12 common kid stains — busted!Oops! Your little one spilled fruit punch on his good shirt. No need to fret over tough stains left behind by your children; read on for our definitive guide.
After a tough soccer practice, grass stains are sure to leave their mark. For quick results, rub a liquid laundry detergent with enzymes into the stain and let it sit for five minutes. Then, wash with the hottest water and bleach permitted by the clothing's care label.
Stickers are fun, but not when they're stuck all over the house. If your tot has taken it upon herself to decorate your windows, start by covering the sticker with a light oil — like baby or vegetable — and leaving it overnight. The next morning, lift one corner and slowly pull off of the glass. If you don’t have any oil, try soaking the sticker with a hot, damp sponge.
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When playing outside on a summer day, your young explorer's clothing may end up covered in this sticky substance. After pretreating with a prewash stain remover, launder in the warmest water and bleach safe for the garment. But examine it carefully before throwing it into the dryer — if any sap lingers after washing, sponge the stain with rubbing alcohol and wash again.
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If your youngster gets colorful wax on clothing, place the stain between sheets of paper towels, and then press with a warm iron, swapping out the paper towels often. Pretreat the fabric, blot the mark, and let dry. If any color remains after a first wash with bleach, rewash the item using chlorine bleach, as long as it's safe for the fabric. To remove crayon from the wall, try using a dry-cleaning solvent on a terrycloth towel to safely remove marks from almost any surface (except antique wallpaper).
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Chocolate makes a sweet treat, but it can also be a mom's messy nightmare. Use a spoon to remove any excess chocolate, and then massage liquid laundry detergent into the stain with your fingers. After letting it sit for five minutes, wash with chlorine or all-fabric bleach if it's safe for the garment.
While kids might love splashing through puddles on a rainy day, mud can leave behind unattractive stains on clothing. For easy cleaning, wait for the mud to dry and brush off as much as you can. Then simply pretreat with a prewash stain remover and launder.
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If your little one gets Elmer's on his clothes during art class, don't sweat it! After scraping off any excess glue, pretreat the fabric with a prewash stain remover and wash with the hottest water permitted by the garment's label.
With fruit juice spills at snack time, colorful stains can get left behind. After soaking the fabric in cold water for 30 minutes, sponge white vinegar on the remaining stain. Let it sit at least 30 minutes, then launder the garment as usual.
When your child is coloring her masterpiece, clothing might take the hit. After placing the stain face down on clean paper towels, dab rubbing alcohol around the mark and then apply directly to the stain. Continue sponging the spot with alcohol to transfer as much ink as possible, frequently changing the paper towels underneath. Then rinse thoroughly and launder.
When a sticky lunch ends up in your little one's lap, begin by flushing the stain with cool water. Mixing one tablespoon of white vinegar, a 1/2-teaspoon of liquid laundry detergent, and a quart of warm water, soak the garment in this solution for 15 minutes. If the stain remains after rinsing, sponge with rubbing alcohol and rinse again. Finally, launder with chlorine bleach, if permitted on the care label.
Studious little ones might not notice a stray pen mark here and there. To erase the mistake, lay the garment's stain side down on a hand towel, and lightly dab — don't rub — the stain with rubbing alcohol. After rinsing and applying a prewash stain remover, wash the garment as usual.
If this favorite condiment slides off your youngster's burger and onto her shirt at the next family cookout, start by carefully scraping off any excess. From the inside of the garment, flush the stain with cold water. Then apply liquid detergent to the front of the stain, and tamp &mdash, tapping with a clean toothbrush — the spot to break up the stain. After rinsing, sponge the stain with white vinegar and rinse again. Repeat tamping and dabbing white vinegar until as much of the stain as possible is removed. Then, launder with bleach.
cleaning & organizing: bring order to your home
When we were young and our parents told us to clean our rooms, a majority of the clutter wound up hidden under our beds. Cut to 20 years later and we’re stuffing our garages full of odds and ends. Out of sight, out of mind. Click through the slideshow for 10 handy life hacks to get your garage in tiptop storage shape. Once you’ve gotten your tools, kids’ toys, and outdoor gear in line, there may even be room for a motor vehicle.
Counter space. No matter how big the kitchen, you hardly ever hear anyone complaining that there's too much of it. Especially in a compact kitchen, clear counters are a precious commodity worth fighting for. Luckily, there are lots of smart storage ideas that can help you reclaim lost counter space. Here are 16 great solutions that are just begging to be a part of your kitchen expansion. By Tracy Anderson
So, you think your house is clean? Well … you might have to think again! If you're like most people, there are areas that you never even think about cleaning, unlikely places where dirt, dust, and germs may be lurking. Even if your home has its share of "dirty little secrets," you're not alone: A 2012 survey sponsored by Kenmore found that nearly half of Americans -- 49 percent -- say they cut corners when vacuuming by skipping areas underneath or behind furniture, and clean only when they see visible dirt on the floor. Because identifying the problem is the first step toward a cure, here are some commonly overlooked areas of the home that should be added to your housekeeping regimen -- and some tips on how to maximize your cleaning efforts.
Spring is here, which means it's time to purge your home of junk. To help you get started, here are 20 things to get rid of now.
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No matter how clean your home may be, it's probably still a little dusty. Dust is a pervasive problem that everyone has to deal with every day. It's more than an annoyance, however. For individuals who suffer from asthma, allergies, or other breathing problems, dust can compromise their health and their quality of life. Dust is composed of many elements, including tiny particles of dirt, pollen, mold spores, dead skin cells, hair, and fabric fibers, as well as airborne pollutants such as wood ash, chemicals, and vehicle exhaust. Minimizing the amount of dust in your home can make a huge difference in air quality and help prolong the life of furniture, appliances, and household electronics. Keeping your home as dust-free as possible requires vigilance and consistency, including establishing a regular weekly cleaning routine. Here are some simple suggestions on how to cut down on the amount of dust in your home.
Far too often, grass gets the short end of the stick. We trample on it, force-feed it fertilizer, and cut the poor stuff within an inch of its life — all while doting on our roses and tomatoes. But focus your attention on sod for a second, and its design potential will sink in.
A clean bed means more than washing your sheets and pillowcases.
A new high-speed dryer for your body could mean you never need to towel off after the shower again.
This polar vortex of a winter is finally starting to thaw out, which means only one thing: Spring cleaning is upon us. As we get ready to deep clean our homes and reorganize our garages, it's time to consider your wardrobe. Your closet--probably overflowing with clothes you no longer wear--needs to be cleaned out. Clearing our your wardrobe can be a daunting task, usually causing anxiety about what to keep and what to toss. When it comes time to editing your wardrobe, it can be difficult to part with particular pieces. If you haven't worn an item in a number of months or it doesn't fit, a good solution to tossing is to consign items. Who doesn't love the idea of putting a little cash back in your wallet while making room for fabulous new pieces? Check out these 11 tips that will help alleviate the stress of spring cleaning and make room for those fresh pieces your wardrobe desperately needs. It's time to shake off those winter coats and shimmy into some spring dresses. By Corri McFadden