We’ve all been there, preparing dinner in the kitchen while the kids play in the living room. Suddenly it goes quiet, too quiet — the universal sign for trouble. You rush in to find pen marks all over your new leather couch. You might want to panic, but there’s no need.
There are several ways to clean and remove stains from various surfaces. Rest assured, your life as a homeowner and parent just got a whole lot easier.
1. Remove Ink From Leather
Say you have a kiddo who got a little too excited drawing with pen and paper. There’s no need to worry because you can remove the ink stain on your leather couch. Grab some rubbing alcohol and cotton balls. Apply the rubbing alcohol to the swab and move it along the ink stain until it fades. Continue to change out fresh cotton swabs throughout the process to remove the stain. Wipe away the excess alcohol and ensure the area is dry.
2. Remove Tomato Sauce and Ketchup Stains From Carpet
If you have a frequent spiller in your family, this is the perfect tip for you. The first step is to act immediately. Rather than use a washrag or sponge, which can push the stain deeper into the carpet fibers, scrape a spoon or dull knife to lift any solid matter from the carpet. Try not to make the damage worse by rubbing.
Use a clean white towel to blot the stain from the outside in. Keep blotting until no more color is transferred. To clean the mess, mix a teaspoon of laundry detergent with 2 cups of water and use a clean cloth to put some of the solution on the stain. Ensure it sits for 10 minutes before rinsing with a clean rag. Let the carpet air dry.
3. Remove Permanent Marker Stains From Wood
Alcohol-based hand sanitizers serve as an excellent solution to remove any permanent marker ink stains. They work to reactivate the ink and allow you to wipe away the mark.
- First, cover the entire stained surface with sanitizer.
- Scrub the area with a paper towel to remove the ink. Continue until it’s gone.
- Wipe away any leftover sanitizer and ensure the area is dry.
This trick should also remove permanent marker stains from wood veneer surfaces. Contact the manufacturer for further instruction if you have specific questions about your furniture.
4. Remove Vomit Stains
Removing vomit is one of those standard responsibilities that come with raising children. Thankfully, there’s an easy way to clean stains from all surfaces with the right tools. The first step is responding quickly.
When it comes to washable fabric, scrape away as much vomit as possible. Use a pretreat stain spray and launder the fabric on hot heat.
If the stain is on the carpet, follow these steps:
- First, scrape away excess vomit.
- Next, sprinkle baking soda on the stained fibers and let sit for 10 minutes before vacuuming.
- Mix a cleaning solution of 1 tablespoon of liquid hand soap, 1 tablespoon of white vinegar, and 2 cups of warm water.
- Sponge the stain with a clean white cloth until the solution is absorbed.
- Blot the stain until dry.
For upholstery stains, scrape off extra vomit. Spritz and blot with a professional odor and pet stain remover until it’s gone.
5. Remove Cat or Dog Urine Stains
Pet urine can be a homeowner’s worst nightmare, especially if it goes undetected and stains a surface. Cat urine is notorious for being one of the most challenging smells to eliminate from the carpet. Thankfully, cleaners can neutralize these odors and remove stains.
Follow this process to remove stains from your carpet:
- If the accident is recent, blot it to remove excess urine. Rinse the area with water and blot with a clean rag if it has dried.
- Use pressure to absorb as much urine as possible.
- Apply a pet odor neutralizing spray over the stained area.
- If you notice a lingering odor, apply a layer of baking soda, leave it for at least an hour and vacuum the area.
If you can remove and wash the cushion covers, consider doing so. If not, blot away excess urine and rinse the area with water. To neutralize odors, sprinkle baking soda on the stained area and leave overnight. Vacuum the following day to take care of your odor issue.
6. Remove Stains From Plastic Laminate
If your kiddo spills their red Kool-Aid on your white laminate countertop or floor, you might think the drink will stain the surface forever. Believe it or not, there’s a way to remove stains from laminate. Most spray cleaners will do the trick, but read the back of the bottle before applying them. Use a brush to work the spray into the stain.
You can also apply baking soda and paste with a bit of water. This should lift stains left by fruit juices and other liquids. Baking soda is abrasive, so don’t rub to remove the stain. Allow the paste to sit for at least two hours and wipe away.
7. Remove Common Bathroom Stains
Children can be rough in bathrooms. You’ve likely faced these issues in your washrooms — hard water deposits in your toilet bowl, soap scum in your shower, and water stains on your faucets. How do you resolve these problems? Follow these tips.
If you’re dealing with a tough rust stain, start by removing all water from your bowl so you don’t dilute your cleaner. Purchase a high-power cleaning solution that contains hydrochloric acid, but ensure you don’t buy one with bleach, as this will cause the stain to set. Use a toilet brush with stiff nylon bristles rather than a wire brush.
Soap Scum Stains
Coat the affected area with a cleaner that explicitly targets soap scum and let sit for 10 minutes. Use a nylon scrub pad to remove scum deposits. Reapply product to remaining stained areas, rinse, and squeegee clean.
Make sure you have a robust product in your cleaning arsenal like Lime-A-Way. You can also use vinegar to remove calcium deposits. Pour white vinegar into a plastic sandwich bag, wrap it around your faucet with a rubber band and allow it to soak for an hour. Run hot water through the tap to flush out the remaining vinegar.
Remove Troublesome Stains in Your House
As a homeowner and a parent, you likely have your hands full. Follow these stain removal tips to make your life all the easier.
Rose Morrison is the managing editor of Renovated, a home living site where she loves to share home renovation ideas to help people live their best DIY life. She’s especially passionate about sustainable living and incorporating greener habits into everyday life. For more from Rose, you can follow her on Twitter.