Cleaning & Stain Removal For Dummies (UK Edition)
Need useful and concise tips for cleaning and stain removal? Look no further. This Cheat Sheet is packed with handy, at-a-glance essentials to help make getting rid of tricky stains and keeping your home spotless a breeze.
Tips for Quick and Efficient Cleaning
These tips aren’t rocket science, but certain house-cleaning techniques enable you to clean faster and more efficiently, giving you more time to relax and enjoy your clean and tidy home:
Start at the far side of the room when you do the floors so that you don’t walk back into the clean or wet area.
Use a handled tray when you dust shelves. Off-load the shelf’s contents onto the tray while you clean the shelf.
Wash walls from top to bottom so that you can wipe away drips as you go.
Use long, firm, directional strokes when you sweep or scrub, resisting the urge to rub quickly back and forth, which can rub dirt back in.
Make your duster or cloth into a small pad and keep turning it over so that you always present a clean section to the furniture.
Mantras for Stain Removal to Keep in Mind
Potential stains happen at awkward times and places. You can keep these tips in mind for removing stains wherever and whenever they happen – before they set in:
Keep it dry. Reach for the soft brush before the wet cloth. Never add water to dry powders. This is especially true for things dropped onto the carpet.
Keep it calm. There’s more time than you think before a wet spill turns into a set stain. In normal temperatures and situations, liquids give you more than a few seconds of thinking time.
Keep it white. Blot up spills using white cloths only.
Keep it cool. When you decide to try washing your wet stain away, always go to the cold tap unless you specifically know otherwise.
Keep it simple. Modern biological detergents are great and can shift practically everything. So don’t let what’s bound to be a temporary stain ruin your fun if you’re out and about.
Six Simple Steps for Treating Fresh Stains
If you can react right away to a spillage, you increase the odds of being able to remove all traces of the potential stain. Follow these steps in dealing with any fresh stain:
Limit the damage.
Blot up as much as you can with a plain white – not coloured – paper or cloth towel. Use a clean make-up brush to shift powders.
Use a spoon and/or knife to lift off solids.
Stop and think! Identify the stain and its stain group – water-based, grease-based, and so on.
Read the care label, if there is one, so that you know what this fabric can happily withstand.
Unlock the stain by turning it into a liquid.
Cold water, the simplest solvent, works in many situations.
Work from the inside out if you can.
It’s far simpler to push the liquid back out the way it came, and doing so stops the stain from going right through the fabric on its journey out. (Clearly you can’t do this with fitted carpets).
Be ready to repeat everything, perhaps several times.
Stain Kit Shopping Lists
To help keep stains at bay, you have to have the proper solvents and ingredients at hand. Use these shopping lists to get yourself equipped:
From the chemist (drugstore):
Acetone (nail polish remover contains it)
From the DIY (hardware) store:
Lubricant spray such as WD-40
Methylated spirit (isopropyl alcohol)
White spirit (turpentine)
From the supermarket:
Biological clothes detergent (detergent with enzymes)
Fizzy bottled water (club soda)
Spot stain remover
Washing-up (dishwashing) liquid