Stains can be one of the most difficult things to get rid of in the home, and according to reports, 65% of them are caused by sticky foods. It can be disheartening, especially if they get into your expensive upholstered furniture, rugs and carpets, and curtains. Fortunately, with a few tricks and good timing and technique, you should be able to get rid of some stains. Below are some stains and tips for getting them out.
- Coffee and tea stains
The main plant compounds in these two favorite beverages are caffeine and tannin, which are activated when the beverages are hot. When there is a spillage on a fabric, the high temperature immediately opens the fibers and absorbs the liquid in seconds. That is what makes coffee and tea stains difficult to remove.
The first thing to do is sponge the stained area with cold water. The contradicting temperature is the easiest way to halt deeper absorption into the fibers. When the affected area is saturated, you can prewash the site with a stain remover. After that, use a color-safe bleach to remove any further traces of the stain. Professional stain removal experts say if the fabric is a piece of clothing, this process is required before machine washing.
- Ink stains on fabric
An ink stain on any fabric must be treated immediately. The first thing is to apply alcohol or hand sanitizer to dilute the pigmentation from seeping further into the inner layer of the fabric. About a decade ago, hairsprays were used because of their high alcohol content. However, research discovered that the alcohol percentage is too low to counteract the effect of ink.
If you’re using alcohol, remember to saturate the affected area until completely soaked. After that, place clean paper towels over the stain site. This will absorb the dissolved ink from the spot. Because alcohol dries quickly, you may have to reapply to the same spot and soak up with another set of clean paper towels again. When the area shows significant fading, you can wash the site with a mixture of alcohol and dishwashing liquid. Repeat the process until you are satisfied with the result. There are some instances where trying to remove such stains is not advisable. For example, if the stain is on a rug, it would be best to call professional carpet cleaning services.
- Water-based paint stains
Water-based paints contain filler, binder, and pigments. They have become the most preferred paints because of their low VOC content. However, they can quickly become a headache when accidentally spilled on fabric. Filler and pigment in the paint immediately bind to any fabric, making them difficult to remove when they harden. First, rinse the area with warm water immediately after the spillage occurs.
Wash the spot as much as possible when the paint is still wet. Then, follow up with mild washing detergent until completely gone. If the stain hardened before you noticed it, you would have to scrape the site with a dull knife. Remember to wash the area with warm water before applying a stain remover when the flakes are off.