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(Remove) 5 Impossible Carpet and Fabric Stains

Stain removal is a temperamental challenge involving the type of fiber, the type of stain and how long it has had to set in, but wouldn’t it be nice if you didn’t have to think about any of that? Of course it would! That’s why we’ve searched high and low through some of the grittiest, nastiest homes on Earth to find the worst possible stains – and the easiest answers on how to remove them. <strong>1. Blood</strong> If the stain is fresh your best bet is to soak it (or blot it) with cold water and then use a detergent to clean it. So, for clothes that means putting it in the wash and for carpets it means using a standard carpet cleaning solution. If it has dried, the trick with blood is <em>enzymes</em>. Enzymatic cleaners attack bloodstains on an organic chemical level and are very effective when allowed to soak. If that doesn’t work, you may need to resort to bleach, but not on carpet. For carpet, use a drop of mild detergent mixed with water and blot – never scrub. <strong>2. Grease &amp; Oil</strong> Fabrics will require treatment with a stain remover followed by a wash in hot water. For carpet and upholstery, scrape off as much as you can and then apply an absorbent like cornstarch or baking soda. Remove after 15 minutes with a vacuum and then apply a dry-cleaning solvent with a clean cloth. Blot and repeat the process until you win. Now, for a heavy stain on fabric, you may still be able to remove it by laying the fabric on top of paper towels and applying a cleaning solution to the stain, allowing the towel to pull the solution through the stain. Keep in mind, however, that if you’ve put the stained fabric through the dryer there may be no hope. <strong>3. Ink</strong> For carpets, there are many things you can try, but if the stain is new immediately cover it with salt or a paste mixture of milk and cornstarch to try and absorb as much as possible. If it has already started to set, you can try blotting it with rubbing alcohol or spritzing it lightly with WD-40, allowing it to sit and then blotting it with warm, soapy water. For fabric, pretreat the stain with stain remover and wash, or use rubbing alcohol or cleaning fluid in the same manner as described for grease/oil above. You may also try soaking the stain in hand sanitizer (for 10 minutes before washing) or a mixture of 2 parts whole milk and 1 part vinegar (overnight before washing). <strong>4. Paint</strong> Whether water- or oil-based, if paint is allowed to dry on fabric or carpet it may actually be impossible, so try to avoid that. For water-based paint stains, rinse with warm water and use detergent to spot clean before laundering. For oil-based paint stains, 1) apply a paint thinner, 2) rinse with water, 3) apply stain remover and then 4) wash (or blot) the fabric or carpet with detergent and hot water. <strong>5. Tar</strong> For carpet, spray the area with WD-40 and place a paper towel over it. Use a rolling pin or paint roller to roll over the towel (to ease the effort of blotting). Repeat as many times as necessary to pull up the stain. For fabrics, use the same method as for oil/grease, replacing paper towels as necessary to keep the tar from transferring back to the fabric. Wash with hot water following this treatment. <a title="ATG Stores Homepage" href="http://www.atgstores.com/default.aspx" target="_blank">ATGStores.com</a> hopes these tips will keep your carpet and fabrics cleaner, longer.
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