Summer Stain Guide

stain-guide

Summer is almost here! But, with more party, play, and free time comes more chances for little accidents that make household stains happen. Never fear! Simply bookmark this handy guide for treating common stains on carpets and furniture upholstery.

First, a few universal guides for treating ALL stains:

  • Before using any solutions, always test in an inconspicuous spot.
  • Start gentle and escalate slowly; repeat gentler steps several times, before moving to harsher methods that could discolor or otherwise damage stained surfaces.
  • Air dry completely between treatments as some stains only reappear when dry.
  • NEVER mix stain-fighting solutions, especially chlorine bleach with ammonia as it generates highly toxic fumes.
  • Avoid using high heat until you are sure a stain is gone completely, as this can set the stain forever.
  • When in doubt (or unsuccessful), call a PRO!

For most common stains, different solutions may be recommended depending on stain chemistry, but the same 4-step treatment method applies:

  1. Promptly blot away as much of the spill as possible using paper towels or clean white cloths. If a stain has dried, use a spoon or the back of a butter knife to scrape away as much as possible, starting at the edges and working inward. Then add a little cold water to re-moisten the stained area.
  2. Using solutions recommended below, alternately spritz, sponge, or dab onto the stain, then blot dry, using a clean white cloth or paper towel. Turn the cloth or towel with each blot until you can see no more of the stain transferring to the cloth.
  3. Allow to dry and repeat previous steps several times before moving on to harsher or store bought stain-removal solutions, which carry risks of doing damage.
  4. Once a stain is gone, thoroughly rinse away any solution residues and blot to dry.

Ketchup or mustard. Start with a solution of clear dishwashing liquid in lukewarm water. If stain persists and textile is light in color, try a weak solution of either hydrogen peroxide or ammonia in water, noting that both may have bleaching effects.

Popsicles and fruit-flavored drinks containing bright dyes. Start with a small quantity of clear dishwashing liquid in lukewarm water. If stain persists, use a powdered stain remover, per directions, then vacuum.

Wine. Start by pouring small amounts of club soda or cold water onto the stain and blotting. If stain persists and textile is light in color, try a few drops of diluted ammonia or a paste made from baking soda and water. If using a paste, gently scrape to loosen and vacuum after it dries.

Beer. Start with a solution of dishwashing soap and water. If that doesn’t work, try a weak solution of white vinegar and lukewarm water.

Blood. Start with a mild dishwashing liquid or non-alkaline detergent mixed with water. If bloodstain is dried or stubborn, try a small quantity of diluted ammonia or hydrogen peroxide, or, if bleaching is a concern, white vinegar.

Dusty, orange snack foods. Start with a mild dishwashing liquid mixed with water. If stain persists, a small amount of rubbing alcohol or diluted ammonia might do the trick.

Ice cream/chocolate (basically, any greasy/non-greasy combo stain). Blot as much away as possible with plain cold water, then use a diluted grease-busting dishwashing liquid or detergent containing enzymes.

A Health Makeover for Your Family

If your family life is as busy and hectic as mine, it’s easy to let a few things slide. And when that happens, our families may start to develop some not-so-healthy habits.

Maybe we’re indulging in too many processed convenience foods, maybe we’re letting the kids’ bedtimes get pushed back later and later, or maybe we’re all just watching too much TV.

The good news is this: If we can manage to make small changes in our daily routines, we’ll be able to make big changes in our family’s overall health and well- being over time.

You’ve already made the decision to leave the dirty work to MaidPro,  so why not consider these other small changes in your families lives:

1. How many sodas does your family drink in an average week? See if you can replace one or two of these sodas with sparkling water. Gradually, your kids may develop a taste for it, and you’ll save those empty sugar calories.

2. How much water does everyone drink? Encourage each member of your family to drink more water by making it more palatable and accessible. Keep a carafe of filtered water in the refrigerator, for example, along with slices of fresh lemon.

3. How many fruits and veggies does everyone consume? When your family typically gets the munchies (for us, it’s usually about an hour before dinner), put out a plate of raw fresh veggies for snacking.

4. Make a point to have mealtimes together (without the TV on in the background). Ask everyone to make an effort to not rush though breakfast and dinner, but to slow down and to focus on the taste of the food and the joy of being together to discuss the day’s events.

5. Find a board game that everyone likes to do together and replace at least one hour of TV per week with a game. Scrabble, Pictionary and Cranium are particularly good family games that will get you thinking and laughing.

6. Consider starting a new sport or joining a recreation center as a family. This will give you some fun together time and get you motivated to get moving at the same time.

Remember, baby steps are important. If you continue to take small, incremental steps to improve the health and well being of your family, you’ll start seeing big changes in no time.

As a parent, you can do a lot to help your kids form good lifestyle habits that will last their whole lives through.

Feel free to post any additional thoughts.