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    DIY: Stain removal guide

    How to remove pesky stains from carpet and furniture

    Alex | Oneflare

    A house is just a shell until you decorate it with furniture. As such, you want to keep these expensive purchases looking as good as new. But spills can happen every day. Before cleaning, soak up any excess from the spill and remember, blotting does not mean rubbing. After that, here are some tips to remove different types of stains.

    Fabric and upholstery

    Grease stains: Use just a little rubbing alcohol or dry-cleaning fluid. Keep blotting lightly until the stain stops coming up on the towel. Then use a mix of dishwashing liquid and water, starting from the outer rim of the stain and moving to the centre.

    Makeup and ink stains: Using a little rubbing alcohol or dry cleaning fluid, immediately blot the stain until it is dry. If it hasn’t disappeared, use a mix of vinegar and warm water, and then blot it dry quickly.

    Other stains: For miscellaneous stains, try soaking with water for about a minute before blotting the spot dry with a towel. Keep doing this until the stain doesn’t keep coming up on the towel, and then use a mix of dishwashing liquid and warm water until the stain disappears. Lastly, rinse with club soda or tonic water, and dry.

    Wood furniture

    Water marks: Rub toothpaste in a circular motion on the water mark with a damp cloth. Then, use a clean, damp cloth to remove the toothpaste. Finish up by polishing the wood, or if you’re concerned, you can try using extra-fine steel wool to remove the mark, and then polish or wax it.

    Heat marks: Use extra-fine steel wool to rub the stain out of the wood, and then polish or wax it.

    Beverage stains: From soda to milk to alcohol, pour a little ammonia on the spill, and then use paste wax on your finger to rub the area. Then, wipe the wood clean and polish it.

    Stains on wooden furniture can be removed with toothpaste and a damp cloth / Source: Ask S and R Services

    Leather furniture

    Grease stains: For a grease stain, wipe up as much as you can with a dry cloth, and let it sit for a few hours to see if it disappears on its own. If not, use leather cleaner.

    Ink stains: Rub the stain with a cotton ball dipped in rubbing alcohol until it disappears, and then use a blow dryer to dry the spot. If the stain remains, use acetone-free nail polish remover, and remove the residue with leather cleaner.

    Dark stains: For spills of dark liquid, rub a mix of lemon juice and tartar cream on the spot, and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Then rub on some more of the mix, and finally remove it with a damp sponge.

    Suede: For dry stains on suede, use a clean eraser. For wet stains, sop up the excess liquid with a paper towel. For oily stains, use a commercial suede cleaner.


    To reduce the damage, wet a rag with hot water and use it to dab the affected area immediately. Just remember, the sooner you treat the spillage, the better chance you have of its removal.

    Wine stains: Wine can leave an obvious mark on your living room floor, but if you spill red wine on your carpet, don’t fret. Simply place a paper towel over the stain to absorb most of the moisture and sprinkle some baking soda over the stain. As the bicarbonate soda reacts with the chemical balance of the red wine, the colour will change from red to a light grey. Dab the area with a sponge dipped in white vinegar to change the pH of the wine again. Each time you change the pH of the stain, the stubborn spillage will be wrung loose from the affected carpet.

    Coffee and tea stains: Try pouring a little beer on top of the affected area. Rub the beer into the spillage and watch the stain disappear. If you are out of beer, opt for a stronger solution by combining equal parts of white vinegar and water to blot out the stain.

    Oil and grease stains: Pour baby powder over the area, cover it with a paper towel and gently iron it. The heat will force the powder to absorb the oil. Alternatively, negate the oil spill by rubbing detergent directly into the stain and washing it out with hot water.

    Avoid using strong chemicals without a cleaning professional as it can damage the colour and condition of your carpet.

    Contact local cleaning experts

    Barbeque care

    The barbeque is an essential ingredient to any outdoor party, but it can be a challenge to keep your barbecue clean, hygienic and ready for your next use. Apply these simple steps so you won’t get stuck scrubbing the grill in the final minutes before your guests arrive.

    As good practice, ensure your barbeque is cleaned after each time it is used. Before cooking, take some time to line the drip tray with two layers of aluminium foil to avoid cleaning out the grease and oil after your sausages and steak are consumed.

    After cooking on the barbeque, use some of the leftover onion – an affordable and safe cleaning tool, to scrub the hot plate and the grill. The onion can loosen the grime on your grill, but it is best to allow the flames to burn on high for an extra 5 minutes after cooking to burn any residue meat. The barbeque is best cleaned when it is still warm as the oils, fats and grime haven’t had time to set. A quick clean just after you’ve cooked the last lamb chop can save you effort and prevent scratches on the surface of your grill.

    After each use, wipe down the oven hood of your barbeque with bicarb soda and vinegar while it is still warm. After cleaning, spray the hotplate and grill with some cooking oil to prevent rust.

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