As anyone with kids knows, they can be a mess. You turn your back for one second and all of a sudden there’s a big stain on your rug or couch. We take all sorts of measures to try and prevent these stains from happening — cups with lids, keeping food in the kitchen, etc. — but it’s not always enough. Once that stain appears in your home, your next question is almost immediately “how do I get rid of it?” To help you out, here are five things commonly stained by kids and how you can deal with them.
Couches and Chairs
Couches and chairs are some of the more commonly stained items in the home of anyone with kids. Your child will sit here while they are having a snack or run into the living room before you get a chance to wipe their hands. Now you have food, juice, paint or marker on your couch. So how do you get rid of it?
The first thing you should do is vacuum, especially if the stain has set in. This will remove a lot of the set-in particles and will give you a better idea as to what you need to deal with. Sometimes a simple vacuuming can greatly fade a stain. After that, you should check the specific cleaning instructions for that couch or chain. You may be able to clean some upholstery with water, while others may require something like vinegar.
If you don’t have the instructions for your couch or chair, consider performing a spot test. This is where you use a small amount of a cleaning agent such as water, vinegar or baking soda and apply it to a hidden part of the couch. A spot test will let you see if it that agent leaves a stain of its own. Here is some more information on cleaning upholstery to get you started.
Carpets and Rugs
Another common stain location is your floors. While we can easily wipe away spills on our tiles or hardwood floors, this isn’t the case for carpets and rugs. The first thing you’ll want to do with any carpet or rug stain is dry it. Grab a clean towel, then blot the area, trying to soak up as much of the liquid as you can. Don’t rub the stain, as this will only make it worse, and instead pat the area firmly.
After that, try a solution of vinegar and water. This will help to remove most stains from the carpet. You may need to apply the solution a couple of times and let it dry in between before the stain is completely removed.
If you’re the owner of an antique rug however, you may want to consider letting a professional handle this sort of job. For instance, a Persian rug cleaning service will know how to best handle your delicate rug to not only remove the stain, but keep the rug in good condition.
Clothing – Both Yours and Theirs
Clothing is going to get stained when you have kids, there’s no avoiding it. But rather than buying new clothes all the time, you may be able to salvage some of it. The key is to act quickly and to try not to let the stain set in. Tide To-Go Sticks are a great thing for any parent to carry around, as they can quickly treat a stain and they are small enough to pack away. If you’re at home, quickly soak the stain in water and soap, then get it into the wash. There are also some great DIY stain removers you can make from home, which you can learn about here.
On the Walls
If your kid grabbed some crayons or markers and went to town on the walls, don’t fret. There are plenty of easy ways to remove wall stains. A wall eraser works like a charm on crayon and should be able to remove it all without removing the paint job. You can also try baby wipes if you don’t have an eraser.
For marker, hopefully you have the washable kind and you can simply use some soap and water. If your kid got their hands on a permanent marker, try soaking a cotton ball in rubbing alcohol and see if that does the trick. If that doesn’t work, you may need to simply paint over the stain.
Finally, your kids may leave some stains on their bedding. Treat these stains like the others mentioned above — blot out as much as you can and then throw them right in the washing machine. If you act quickly enough, you should be able to save the bedding and prevent any noticeable stains.
Don’t Stress About Stains
While you’re not going to be able to avoid stains altogether, you don’t have to live with them. The next time you notice a stain on your walls or on the nice living room couch, don’t stress about it. Use one of the strategies mentioned above and you should have no trouble getting that stain out.
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