Ugh, stains. They’re some of those necessary evils that occur to the best of us. And if you’re anything like me, a stain will happen as soon as I put on a new shirt. A spritz of oil or a mark of a pen and now I have to find something else to wear two minutes before I have to leave the house.
Anyways, the good news is that there are lots of ways to remove stains without having to go to the dry cleaners. And the even better news is that you probably don’t even have to go to the store! You likely already have everything you need. Many household items do wonders for removing stains. For example, did you know that bread can get out a stain from fabric? Or that shaving cream can remove tomato stains? Yeah, and there’s more where that came from…
Milk for Ink Stains
Milk has another purpose other than providing calcium to your diet. Milk can also remove ink stains, specifically colored clothes. To remove an ink stain, leave the item in an overnight milk bath. You just need to soak the garment in milk overnight and then put it in the laundry the next day as you normally would. Find out 7 easy ways to get rid of coffee stains.
Shampoo for Dirt Stains
Shampoo is another household product that can do more than its intended purpose. If your shirt has a ring around the color, any cheap shampoo will be able to break down body oils and act as a detergent. And if you have a ground-in dirt stain, put the piece of clothing in a bath of warm water. Add some shampoo to a sponge and scrub vigorously. Once dry, you’ll see the effect.
Artificial Sweetener to Blot Stains
Let’s say you’re out to dinner and you suddenly spill something on your shirt, or even if you’re at home and some oil splatters on you while cooking; use artificial sweetener immediately to blot the stain. The sweetener is a fine powder that absorbs the oil well. You may have to keep blotting and use more than one packet of the sweetener, but it really does work. And the good part is that artificial sweetener is readily available in most restaurants and cafes.
Hair Spray for Ink and Makeup Stains
If your toddler just went wild with a pen on your shirt or even the walls, you can just get out some hairspray. A few spritzes on the stain and the pen marks should come right off. Hairspray is also good for lipstick smudges on your clothes. You need to saturate the area with hairspray and then wait for about 10 minutes. After, dab it with a damp cloth.
Toothpaste for Ink Stains
The classic ballpoint pen in the dress shirt pocket now has a classic DIY home remedy. And that remedy calls for toothpaste. Keep in mind that it might not work on all fabrics, but for most, it should. Put some non-gel toothpaste on the ink stain and rub the fabric vigorously. Then rinse with water. If not all of it came out, repeat the process a few times.
White Bread for Fabric Stains
This is something I never would have thought of when removing stains. What you do is tear out the doughy center of the bread and knead it into a ball. Blot the stain repeatedly with the dough until the stain eventually lifts from the fabric. Then wash the garment as you normally would.
Shaving Cream for Tomato Sauce Stains
Non-gel shaving cream can do wonders for stains that are otherwise really difficult to remove, such as those pesky tomato stains. Spray the shaving cream onto the stain, rub it in gently and let it dry before you go ahead and wash the garment as usual. Shaving cream will also remove stains from your carpet.
Cola for Blood Stains
Your kid comes home from a bike ride, and his elbow is bleeding, and his white shirt has blood stains on it. That’s no fun. After you put a Band-Aid on his elbow, get some cola for that t-shirt. Soak the shirt overnight in cola. It’ll take the blood stain right out.
Lemon and Baking Soda for Armpit Stains
Lemons have a way of being very versatile. And stains are something lemons can conquer. Both freshly squeezed lemon juice and concentrate will do the trick with armpit stains. But if you have a tough stain, create a paste of baking soda and water and let it sit in the mixture for an hour before washing.
White Vinegar for Tea and Coffee Stains
Coffee and tea are not only a staple in our culture; they’re also a staple on our clothes and furniture. Coffee and tea are almost impossible not to spill from time to time. The good news is that good old white vinegar has a solution. Before washing the table cloth or shirt, pour some white vinegar onto the stain. Then go about washing it as usual.
Dryer Sheets for Deodorant Stains
Who doesn’t love to wear black? It’s slimming, right? But the one thing that sucks about wearing black is the deodorant stains that I only notice about an hour or two after I already left the house! If deodorant stains are showing up on your dark shirts, try rubbing them away with dryer sheets.
Nail Polish Remover for Countertop Stains
Nail polish can be great for hard to remove stains, like ink, on stone countertops. What you do is soak a cotton ball in nail polish remover and wipe away the ink or marker stain. This also works on laminate, granite, and marble countertops.
Bar Keeper’s Friend for Stained Cookware
If you don’t already have some in your cupboard, it might be worthwhile buying some Bar Keeper’s Friend. The product is great for cleaning cooking stains on your pots and pans. Sprinkle some on and scrub with a damp sponge.
White Vinegar and Baking Soda for Wine Stains
Another classic stain – red wine on a light carpet. What you need to do is soak up as much wine as possible before you pour white vinegar onto the carpet. After about 15 minutes, blot away the excess vinegar. Then go ahead and sprinkle the stain with baking soda and scrub at it with a wet toothbrush. Rinse and voila!
Diluted Laundry Detergent for Other Carpet Stains
Other common carpet stains are from chocolate, dirt, and coffee. What you need is some diluted laundry detergent. Start by pouring a mix of mild detergent and water onto the stain. For coffee stains, blot, soak in vinegar and then blot again. With dirt or chocolate stains, scrub the mixture into the stain with a toothbrush.
Egg Yolk for Food and Wine Stains
That’s right, similar to the bread hack; eggs are another thing I would never have thought of. But if you have a food or wine stain, you can mix the egg yolk with a few drops of alcohol and warm water. Then apply the mixt to the stain with a sponge. Let it sit for a couple of minutes and rinse.
Club Soda for Food and Wine Stains
Club soda is great for tough stains, just don’t use it for particularly greasy stains, as it might make it worse. But for everything else, sprinkle the stain with salt and pour some club soda over it. The best way is to then leave it overnight. This works really well for coffee spills.
Beer for Coffee Stains
Beer may seem like a strange thing to pour over a stain, but it can really help. Pour a bit of beer right on top of the stain. Rub the beer lightly into the carpet or fabric, and the stain should soon disappear. You might have to repeat the process a few times to remove it all.
Lemon Juice for Blood Stains
Lemon juice works really well on dried stains. Start by soaking the garment in cold water. Then wring it out, put it in a plastic bag with two cups of lemon juice and a ½ cup of salt. Wait a couple of minutes for the mix to soak into the garment, and then hang it outside to dry on a sunny day before washing in a regular laundry cycle.
Hydrogen Peroxide for Grass Stains
Grass stains are another common one when you have kids. They just always seem to come home with green stains on their clothes. First, rinse the stain in warm water, then douse it in hydrogen peroxide and let it sit. After half an hour, rub the stain to really work in the peroxide and then toss it in the washing machine.
While we went over household products that help remove stains, we’re now going to move onto household items that are rarely cleaned but can be done easily!
These are easy hacks for rarely cleaned things in your home…
De-Grime Your Shower Head
You might notice that not all the holes in your shower head are shooting out water. Grime buildup can become heavy enough that it completely blocks spouts. Some shower heads can be removed and are easy to clean, but there are others that don’t detach. In that case, fill a plastic bag with vinegar so it will completely cover the shower head. Tie the plastic bag over the shower head with a rubber band. Let the shower head to soak overnight and remove the bag in the morning. Let some hot water run through it, and the grime should be all gone.
Remove Stains From Tupperware
We love our Tupperware, but when it starts to stain, it just looks gross. And when you wash it, it just never seems to come out. Time to toss it? Nope. Turns out you can save your Tupperware or other plastic containers. Fill the container with warm water and add two to four tablespoons of baking soda. Let the Tupperware soak for an hour or so. Then wash as normal. The baking soda should help lift those stains right off.
Deodorize Your Mattress
We all wash our sheets (I hope) but do you clean your mattress? The mattress is something we overlook, but they can absorb smells and worth cleaning every once in a while. The good thing is some baking soda can lift many of the smells out. Just sift some of the soda over the surface of the mattress and let it rest there for a couple of hours. Then you should vacuum up the powder.
Clean Air Vents
Air vents are meant to be thin so that they can catch as much dirt, dust, and particles as possible. But what that means is cleaning them is an ordeal. There are lint brushes on the market today, but you don’t need to buy them. An easy fix is to take an old rag, spray it with an all-purpose cleaner, and stick it over the blade of a butter knife. The rag will reach where your fingers can’t and gather up all the dust and dirt.
Really Clean the Blender
If you like your smoothies, blenders can get their share of wear and tear and become quite dirty. And since you’re literally ingesting what you put inside, it’s an appliance that deserves a good clean more often than we tend to do it. The best way is to add some water and a couple of drops of dish soap to the blender and run it as usual. Then rinse it out as normal until all the soap bubbles are gone.
Catch Nail Clippings
Watching TV is probably the place most people clip their nails. But who wants to see nail clippings on the couch and carpet? No one does. The solution: scotch tape. Add some tape to the sides of the nail clipper so it can help keep the clippings from flying away. Your spouse will be very grateful.
Remove Stains from a Plastic Cutting Board
Plastic cutting boards are totally useful, but they get stained way too easily. And those stains are not easy to remove. But according to Brendid.com, you can create a paste of 3-4 tablespoons baking soda, 1 tablespoon dish detergent, and 1-2 tablespoons hydrogen peroxide. Spread the mixture over the stains and let it sit overnight. Wipe off the paste the next day and wash with soap and water. Like brand new!
Clean and Deodorize the Dishwasher
If you’ve had your dishwasher for a while now, you might notice that there’s a musty smell that comes from it. But you can get rid of that smell. First, put a dishwasher-safe cup of vinegar inside, right-side-up on the top shelf. Run the machine on the hottest cycle. After, sprinkle some baking soda around the bottom of the dishwasher and run it on another short but hot cycle. This should disinfect and clean the washer and hoses and result in a non-smelly dishwasher.
Squeegee for Pet Fur
Pets and carpets – like two peas in a pod. I can’t remember the last time my carpets didn’t have dog fur in them. And yeah, it’s gross. But you don’t need to go buy anything special. All you need is a regular squeegee that you use on your shower doors and windows. It pulls off the hairs in the carpet surprisingly well.
Dust the Fan Blades
It’s amazing how quickly fans collect dust despite the fact that they are constantly spinning. Anyways, fans need to be wiped off and cleaned, so you don’t further distribute unnecessary dust in your home. What you need to do is grab a pillowcase (one that you’re going to wash anyway) and wrap it around the blade one at a time.
Foreman Grill Cleaning
George Foreman Grills are great and easy to use, but they can be a pain to clean because of all its grooves. But the non-stick surface actually makes it easier than you think. After you used it, turn the grill back on and place a few wet paper towels over the surface. Close the lid and let the heat steam the grill for a minute. Use a sponge to wipe off any dirt or food residue. And watch out for your fingers because it’s hot.
Clean Disposal Splash Guard
It comes as no surprise that the garbage disposal is going to get really dirty. You can clean it by boiling a pot of water to clean off the blades. Remember to clean the underside of the splash guard as many people forget about that part. Just grab an old toothbrush and clean off all the food residue that’s accumulated.
Grease Stain Remover
Kitchen walls have a way of slowly accumulating grease on the walls. But those walls aren’t always washed on cleaning day. So next time, find some of your kids’ chalk and rub them over the grease marks. Chalk naturally absorbs grease. After a few minutes, you can easily wipe away grease stains from the walls.
Easy Coffee Grinder Cleaner
Coffee grinders can be a useful appliance in the kitchen, but buildup can be tough to get out from under those small blades. The First step is to grind up some pieces of stale bread. The crumbs should loosen the food buildup. Then you should “grind” some baking soda, which will clean it out.
Washing Your Pillows
Let’s face it – we don’t wash our pillows as much as we could and should. This handy little tutorial gives you the steps on the best way to clean those pillows clean and keep them smelling fresh. The tennis balls in the washer trick is a particularly great idea too, as pillows tend to take a long time to actually dry.
The keyboard is one of those things that has more dirt and particles than you want to be aware of. For those of you who like to leave Post-it notes around, before crumpling them up and tossing them into the trash, use them to clean your keyboard. The sticky end of the note will help get to the hard to reach places.
Lint Roll Your Screens
Porch screens can look a little “foggy” after a while. Dust, dirt, and cobwebs get all caught up in the screens, and it makes it hard to clean. Lint rollers can come in handy in this scenario. Roll it along with the screen for the sticky tape to pick off most of the dust, dirt, and whatever else is on there.
Cleaning the Stove
The top of the stove is easily cleanable. But when food drips into the burners, it means the underside of the stove needs to be cleaned eventually. Next time, lift the whole piece up and give it all a good wipe. Just make sure it’s a while after you used it, so it’s not too hot!
De-Hair Your Vacuum
Things that clean need to be cleaned too! Vacuums accumulate a lot of hair in even just one use, let alone many. Turn that vacuum over and give it a good de-hair-ing. A great tool that you can use is a seam ripper from your sewing kit. Run it along with the entangled hair and it will pull them right out.
Deep Cleaning the Lint Trap
We regularly empty the lint collector, but do you clean under the lint collector? It’s something we tend to oversee. That collector gathers up most of the lint, but some still slips through into the machine and needs to be cleaned out. Use a yardstick and wrap an old cloth around it to stick inside and wipe the inside of the cavity.