Spills happen. Your favorite carpet or clothes can get stained. What would you do? Simply remove the excess and blot the spot with a clean, white towel or napkin. The more important question to be answered is what NOT to do when this happens to you?
We have heard that a little bit of elbow grease will fix any stain. Sadly that seems not to be the case. Some methods which we thought works great on removing stains can make it worse. Stop! Put down the spray bottle. Before you treat another stain, here is a list of dos and don’ts to stain removal
Fresh stains have higher chances of getting total removal. The longer you let the stain set, the harder your job will be. So give yourself the upper hand by getting to stains as quickly as possible. This will save both your time and effort and improve your chances at total stain removal.
Don’t rub the stains on carpet, fabrics or upholstery.
Act quickly on stain but avoid vigorous rubbing or scrubbing the stains. Rubbing will only drive the stain deeper into the fibers due to heat creation that chemically bond the stain to the surface. Not only that, excessive rubbing can further wear away the material you are trying to save, making your effort a little pointless. Instead blot. Always dab or blot the stains gently using clean white cloth, paper towel or sponge or even piece of white bread (works great on grease stains).
Avoid using dirty or colored cloth to blot a stain. The dyes could bleed onto the fabric and even could make the stain worse.
Always start wiping or blotting from the outer edges of the stain, working your way in. start at the center and you’ll risk spreading the stain.
Apply stain remover at the backside of the garment and flush the stain out of the fabrics.
Don’t vigorously scrub hard surfaces
Surfaces such as stainless steel, marble, wood and most stove tops are delicate. Vigorous scrubs and with abrasive scrubs can leave scratches. If the stain doesn’t come off with a towel or non-scratch sponge and light rubbing, try loosening it by soaking it with cleaner – or even water – and letting it set.
Don’t default to heat
Hot water could change the stain’s chemical structure, bonding further into the surface than lifting it. This is especially true for protein and food related stains on soft surfaces such as fabrics and carpets. Instead use cool or lukewarm water. Always rinse a stain with cold water first, just to be safe.
Always read product labels and clothing care labels before taking action. Use the water temperature recommended on stain removal products and detergents.
Don’t over-saturate the stains
Take a deep breath and don’t panic spray. Drowning a stain in remover can make it worse. It is easy to spray your stain remover frantically in the race against time to save your soft furnishing, clothing or whatever else you have accidentally soiled, but this is a big mistake. Over-saturating a stain with remover can make it hard to rinse and then it may not dry properly. Instead use small amounts of stain remover at a time, repeating until the mark has disappeared.
Don’t skip directions
It’s not always as simple as spraying, then wiping or washing. Getting the stain out, won’t make much difference if you ruin the clothing in the process. Follow the directions on any stain removal products you use. Don’t forget to follow washing directions on the stained clothes.
Don’t forget to test your cleaner
Before starting to work on a stain, test the stain removal agents and methods on a hidden seam or another inconspicuous spot. Check for colorfastness and other damages such as dulling finishes or fading carpet, upholstery, and other fabric dyes. This is particularly important on silk and fabrics that may not be colorfast. If you like what you see, proceed to the stain with caution.
Don’t use soap
Soap and water is the best way to clean any stain, right? Wrong. Pouring soap directly onto a stain can set it permanently, leaving you eyesore stain forever. This is especially true for coffee, red wine and tea stains. Rinse the blemish with cold water before applying any soap.