Anyone who has tried to clean a stain from a well-loved article of clothing, new carpeting, or freshly painted walls knows the agony of defeat as well as any athlete running last in a marathon they trained for years for.
With cleaning agents being promoted as ‘new and better than ever’, on store shelves almost every day of the year, many tried and true cleaning methods have been around for years. Simply because A: they work, and B: when we need something cleaned, we are usually not standing in a store aisle, but are at home or in the office, far away from the newest of the new cleaning products, and oftentimes we reach for something we already have in our cupboards.
Carpet Cleaning Tip
A quick and efficient way to remove wet stains, such as juices or wines from carpeting, is to dump salt or baking soda onto the spilled area as soon as possible. This will soak up much of the stain and keep the spill from being spread further if you were to try immediately to scrub it out. Once it has dried, vacuum it up. For the remaining stain, scrub with club soda.
Candle Wax and Gum
Most spills can be wiped up easily from vinyl flooring and carpeting, save for a few things. Candle wax and gum can be disasters, but both can often be easily removed by applying ice until it literally lifts right up off. The key is to be patient and to keep applying the ice until it has frozen the wax or gum to the point where it can be pulled away from the floor or carpet fibers. Wipe up melted ice with paper toweling.
Many paints and products exist today that lessen this problem, but if you have crayon on a wall that will not wipe off, or you are unsure of using a cleaner on, heat the crayon with your hair dryer, blotting it with a paper towel as you go.
Hydrogen Peroxide is my standby for bloodstains. I apply it directly to the stained area, and scrub it in lightly with an old soft bristled brush. The trick to getting it to work is to apply it to both sides of the stain if possible. Be careful on products such as carpeting though, as Hydrogen Peroxide can have a bleaching affect on some types of fabric. After scrubbing, rinse immediately and thoroughly in cold water. You should be able to see the stain dissolve as you treat it. One thing to keep in mind when trying to remove blood is never to use hot water or to dry the item before removing the stain completely. Heat can and will set the bloodstain.
You found the perfect antique dresser, perfect that is until you got close enough to smell it. One quick way to remove a musty smell from furniture is to pour coffee grounds into the drawers. Let sit for several days and repeat if needed. Baking soda can also be used. Apply either product generously. Baking soda can also be sprinkled directly on top of a mattress that has the same problem. This can occur when you leave a house or cabin shut up for a good part of the year. Cover the mattress with baking soda and vacuum off. If possible, drag the mattress out into the sun before applying the baking soda, as the sun itself will help destroy the musty odor.
If you live anywhere in the vicinity of skunks, chances are that at some time you or a pet may have a run-in with one. From as far back as I can remember a tomato juice bath is the quickest way to decrease the smell. Add three or more 64 oz. cans of tomato juice to a typical sized tub filled with lukewarm water at best, and avoid hot water, as it will only increase the smell. It works by cutting the acid and oil of the skunk spray, and may need repeating several times to reach a satisfactory result.
Fuel Oil and Gasoline Odors
Fuel oil, gasoline, and other spills can leave both stains and an unbearable odor behind. To treat the spill until you can get a professional in to help clean the stain, or in an area where you are just concerned about the spill and odor in general, such as on a garage floor, there are things you can do to lessen the odor. Pour an absorbent product, such as cat litter or sawdust over the entire area. Allow it to soak up the spill, then sweep up and remove the absorbent, reapplying as needed until no more spill soaks into the covering.