Cleaning and stain removal

Maintaining the ambiance and beauty of a home can be a chore as age, wear and accidents are problems that cannot be avoided over a period of time.  Dust and dirt accumulate within a few days of vacuuming and some homes now come equipped with central vacuum systems to make hose attachments to each room very convenient.

However, an accident can happen even in a very clean home.  Soda, food and ink spills are quite frequent in front of the television set or in the living room.  Although coasters may prevent rings on tables and counter tops, furnishings such as sofas, rugs, draperies and carpets can have permanent stains.   A guideline to reduce or completely eliminate those hard to clean spots is a common method with effective and successful results.    .

Tools and materials

  • Liquid dish detergent
  • Paper towels
  • Washcloths (2)
  • Warm water
  • Vinegar
  • Cold water
  • Small bowl

Step 1 – Absorb and Dry Area

Clean area as soon as possible.  Fresh stains can be easily removed on contact by simply absorbing the spot with dry paper towels. Dab the whole liquid area to remove spills from surfaces. Do not use more towels than needed to dry the stains.   Pad the spots until paper towels are dry too.    Do not rub areas.

Step 2 – Apply Liquid Soap

In a small bowl, dissolve one part liquid dish detergent with two parts cold water.  Dip a washcloth into the liquid soap mix and squeeze out the excess liquid.   Pad the damaged area until the soap covers the entire stain.  Do not rub the area as this can deepen the spot and enlarge the surface area.  Allow the liquid soap to work itself for 20 minutes as it separates and lifts the stain from the material.

Step 3 – Apply Cold Water

While the liquid detergent is cleaning the area, pour out the soap solution from the bowl.  Remove the soap from the bowl.  Clean it with water and dry.  Refill the bowl with clear cold water.  Take the second washcloth and dip it into the water.  Ring out the excess water.  Pad the stain until the soap is removed from the entire area.  Let dry.  The spot should be reduced or should be entirely gone.

Step 4 _ Vinegar Treatment if Necessary

If the spot remains, use the vinegar treatment.  In a fresh bowl, dissolve one part vinegar to three parts cold water.  Dip a clean washcloth into the bowl and pad the effected place until the vinegar mixture covers the entire area.  While allowing the vinegar to treat the stained material for ten minutes, clean the bowl with water and dry.

Step 5 – Apply Warm Water

Refill the bowl with warm water.  Take another clean washcloth and dip it into the warm water.  Squeeze and ring out the excess water.  Dab the stain until the entire vinegar treatment has been removed from the area.  Allow the area to dry.  Examine the area for spot removal or a reduction in the stain.  Repeat Steps four and five for further treatment again if necessary.


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