How to Protect Carpets and Clothes against Stains - dummies

How to Protect Carpets and Clothes against Stains

By Gill Chilton

No matter how you try, if you have fabric in your life it will get dirty and need cleaning. Taking that bit extra care as you eat, drink, and carry out everyday work and leisure activities is the obvious first line of defence against stains.

But there’s no need to slow yourself down to a snail’s pace – there’s plenty you can do to protect your clothes and home surfaces yet still race happily about daily life!

Taking three small steps can make a big difference:

  1. Buy furnishings, furniture, and work surfaces for your home that are durable and washable.

  2. Avoid whites, cream, and large blocks of pale colour with no pattern.

    This holds just as good for clothes as sofas and walls.

  3. Think prevention.

    This involves everything from using a serviette (napkin) when you eat soup to laying down an old cover over the bathroom floor before you do a home hair dye at the sink.

When you next choose carpets and sofas, ask about stain protection. You can get fabric that has an invisible layer on top of the material that traps stains. Stains simply can’t penetrate through to cause permanent damage. Instead, spills sit on top of the material ready to be sponged off.

You can add stain protection to carpets you already own with a top-of-the range home carpet cleaner.

Some simple tips for avoiding everyday stains follow:

  • Wear a kitchen apron whenever you cook with flour or make jams or pickles. Certainly wear one when you make anything at all helped by small children! A man’s button-up shirt makes a super apron for children as you can wash it clean afterwards.

  • Get the toddler dressed after breakfast. You’ll save his smart day clothes from stains.

  • Sit at a Table to put on make-up and, if you’re to wear a special party outfit, get your face on before you dress. Standing in front of a mirror is a recipe for dropping foundation powder onto the floor.

  • Always protect floors and furniture before you undertake DIY projects.

  • Ban non-washable pens and paint from the house whilst the children are small. Biros that have a built-in eraser are no good: The eraser works on paper but leaves a white mark everywhere else.

  • Go into the garden to do messy jobs if you can. As a bonus, it’s less of a chore to polish the silver or groom the cat if you can do it in the sunshine.

  • Avoid putting down newspaper to protect surfaces. Wet newsprint can leave permanent staining and the paper sticks, too. Old sheets are much better.

  • Stand jugs and bowls in the sink or on a draining-board when you fill them with liquid from saucepans. Serve soup at the table, using a spouted jug.

  • Get to know which foods the kids especially can’t handle neatly, and insist on serviettes tucked in at the neck for these times. Foods on our home’s hit-list include spaghetti, soup, and ice-cream sundaes.

  • Don’t practise home juggling! Whenever you carry more than two glasses, plates, or food items, get a tray. Trays with in-built handles are the steadiest.

  • Close the gap between your chair and the table. Most coffee-tables are around the same height as the sofa or chair. So sit forward and use a side Table or slip your legs sideways so that the Table and food can get closer.

Get together a set of messy clothes and wear these whenever you paint or do heavy, dirty cleaning jobs.