Kids aren’t predictable, and neither is the removal of stains. Because as parents, we’ve got better things to do than sit around trying to remove lipstick from walls, chewing gum from clothing or even worse, poo from carpet!
That’s why we’ve created this quick and easy stain removal guide to help you remove all things obscure from all the things. PLUS, share your top stain removal tips and you could walk away with a gorgeous Provincial Lane rug thanks to Carpet Court!
- Blood: Use hydrogen peroxide to get blood out of fabrics. Rub directly into the stain then wash with cold soapy water and dry.
- Coffee: If you missed you mouth due to a severe lack of caffeine (highly likely in the first 6 months of a new baby in the house), sponge the stain thoroughly then soak in a bucket of super-hot water for about half an hour before machine washing.
- Food oils: Spilt oil on your boobs eating pizza and garlic bread on the couch while binge watching chick flicks? Rub cornflour into the area and lightly brush off to remove excess oil, cover again completely with more cornflour and enjoy a glass of wine let sit for a few hours. Shake the excess flour off before putting through a wash cycle.
- Grass Stains: Rubbing alcohol is a solvent and awesome at removing the green pigment from grass. Wet the grass stain with a sponge using isopropyl rubbing alcohol, let it dry, rinse with cold water then rub liquid detergent (not eco) into the stain. Rinse with cold water then machine wash.
- Red wine: Suck on it Position it over a bucket or bowl and repeatedly pour white vinegar over it until gone. If it’s an older stain you can rub it with some white vinegar then bicarbonate of soda. The stain will change colour (grey) and you can rinse with the vinegar immediately before putting through a wash cycle.
- Sunscreen, make-up or build-up of skin oils: Rub normal dishwashing detergent (not eco) into the stain, when it begins to feel like jelly the stain is water soluble and can be washed out in a normal washing machine cycle.
- Vomit: Covered in your little one’s upchuck? Remove any large chunks then soak and agitate in cold water before washing in warm (not hot) water, rinse, and inspect. If colour stain remains, machine wash using chlorine bleach if safe for the fabric, or with all fabric bleach.
- Chewing Gum: So they’ve come home gum over their clothes! Pick off as much as you can and then fold up clothing, leaving the gum facing outwards on top. Place in a plastic bag (if you can) and seal up. Place in the freezer for a couple of hours. Remove and scrape off the gum straight away with an old blunt knife or similar but be careful it doesn’t cut the fabric!
- Buy new clothes.
- Blood: Use a 50/50 solution of hydrogen peroxide and warm water, spray onto the stain then sprinkle a little salt over the top, rub with a clean cloth. When you’re happy with the result, wash through a normal wash cycle.
- Ink: If the kids decide to take to your carpet with ink, wash the stain immediately with cut lemon. Plenty of lemon must be used and vigorously rubbed into the carpet with a clean flannel. Allow to dry then vacuum.
- Mud: To remove mud marks, sprinkle salt or bicarbonate of soda over the marks and leave to dry, then vacuum.
- Nail Polish. Using a clear, non-acetone nail polish remover, blot the area with a clean white cloth. Don’t rub it. Removal will take time but it will work. Be sure to spot test the colour fastness of your carpet in an inconspicuous area first.
- Poo … yes you read that right, poo: Because you can be guaranteed there will come a time in your life as a parent when you’ll be cleaning poo from your carpet. Do your future self a favour, buy a product called Bac Out (you’ll need to buy it online, you can’t get it in Australia. Bac-Out has enzyme-producing cultures that eat poo from poo stains – great for other organic stains too like vomit). After picking up any remaining poo pieces from the carpet with toilet paper and flushing down the toilet (don’t flush baby wipes), using baby wipes pinch any smaller pieces of poo from the carpet fibres. Spray the area with Bac-Out until damp and leave to soak for 5 minutes. Using an old clean towel, blot the area dry. If there is any remaining residue (or if you’re still disturbed about the fact you had poo in your carpet), mix eco laundry detergent with warm water and gently scrub with a clean towel.
- Smells: (toddler poo anyone?) Sprinkling bicarbonate of soda all over the carpet then vacuuming will deodorise the carpet.
- Urine: Pour a little warm water on the area of the pee to dilute. This makes it easier to soak up if already dry too. Place a folded towel over the pee soaked area of the carpet and apply pressure by stepping firmly on top of it (wash the towel later with laundry detergent and bleach if the towel is white). Apply Bac Out to the area as you would poo stains, then clean the area by mixing eco laundry detergent with warm water and gently scrub with a clean towel. Deodorise with bicarbonate of soda.
- Vomit: Pick up any chunks with paper towel and put it in the bin. Pour a little warm water on the area as you would pee to dilute. Place a folded towel over the vomit soaked area and apply pressure by stepping firmly on top of it. Once dried as much as possible, mix baking soda and corn-starch together in a bowl and sprinkle on the stain. Let the mix absorb for 15 minutes then vacuum. Use Bac Out to sponge clean any remaining residue as per ‘Poo’ cleaning instructions.
- Buy new carpet.
- Black Marks. Thought toothpaste was just for teeth? When objects rub against a wall they can cause black marks which can be removed by toothpaste. Rub the toothpaste gently over the marks and leave for a few minutes, then wash off with a soft, damp cloth.
- Crayon: Here’s a delicious way to remove crayon art from your walls. Rub mayonnaise on the crayon and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Wipe the surface clean with a damp cloth and volia.
- Lipstick: Dip a white cloth in make-up remover and gently wipe over the lipstick mark working it from the outside in. Once removed, give the wall a quick wash with warm soapy water and a clean cloth.
- Mould: Make a solution of chlorine bleach (like domestos) and water – 1 part bleach to 3 parts water. Get a stiff-bristled brush like an old toothbrush and scrub the blackened area. Rinse thoroughly with warm soapy water and dry.
- Pen: Mix a watery paste of bicarb and water then rub it over the mark with a micro fibre cloth.
- Permanent Marker. Soak a clean cloth in isopropyl alcohol and blot the area of the permanent marker to minimise rubbing or scrubbing. Reapply and repeat if the mark is still present.
- Repaint the house.
- Beetroot: Worst. Stain. Everrrrrr! Treat it as soon as it occurs (if possible). Soak the garment or carpet with cold water. Mix a small amount of strong dish washing detergent in a bowl with a bit of cold water and rub the area of the stain gently with your fingers. This can be really effective if you do this straight away and the stain isn’t too bad. Sadly, if the stain refused to move, try treating it with biological detergent the same as you would a poo or pee stain.
- Kitchen Oils: If your kitchen rangehood, overhead cupboards or ceiling are yellowing or becoming coated in cooking fats, simply dab a clean, white cleaning cloth in tea tree oil and scrub/wipe over the area. The tea tree oil breaks down the cooking fats making them a breeze to wipe away. You can also use tea tree oil to break down the gummy residue of sticky labels making for easy removal of annoying sticky things like jam or coffee jar labels.
- Kitchen Stone Benchtops: Got stone benchtops? Buff them with car polish to leave a thin, invisible film that helps reduce the risk of stains.
- Random Fabric Stains: If you’re a linens kinda gal and use tablecloths or lots of cushions, lightly spray them with cheap hairspray. Spills will bead on the surface and can be easily wiped away which means no stains! And the hairspray easily comes out in a normal wash cycle.
- Buy a new house.
And as hard as it is to keep an eye on our kidlets All. The. Time, prevention is better than cure. Keep horrible stuff like textas, paint, pens and lipstick stored out of reach of little, curious fingers and save yourself the headache.
To celebrate the new range of Provincial Lane rugs by Darren Palmer, we’re giving one lucky reader their choice of rug from the Provincial Lane Collection at Carpet Court! Any size, any style, valued at up to $1790.
Simply complete the entry form below and tell us in the comments below your best STAIN REMOVAL TIP! Come back and enter daily if you like, just leave a new stain removal tip each time to have a valid entry! It’s that easy!