What a mess! – Metro US

What a mess!

Crashing splashes, oozing squishes, crackling smashes and crunching smishes.

Whatever the accident, you’ve got a mess. But a stain doesn’t have to become permanent if you know the drill:

>> Whatever you plan on doing to prevent a permanent stain, do it quickly. The longer you wait the less chance you will have of removing the stain.

>> Always start with the least toxic cleaning method, when you have the alternative.

>> Test the area to be cleaned. You may be applying a solvent that will damage the item being cleaned.

>> Often, hot is bad. Hot air, hot water and heated chemicals can actually set a stain rather than remove it. Stay cool unless a cleaning procedure specifically calls for heat.

Simple stain cleaners

>> Cold Water (Least Toxic), carbonated water also works well.
Use on: acid, ammonia, blood, cement glue, cosmetic, crayon, dyes, food stains, furniture polish, grease, ink, medicine, milk, mud, oil, paint, soft drinks and vomit.

>> White Vinegar Formula (Not Very Toxic) — 1/2 cup vinegar, 1/2 cup water
Use On: alcohol, ammonia, blood, coffee, tea, cosmetics, crayon dyes, food stains, furniture polish, ink medicine, milk, soft drinks and vomit.

>> Ammonia Formula (Slightly Toxic) — 2 tbsp ammonia, 1 cup water
Use On: acid, alcohol, blood, cement, glue, cosmetics, crayon, dyes, food stains, furniture polish, ink, medicine, oil, paint, soft drinks and vomit.

Stain 101

>> General Cleaning
Soak the item in a gallon of warm water with a tablespoon of liquid dishwashing detergent and a quarter teaspoon of ammonia for a couple of hours. Rinse in fresh water and wash normally using bleach. CAUTION: Do not use detergent that contains bleach when adding ammonia. Bleach and ammonia combine to create a deadly chemical.

>> Wine and Other Alcoholic Beverages
Sprinkle the area with table salt — lots of it. Scrub the item in a bath of cold water until the stain disappears and then launder normally.

>> Baby Formula
Use water and MSG (meat tenderizer) and mix up a poultice. Cover the area and leave it overnight. Then wash normally.

>> Beer
Use a half-cup of ammonia or vinegar in three quarts of warm soapy water. Hand wash.

>> Grease
Earlier we mentioned that “hot” stuff will often set a stain. However, there are occasions when hot is good. For example: Cooking grease, butter and other fats are liquefied and removed easily with boiling hot water. Keep in mind that non-washable fabrics should never be soaked in water, hot or cold.

>> Lipstick and Ink
Lacquered hair spray is a super pretreatment for ink and lipstick. Spray it on as a pre-wash.

>> Any Stain on Marble and Granite
Use half a grapefruit dipped in salt. Rub the area clean and then immediately flush thoroughly with fresh water and towel dry.

>> For more home improvement tips visit www.onthehouse.com.