.


Wine, Coffee, and Fruit Stains - Club Soda or moist salt. Pour over stain, or soak in milk before washing.


Grass Stains - Combine a few drops of household ammonia with 1 teaspoon peroxide. Rub stain with this mixture. Rinse with water as soon as stain disappears.


Rust Stains - Scrub with crumbled aluminum foil.


Lipstick Stains - Rub with shortening and wash with washing soda.


Ink Stains - Use hairspray on stain (with absorbent towel underneath) and launder as usual. Or wet stain with cold water, apply paste of cream of tartar/lemon juice, let sit one hour and wash as usual. Or mix 1/3 cup white vinegar with 2/3 cup warm water and apply a small amount to the stain. Blot until no more stain can be removed.
 
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:cool: Thanks Michelle! Hairspray works great on ink and H2O2 is excellent for blood even if it's dried. Rubbing alcohol will remove permanent ink if it hasn't been heat set.
 

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Frugal Stain Removal

Stain removal products are some of the most expensive items to buy. I have learned to rely on some low-cost household products for stain removal.

One of my sons worked for a time as an auto mechanic and still works on our cars when he's needed. Getting his clothes clean is a real challenge!

This recipe is one I have used for years and works as well as Spray n Wash at a much lower cost!

1 cup white vinegar
1 cup ammonia (I use lemon-scented)
1 cup Wisk detergent
1 cup water
Just mix all together in a spray bottle and pre-treat
spots and wash as usual.

For really greasiest spots I find that using a product called "Goop" works very well. It is a handcleaner that comes in a tub and I just work it into the spot with an old toothbrush.

Another treatment for greasy spots is to mix 2 tablespoons of Murphy's Oil Soap with 2 cups of water in a spray bottle. For best results,spray on spots and let set for awhile before washing.

A good way to fix that "ring around the collar" is to pre-treat with a little shampoo. Just work it in with that old toothbrush.

"Creativity is a poor man's wealth"

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Cyndi Roberts' website, "1 Frugal Friend 2 Another" will show you ways to save money everyday. Receive a free e-course on saving money at the supermarket! To learn more, visit http://www.cynroberts.com
 
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Thanks Amy! I'm printing this out and going to teach my boys to refer to it so we don't end up with so many stains!:D
 

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Awesome. At the family gathering today my auntie drew on me by accident and long story short -- I have blood on my fave shirt as well!
 

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Thanks for that list............:D
 

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Wow thanks for the info, my daughter is always getting stuff on her shirts that wind up NOT coming out, maybe I will try this.
 

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Julia is the Stain Princess! I can definitely use this site! Thanks!
 

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Spaghetti sauce stain remover

As a fluke I used Windex on a spaghetti sauce stain and it took the red color out almost immediately. I could still see where it was, but after washing it was completely gone. I was a little bit shocked!
 

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Think I can use Dawn instead of Wisk???
 

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Wonderful article.

I was given a tip recently: 409 cleaner is a great blood stain remover. Recently an elderly relative fell and cut his head seriously. There was a great deal of blood on his pajamas and we didn't get around to washing them until the next day. I was absolutely amazed that 409 completely removed every trace of blood.
 
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