Monday, 24 November 2008

Take Pains with Stains - You'll Save Money

Take Pains with Stains - You'll Save moneyStains happen, especially in an environment with children and pets, in fact it is common with this scenario. If have a good understanding and knowledge of dealing with stains, in most cases you will avoid big costs on replacing the stained object.

Most stains can be easily removed directly after it happens. Getting in quick makes a big difference between removing a stubborn dried in stain compared to the ease of a fresh one, but not in haste as will be explained. Dealing with a stain in the middle of a social evening with guests may seem a little rude, but you will be very glad you did at the end of the day.

Initially you need to know what stain it is. From this you can find the most effective method to remove it. Stains come under categories, try and work out which category of the stain it is. Sometimes this is difficult, especially if you can't identify the stain. Look closely at the stain before tackling it. Ask yourself questions:
  • Is it Oily or Greasy?
  • Does it smell?
  • It is some sort of food or drink?
  • Is it wet or dry?
  • Has it been absorbed through the fabric or is it still just on the surface?
You also need to check out kind of fabric the stain is on. This is imperative to judging the correct method of removing the stain.

Take Pains with Stains - You'll Save moneyIt is a good idea to always have certain handy stain removal facilities. These can be things like lemon juice, white vinegar, baking soda and bleach. A good supply of kitchen towels is also a good idea to have at hand. Stain removers are available commercially and are specific to dealing with certain types of stains. They are expensive however and money is effectively wasted stocking when many basic household items work just as well. There is one exception; a general dry cleaning product is the exception alongside a spot remover which will deal with carpets and other upholstery.

Initially, use the mildest stain remover; why go in the full attack if a little bit of water on a cloth will solve the problem? You can use more powerful methods if the initial attack has failed. Repetition of the process may be needed bearing in mind that the stronger the cleaning product, the chances of damaging your fabric will increase.

Take Pains with Stains - You'll Save moneyThe worse thing you can do is panic! Stains will happen at the wrong time and on the most important fabrics. Be calm and decide a removal plan thoughtfully, then work on it using the correct system. Bear in mind that there are very few instances where hard scrubbing is required. A slow gentle removal is far more effective and certainly less damaging to the surfaces,

There is one exception to the rushing rule and that is dealing with mud. It is best to left until dry, then it can be easily removed by brushed off before cleaning int the normal way. Always check the label on material based products, don't assume that every fabric is washable.

A very common mistake with rushing in to tackle a stain is to not go through the process of a spot-test. Stain removers and solvents can ruin fabrics in some cases as the stain can end up worse. So it is always worth your while to spot-test in an area not seen. This is important if you are going to use a bleach of any sort. Keep a few scraps of carpets and curtains so you can test them before tackling the stain.

A Final point to remember:
Take Pains with Stains - You'll Save moneyCare with the chemicals you are using is a must; they can be very dangerous if misused. Turpentine and white spirit are highly flammable as well as being also poisonous. Bleach products should never be mixed as chemical reactions can turn out to produce lethal fumes. Always check the area is well ventilated and try to avoid inhaling any fumes. In some cases protective clothing and eye gear is recommended. The manufacturers know their products so take their advice and follow the instructions and keep any chemicals carefully locked away and secure out of harm's way, and especially out of the reach of children and pets.

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