Imagine that your new sofa has finally arrived and looks great in your living room.
Now imagine a spot of ketchup appearing on it 24 hours later (or less if you have kids). Or worse, mutton curry, or blood from a mosquito bite.
Or, if you regularly use your oven, you know that over time, baked on grease and burnt food will appear on the walls and door.
What type of cleaner do you reach for? Soap and water? Bleach? Baking soda? Depending on the type of stain, different cleaning methods may be required.
Here are the most effective cleaning tips for common types of stains.
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1. How to remove fingerprints from glass
Getting the fingerprints off glass sliding doors, glass coffee tables, windows and mirrors is easy with a bit of soap and water. You can even use diluted vinegar in a spritz bottle.
But, what is difficult is getting the glass completely free of streaks afterwards. No matter how many times you wipe it, there will always be a streaky line or two.
The trick here is to ensure that the water is clean in the first place. If you can, use filtered or distilled water with a tiny bit of soap or vinegar. Not too much soap, or you will get too much bubbles.
Then, finish the job with newspaper. Crumple up a sheet of newspaper and wipe away the cleaning solution to leave a spotless, streakless pane of glass. Now the only problem is to avoid walking into it.
2. How to remove curry and kunyit (turmeric) from leather sofa
Who asked you to eat roti canai on the leather couch while watching Netflix? Now you have a big blob of curry on the armrest.
You need to wipe off the stain immediately with paper towels before the leather absorbs the colour. Then, take a teaspoon of petroleum jelly and rub it on the stain in circular motion. You’ll see the jelly turning yellow-ish after a while. Wipe off the petroleum jelly and re-apply for few more rounds until you are satisfied.
Next, put some baking soda to absorb any residue from the petroleum jelly and further clean the affected areas. After few minutes, wipe off the baking soda with clean cloth, and you’re done.
3. How remove kicap (soy sauce) from clothes
Again, the trick is to deal with the stain as soon as possible in three steps. Bloat the stain with toilet paper, soak your shirt in soapy water for 20 minutes (you can even add a tablespoon of white vinegar) before washing it in the washing machine.
4. How to remove gum from carpet
Now this is interesting. Since the gum is all sticky and chewy, it is almost impossible to remove it from the carpet once someone has step on it. The right cleaning tip to remove it is by using ice cubes.
Put some ice cubes inside a plastic bag, and place it on gum. After a while the gum will be hardened by the ice. Take a scraper or spatula to scrape off the gum from the carpet. The remaining stain from the colouring can be washed off with a normal combination of water and soap.
5. How to remove blood stains on fabric
Have you ever woken up in the morning to find a spot of blood on your sheets or pillow? You probably squashed a mosquito, or scratched yourself at night.
A blood stain on upholstery can be cleaned by first blotting as much of the blood away with a towel soaked cold water, and then dabbing it with a towel using a mixture of water and bath soap. You can leave the soap on the blood stain for 5 minutes before scrubbing it gently with a toothbrush. Then soak away the soapy water with a dry cloth. Repeat if necessary.
6. How to clean oily blutack marks on wall
This is a big problem for many homeowners. After a while, blu-tack can leave an oily residue. On hot days, the blu-tack can even soften and lose grip, causing your photo frame to crash to the floor.
To remove the stain, start by getting rid of any residue. Use a rolled up ball of blu-tack to dab and run the residue out. Then, try wiping the affected area with some mild soap and water. If that doesn’t work, try using talcum powder or blotting paper over the oily mark. And if all else fails, take a piece of sandpaper and gently sand down the area. Then, get a small can of paint of the same colour and quality, and paint over the affected area.
7. How to remove wine stains from sofa
The most important thing to remember is to NOT rub the wine stain. After the accident, immediately grab a clean cloth or kitchen roll and dab on the stain to absorb moisture out of the fabric as much as possible.
Then, pour a generous amount of salt onto the stain and leave it for few hours (or overnight) to soak up the wine. Rinse the stained area thoroughly with hot water and you’ll see the stain being washed away.
8. How to remove oil stains from fabric
The trick with oil stains is to pull it out of the fabric by sprinkling talcum powder on the stain to let it absorb the oil as much as possible. Leave it for one to two hours, scrub it and wash with laundry detergent mixed with warm water. As with any other stain, don’t wait for the stain to dry and set in, as it will be harder to remove later on.
9. How to remove ink stains from fabric
Ink stains are always a problem when you have school-going kids in white uniforms. It can also appear on your furniture if you have magic markers at home.
The easiest way to remove ink and magic marker stains is to add a solvent such as rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover before washing it in warm water. Other websites also suggest soaking the fabric in milk before washing it.
10. How to remove yellow stains from white shirt collar
Yellow stains around the underarm and collar of a shirt can be quite embarrassing. Especially if it appears on a dress shirt or school uniform.
If it is a white shirt or fabric, soaking it in a pail of water and bleach will work just fine. However, the same method cannot be applied to a coloured shirt as it will make the colours run.
To deal with the stain, mix an equal amount of lemon juice and water, and rub it on the stain. Or, mix 4 tablespoons of baking soda with 1 cup of water, and use a clean cloth to dab the solution onto the stain until it disappears.