Spills and marks can wreak havoc on your carefully designed home, making a room appear shabby and uncared for. But they do happen, and some stains are worse than others. For your toughest spills, there's no need to immediately run out and buy a new piece of furniture or area rug. Try one of these tips first.
Someone left a permanent marker within the toddler's reach and you have a piece of furniture marked up with your baby's latest inspiration. Don't throw away that piece of furniture (or the baby!) without trying these tricks first. Dab the stain with a cotton ball soaked in alcohol. Be sure not to rub it because that could remove the shine from the wood's finish. If that doesn't work, try baking soda toothpaste or mix your regular toothpaste with a small amount of baking soda from your pantry. The baking soda acts as a gentle abrasive that will help remove the stain without scratching the furniture. If that doesn't work, try aerosol hairspray, which contains alcohol. Simply spray the hairspray on the stain and dab it until it disappears from the wood.
They're putting fresh tar on the roads near your home, you step in it without realizing it, and then track the tar into your home and stain your carpet. Commercial tar remover, like products from Sun Chem Industries, works best on this type of stain, so it's always a good idea to have tar remover in your home so you can get to work on the stain quickly. If you don't have commercial tar remover handy, try rubbing alcohol. Put the alcohol on a clean rag and dab at the stain until it lifts. Take care that you don't soak the carpet with alcohol because if it sinks all the way through, it can damage your carpet backing and ruin that section of your carpeting.
You didn't notice the "wet paint" sign until after you leaned against it and stained your favorite shirt with a bright splotch of paint. In this scenario, it's best to work quickly. First, scrape off as much wet paint as possible. Then run a stream of warm water through the fabric back to front. If you run the water through the stain, you'll push the stain farther through the fabric. When the water runs clear, use a clean cloth dipped in one part warm water mixed with one part dishwashing liquid and blot out much of the stain as you can. Use a white cloth to prevent color transfer from the cloth to your clothing.