With the summer holidays just around the corner, it’s time to prepare for those inevitable spillages that seem to follow children around. We know that sticky fingers are frequently wiped on carpets or furniture and art masterpieces usually miss the canvas and hit the floor instead. It’s often pen marks and spilt glue that are the cause of the most angst for parents and grandparents, but acting fast can lessen the damage. Angus Dodds, stain removal expert at ServiceMaster Clean, is on hand to share his stain tips and tricks for cleaning up those summer mishaps, from ice cream and fruity drinks to glue and barbecue grease.
With everyone having fun in the sun, it’s easy to have the odd accident. Ice cream and ice lollies are a summer favourite, but they can be a nightmare to remove from carpets and upholstery. Try to remove spillages quickly before they turn sticky. Blot a mark with a paper towel to absorb any excess liquid and to stop the stain from spreading. Never rub as this will make it worse and could cause a mark to stain.
Rinse fruit juice spillages with cold water. Mix a small amount of washing powder with warm water and dab the mark with a towel. Rinse again with cold water to prevent further staining.
Cuts and grazes can leave marks on your floors and upholstery, so use a small amount of biological washing powder mixed with warm water to remove any muddy marks or blood stains. Again, dab at the stain rather than rub and be sure to rinse the soapy solution properly as this could attract dirt if not cleaned away thoroughly.
It’s best to keep a stubborn stain damp (but not wet) for several hours with a damp towel. If necessary, use a heavy book wrapped in cling film to apply pressure to the stain.
Greasy marks can be a nightmare for sofas and chairs. Cover any marks with talcum powder or corn flour as quickly as possible to absorb the oil. Allow it to set for a few minutes, then remove it gently with a brush or a dry sponge.
If chewing gum gets stuck somewhere that it shouldn’t, freeze in a plastic bag if possible and use a blunt knife to gently remove the gum once frozen.
Turn To Drink
If all else fails, try using alcohol to remove the stain. Both vodka and gin work well, especially when removing felt tip pen marks and glue stains. Dab or blot the stain with a paper towel soaked in alcohol until it has reduced or been removed.
“Acting quickly will minimise a mark, but professional help may still be needed to remove a stubborn stain. We use products specifically designed to remove a stain gently whilst protecting the stained material, something that you can’t do with a single product. Not only that, but we have the training and expertise to do this correctly and more importantly, we are insured to carry out the work.” said Angus.