How To Clean The Grossest, Most Difficult Stains Using Common Household Items

How to Clean the Grossest, Most Difficult Stains with Household Items

Your home is gross. Don't worry, everyone's is. Between cooked food, moudly wood, rusty metal, and our own bodies constantly flaking out dust, it's a wonder our homes are ever clean. Washing dishes or tidying a bedroom is easy. For the harder, grimier stuff, you can still keep your home clean with basic and common household items.

Get Blood Stains Out Of Clothes

Materials:

  • Cold water
  • Detergent
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Lemon juice
  • Clean towels
  • A clean basin

We're all going to end up with a little blood on our clothes (or carpet, or furniture, or walls, or who knows where else) at some point or another. To get blood stains out of clothes before they permanently damage the material, follow these steps (or watch the video above):

  1. Lay the garment flat on a surface and blot off as much blood as possible with a damp towel. Do not scrub.
  2. Fill the basin with cold water and add some lemon juice. Allow the garment to soak in the mixture.
  3. After soaking, allow the garment to set for an hour.
  4. Spray detergent directly on the stain. Scrub or agitate the stained spot to dislodge as much of the blood as possible.
  5. For tough stains, soak the garment again in cold water, applying detergent directly to the stain. Soak overnight.
  6. If this fails, dab hydrogen peroxide directly on the affected areas.
  7. Allow the garment to air dry. Do not use a dryer as heat will cause the blood to set more.

Blood is notoriously difficult to clean up, not only because it's a fussy fluid, but because it spreads so easily. also because it tends to wind up just about anywhere we can touch at some point or another. How to blog HowStuffWorks has a more thorough guide on how to get blood out of fabrics, hard/stone surfaces, carpet, fur, wood, wallpaper and even silver. There's a lot to cover, so check that guide out here.

Remove Poop Stains From Carpet

Materials:

  • Wet vac
  • Squirt bottle
  • Bleach
  • Laundry detergent
  • Warm water

Anyone with kids or dogs can tell you that poop stains on the carpet aren't just gross, but they make the whole house smell, even if you clean up the surface. If you don't own or can't rent a carpet cleaner every time, here's what you can do:

  1. Mix about 2-3 tablespoons of bleach and detergent into four litres of water.
  2. Fill the squirt bottle with the mixture.
  3. Lightly dampen the surface of the stain with the spray bottle.
  4. Use the wet vac to suck up the top layer of loose faeces.
  5. Dampen the stain more thoroughly and scrub to loosen as much material as possible.
  6. Use the wet vac to suction up the stain layer by layer. Repeat steps 5-6 until clean.

This method not only removes the stain, it has the added benefit of pulling the material up out of the carpet, rather than pressing it back down where it can stink up your home.

Clean Poop Stains Out Of Clothes

How to Clean the Grossest, Most Difficult Stains with Household Items

Materials:

  • Over the counter stain remover
  • Cold water
  • Bleach
  • Stain removal pen
  • Dishwashing detergent

Your carpet's not the only thing that can get stained by the big brown menace. Whether they're your baby's clothes or your own, it's preferable to save the clothes if you can. To get the stains out:

  1. Apply either of the stain removal tools as soon as possible (stain removal pens are handy for stains that happen away from home).
  2. For deep stains, soak the clothes in cold water.
  3. If the stain has had a chance to set, use a mixture of dishwashing liquid and cold water to form a paste. Apply to the stain and let set for 20 minutes.
  4. Wash the garment as normal, using regular bleach for whites, or colour-safe bleach otherwise.

Clean Urine Stains Off A Mattress

Materials:

  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • Cloth

Urine stains are fairly easy to clean up, but if you don't do it quite right, you can end up with a mattress or other fabric that smells bad long after you've cleaned it. To most effectively remove urine from a mattress, follow these steps (or view the video above):

  1. Use a towel to blot up as much excess urine as possible.
  2. Spray the area with a mixture of equal parts vinegar and water.
  3. Blot up the excess until the stain is gone and the smell has dissipated.

If a stain has already dried before you can clean it, you can still get it out by dampening the area and sprinkling it with a little borax. Allow the stain to dry with the borax on the mattress and then vacuum up the power when you're done.

Remove Rust From Your Kitchen Sink

Materials:

  • Bicarb soda
  • Vinegar
  • Bowl

Kitchen sinks have a nasty habit of attracting rust. For minor rust spots on stainless steel sinks, there's a simple method you can use to clear up the rust and make your sink shine again:

  1. Add a couple of tablespoons of bicarb soda into a bowl.
  2. Slowly add vinegar (don't go too fast or it will overflow) until it forms a thick paste.
  3. Spread the paste over lightly rusted spots and let it sit for 10 minutes.
  4. Rub the paste into the spot and let it sit for another 10-15 minutes.
  5. Rinse the sink with soap and water.
  6. Repeat this process until stains are gone.

For rougher rust, you may need to use a sponge, scrubbing brush, or a pumice stone to scrub out the leftover rust stains.

Get Rid Of Mould

Materials:

  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • Normal cleaning routine

It should be noted up front that certain types of mould can be toxic so before you try to tackle a mould problem yourself, you should be sure that what you're working on isn't going to harm you. You can read more about the different types of mould and how to clean them at the EPA's website here.

It's also far more important to prevent mould than it is to clean it. Any wet places in your home — laundry rooms, bathrooms, kitchens, anywhere that has a leak or where moisture can build up — can become a place for mould to grow. Taking care to clean these areas and keep them dry will help you far more than any cleaning solution after the fact.

For smaller, non-toxic mould problems that have begun to appear, add vinegar to the water you use to clean up normally. Because mould can appear anywhere in your home, the method to clean the surface will vary, but for smaller mould problems, vinegar will help kill it and prevent growth. For larger mould problems (and especially toxic ones), it's probably best to call in a professional before proceeding.


Comments

    If any one has some ideas as to how to clean cat urine off hard wood floors, I'd love to hear them. (Back story: I didn't realise the kitty litter tray was leaking, and I only pick it up to clean it out thoroughly about once a week, so it was all wet underneath and it's stained the floors. Sigh.)

      The only product we've found that reliably gets rid of cat pee smell is Febreze. Other things like orange oil mask it well but the smell comes back sooner or later.

      If your boards are treated or lacquered, you may be OK just with a thorough steam mop clean. If not and the cat pee has soaked right into the wood, you could try scrubbing with a dilute vinegar solution (cat urine has a high ammonia content). If all else fails you may have to be prepared to replace that section of floor.

      Last edited 21/03/14 3:23 pm

    Who would have guessed that a simple household item like stain remover could be used to remove stains?!

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