Spills happen and clothes, furniture, and carpets get ruined. It's a constant battle but keeping your home in pristine condition is possible with these tips for stain removal.
When my son was born, I thought I had everything I needed until I discovered the staining capabilities of poop and breast milk. Those oh-so-cute outfits, and even my brown sofa (a color you think you'd be safe with), were seemingly ruined. Whether the stain is on clothing, furniture, or the carpet, here are some tips for removal.
It seems like there are a million different stain removal products out there. After trying a few different brands on once white onesies, my ultimate favorite became Oxiclean laundry stain remover when not only freshly poop stained onesies came out white, but so did stained clothes that had been previously washed. Breast milk stains which often came out yellow, were also taken care of.
The key is to pretreat. Even if a diaper leak has turned out such a disaster that the trash can is looking more tempting than the washer, roll up your sleeves and put on some gloves. I always keep a cleaning brush handy to really rub in the stain remover. After letting the pretreated stain sit according to the directions (and not longer because you don't want to ruin the fabric) and then washing, my baby clothes came out as good as new!
Often overlooked by expecting moms, especially first-timers, stain remover makes an excellent addition to your baby shower gift. It may seem silly but it will later be appreciated.
Upholstery and Carpet Stains
I incorrectly assumed that the sofa would be safe until my son got a little older. I hadn't anticipated milk and poop on the sofa in the first few months. Yes, sometimes those diaper explosions are literally explosions and nothing touching you or the baby is safe. To keep your sofa safe from early messes, I recommend always sitting on something thick enough to keep your sofa shielded. Some of the grosser stains might require tougher cleaning than your upholstery can handle, so it's best to try and avoid them altogether.
When there is an accident, the trick is to clean it up immediately. Blot the stain with a white rag to soak up any liquid. Don't rub! The next step depends on what type of upholstery fabric you have. To know how to clean your sofa check the manufacture's instructions. Generally, it is recommended to work your way from the outside to the inside of the stain, and once clean dry it with a hairdryer. This goes for the carpet as well. Read the article, "How to Remove Every Type of Carpet Stain" from This Old House. They have it covered on what to do about specific types of stains when it comes to what's underneath your feet.
If your buying a new sofa and you have kids, the fabric of choice is an important consideration. Make sure to check the cleaning codes. Don't just take the word of the sales person. Read the article, "How to Read Upholstery Cleaning Codes" from Apartment Therapy to see what those cleaning codes mean.
Leather, microfiber (not microsuede), or slipcovered sofas seem to be the most popular options for parents. Leather is the most durable sofa material out there. Good microfiber is easy to clean (keep in mind that cheaper grades will not perform as well). And many slipcovered sofas can easily be cleaned professionally or even in your own washer.