Tips for getting rid of common stains

Stubborn stains on carpet, furniture and clothing are frustrating. Try as you might, some of the most common stains can stay put, ruining your belongings. Before you tear out an entire room of carpeting because you spilled red wine on it, or you throw out your child’s favorite pair of jeans because they have grass stains on the knees, check out the tips below for five ways to remove common stains.

1. Red Wine

Spilling red wine on carpeting is enough to send any homeowner into a panic. The stain it leaves behind is hard to get out, no doubt, but following the steps below is sure to make that stain disappear with ease.

Step 1: blot up as much of the wine as possible. Use paper towel or a clean, soft cloth to blot up any excess that hasn’t absorbed into the carpet fibers. Do not rub or scrub the stain!

Step 2: pour small amounts of water on the stain and continue to blot. Do not add too much water at once to avoid spreading the stain. Continue adding water and blotting, switching out the damp cloth for a dry one as needed, until you can no longer remove any more of the stain in this manner.

Step 3: make a 3:1 paste of baking soda and water. Apply the paste, covering the entire stain. Let the paste dry completely.

Step 4: vacuum the dried paste.

Step 5: use a stain remover designed for carpet if any stain remains after vacuuming.

2. Grass

If you have kids, you know grass stains are bound to happen. Rather than throwing out grass-stained clothes, use the following steps below for clothes as good as new.

Step 1. Spray the stained area liberally with stain remover or apply laundry detergent directly to the stain. Rub the cloth together to work in the detergent.

Step 2. Wash the garment normally.

Step 3. If any stain remains, use a cotton ball or cotton swab soaked with white vinegar and dab gently to remove any last remaining hints of the stain.

Step 4. Wash the garment again, and the stain should be history.

3. Grease

Grease is tough to get out of clothing, but with the power of dish soap, it comes out with ease.

Step 1. Wet the grease stain with cool water. Apply a grease-fighting dish soap like Dawn to the stain and gently rub it to loosen the grease. Rinse and repeat until you’ve removed all the surface grease.

Step 2. Apply a stain remover liberally and work it into the stain.

Step 3. Wash the garment on the hottest setting indicated on its washing instructions.

4. Blood

Blood on clothing is notoriously difficult to remove. If you follow the steps below, however, blood on your favorite shirt will never be an issue again.

Step 1. Soak the garment in cold water. Use your fingers to gently rub the spot as it soaks. Depending on the amount of blood, you may need to change the water periodically as the blood comes out of the fabric and the water turns pink.

Step 2. Rinse the garment and apply a stain remover to the spot. Let it sit for about 15-30 minutes before washing in cold water.

Step 3. Apply more stain remover and wash again if the stain persists.

5. Perspiration

Getting clothes clean and fresh smelling is a challenge, especially during the hot summer months. Fight perspiration stains and odor using the following steps.

Step 1. Invest in a good prewash stain remover. Apply it as directed, and let it sit for several minutes before washing.

Step 2. Get perspiration odors out using a detergent designed for the task. There are several laundry detergents on the market with odor fighting properties built in, so if lingering odors are a problem, see if your favorite brand makes one of these double-duty options.