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Never Give A Stain A Break!

By Susanah Eastridge

Imagine that you’ve just spilled something on your clothes or carpet. Well, there’s no need to panic. That’s because most ordinary stains on clothing, carpet, and tile can be removed without much sweat, using items that most homeowners keep in stock.

Removing Stains on Clothing

Antiperspirants perhaps cause the most common stains on white T-shirts, dress shirts, and blouses. For washable white clothing, pour boiling water over the stain, and then treat the stain with a solution of one-third water, one-third hydrogen peroxide, and one-third baking soda. Next wash as normal, adding bleach to your wash load. As an alternative, try sponging the spot with ammonia. Very important: Never mix bleach and ammonia.

Coffee and tea also cause staining when they are spilled on clothing. Blot a fresh coffee or tea stain with cold water. If this does not get it all out, try a mixture of one ounce borax per one pint of warm water. Then wash as normal with detergent.

What if it’s a really tough tea or coffee stain? If the fabric is durable, stretch the stained portion of the garment over a large basin. Then slowly pour boiling water over the stain from a height of around two feet. (Needless to say, if small children are present, don’t pour boiling water anywhere near them.)

Very important: Don’t use this procedure if the stain is anything but coffee and tea. That is because hot water can set many stains, such as blood stains. The result will be a ruined garment.

What happens if you scorch a skirt or blouse when you iron it? Depending on the severity of the scorch, you may be able to remove the scorch stain. Here’s a method that has worked well for many people: Make a mixture of one ounce of borax for every one pint of cold water. Soak the clothing in the solution. Next launder.

Carpet Stains

Imagine that you have new carpet or newly cleaned carpet in your house. Then a friend comes over and spills something on your clean carpet. Or perhaps he or she muddies it with dirty shoes. What can you do? Well, first try to blot the stain with cold water. Fortunately, the majority of carpets today are stain resistant. As a result, you will likely find that simple cold water will be sufficient to remove the stain. That is, if you act at once.

If cold water alone is not sufficient, use a solution of two cups lukewarm water, one teaspoon of white vinegar, and one teaspoon of liquid detergent. This should not discolor any carpet, but to be safe, try it out on a part of the carpet that is not visible.

What about removing blood stains from carpet? Well, this is a bit more difficult, especially if the blood has already dried. First, sprinkle salt over the blood stain. Second, spray the area with a mixture made with equal parts of water and hydrogen peroxide. Finally, blot with tissue, paper towels, or a cloth rag. Remember to spot test the mixture first, particularly if your carpet is a dark color.

Tile Stains

Chlorine bleach will remove the majority of stains on floor tiles. Use a mixture of three-fourths cup of bleach with one gallon of water. Be sure to wear rubber gloves. If you prefer, you can use white vinegar or ammonia instead.

Susanah Eastridge is the mother of three children. She has written various articles on homemaking through the years. She enjoys sharing tips that have saved her time and money. For free reports on easy stain removal, please visit her website at

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Eastridge, Susanah "Never Give A Stain A Break!." Never Give A Stain A Break!. 21 Jun. 2010. 19 Aug 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Eastridge, S (2010, June 21). Never Give A Stain A Break!. Retrieved August 19, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Eastridge, Susanah "Never Give A Stain A Break!"

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