The complete guide to every homemade stain remover you didn't know you had
This foamy shower staple is one of the best spot or stain removers in your house, since it's essentially really thick, whipped soap. If you happen to spill on your clothes or carpet, moisten the spot, work in some shaving cream, then either flush it with cool water or use a clean cloth to blot the shaving cream (and spot) away. Even if you don't see results right away, the shaving cream will prevent the stain from setting, so you can easily remove it later using professional cleaning tools.
By Cordelia Tai
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Glycerin, available online or at any pharmacy, makes a great addition to your medicine cabinet. Pour some glycerin on any tar, tree sap (around Christmastime), juice, mustard, ketchup, or barbecue (basically any condiment) stain, dab and rinse, and youâre in the clear.
This go-to restaurant remedy for spills works just as well in your house. Use it on any fabric that can be exposed to water, including certain dry-clean-only fabrics. Dabbing and blotting the offending area with this carbonated beverage will keep stains from setting and bring them to the surface of the fabric so they can be easily removed.
Cream of tartar
That jar of cream of tartar wasting away in your kitchen cupboard is a great substitute when you run out of bleach. Mix this condiment with bleach to fight food and other stains on clothes. It even lifts rust stains.
Okay, so it's somewhat unlikely you'll have these lying around the house for at least another few years. But if you happen to have an elderly aunt staying with you, her denture-cleaning tablets are a cure-all for food stains on white linen and cotton. All you need to do is dissolve one tablet in half a cup of water and pour the mixture directly on the offending spot.
Lemon juice is nature's bleach and disinfectant. Especially when it comes to baby formula stains, lemon juice is your answer to spots on white clothes. Simply apply some juice to the spill, and then lay the clothes in the sun. Before you launder the spoiled garment, add a little more lemon juice to the spot. Trust us, there's a reason every household-cleaning product under the sun is lemon-scented.
A sprinkle of salt over spilled red wine will keep the booze from staining fabric until you can launder it. Or you can mix it with some lemon juice for a solution to mildew stains.
White vinegar is not only a delicious option when it comes to keeping your salad dressing low-cal, it's also the all-purpose household stain remover. For sugar, coffee, tea and wine stains, simply saturate the affected area with undiluted vinegar, allow the liquid to soak in, and then wash the garment.
For grass stains, apply vinegar with a sponge, and then lightly dab to lift the stain. For tougher stains, mix vinegar and baking soda, and then brush the compound into the stain using an old toothbrush before throwing it in the washer. Soaking grease stains in vinegar before washing makes for effective stain removal.
White vinegar is also great for getting out those unsightly yellowing sweat stains on clothes, when combined with some salt. Plus, it's one of the few stain removers you can use on suede without fear.
A few pinches of meat tenderizer (unseasoned, obviously), diluted with some cold water, is the perfect protein-based stain-fighter. (Think blood, milk, etc.) Remember, always blot, never rub.
Three percent hydrogen peroxide is the solution to bloodstains, which are notoriously hard to get out. As with any other stain remover, this one works best when the stain is fairly fresh. Combine a half cup of this stuff with ammonia and no stain stands a chance.