Cleaning Guides

How to Get Gum Out of Carpet

If you have kids around the place, it’s only a matter of time before you’ll have to figure out how to get gum out of carpet. Not all bubblegum is the same, and not all gum stains are the same, so I’ll give you several options for cleaning gum out of the living room floor carpet.

The important thing is that you don’t freak out: these things happen. Besides, it’s easy to step on gum in the grocery store parking lot and track it in, so you might be the culprit, after all.

Below are several methods for getting gum of your carpet. Keep trying them, until one works.

Freezing Gum

Freezing gum often works. Once you get gum cold enough, it starts to harden, making it much easier to separate from the carpet. There are several ways to apply freezing temperatures to gum-stained carpet.

One, get a bag of ice and hold it on the gum. Hold it yourself for a couple of minutes, or place the bag over the gum for 15-20 minutes. This should make the gum completely frozen, so it becomes a matter of peeling away the gum.

Two, get canned air like you use to clean your keyboard and spray it directly onto the gum. Compressed air, when it gets cold enough, makes gum brittle. Then it becomes a matter of breaking the gum and picking it off the carpet.

Use Peanut Butter in a Pinch

How to Get Gum Out of Carpet

How to Get Gum Out of Carpet

Peanut butter is known to change the consistency of gum, so that it’s easier to remove from the carpet. This is a gross feeling, messy looking process, but it works in a pinch.

When you finish removing the gum, use a standard carpet cleaner to remove peanut butter from the carpet. Don’t use this method too often, because peanut butter can stain some carpets.

If there is remaining gum in the carpet after the peanut butter treatment, lighter fluid is known to get out small amounts of gum, by breaking it down. Don’t use lighter fluid near an open flame or heat of any kind. Use carpet cleaner to thoroughly remove lighter fluid.

Using Carpet Cleaners on Gum Stains

Use a spray-on stain cleaner that is specifically designed to remove carpet problems like old gum. There are several industrial strength or specialty carpet cleaners which are designed to get rid of tough stains.

Goo-Gone Spray-On is another alternative. Goo Gone advertises itself as eliminating “gooey, sticky, gummy, greasy problems”. A bottle costs around $7.

De-Solv-It and Orange-Sol are two more citrus-based products that rid your carpet of troublesome stains. Both are known to break down gum stains.

Steam Clean if Nothing Else Works

If nothing else has worked – and that’s pretty unlikely – rent a carpet steamer and remove the gum from your carpet with a steam cleaner. Use the recommended cleaning solution for the steamer you’re using, go over the trouble spot time and again, and these chemicals should remove the stain.

How to Remove Gum from Carpet

Still need more help with how to remove gum from carpet? If none of the above carpet cleaning methods have worked, that isn’t gum in your carpet: it’s an alien symbiote. You’re going to need to call in the space marines. Between the ice, peanut butter, lighter fluid, carpet cleaners, enzyme cleaners and steam treatment, something is going to break down that gum and get it out of your living room.

How to Get Rid of Underarm Stains on Shirts

You need several techniques for how to get rid of underarm stains on shirts, because there are certain things you can do for white clothing that you can’t do for color garments. Also, you’ll find yourself in all kinds of different situations, so you want to have several stain-fighting techniques at your disposal.

Most of the time, armpit stains appear on white t-shirts and other white apparel. That’s because the deodorant we use tend to build up a residue that isn’t always washed away in the washing machine. This especially shows up on white clothing, so we need a special cleaner to get rid of those ugly stains.

Read the stain removal tips below, to give you a number of options. Follow the directions to the letter, because some of the suggestions specifically warn against use on color clothes.

Getting Rid of Underarm Stains on T-Shirts

One of the techniques for how to get rid of underarm stains on shirts we listed above should be able to help you with your problem. There’s nothing worse than just getting out of the shower and wearing a shirt right out of the washer, and looking like you have nasty armpit stains. This is not a way to impress the ladies, so learn how to get rid of underarm sweat stains and deodorant stains and never get caught in this situation again.

How to Remove Stains from Upholstery

Everyone has managed to stain the upholstery on a sofa or chair at one time or another. Therefore it is important to know exactly how to remove particularly stubborn stains. In order to do so, simply follow the easy steps below:

Look at the Fabric Label

The first thing you should do when you want to remove a stain from upholstery is to look at the fabric label. This will advise the most suitable cleaner for the specific fabric using a letter code.

Remove Any Excess Residue

As soon as you notice the stain on the upholstery, remove any excess. This can often be simply swept off by hand or perhaps using a vacuum, spoon or table knife. If the stain is caused by a liquid then remove any left-over liquid using an absorbent material such as a paper towel.

Test the Cleaner

Test the cleaner in a spot where any mistakes will not be noticed, for example, behind the cushions.

Upholstery Stain Removal

How to Remove Stains from Upholstery

How to Remove Stains from Upholstery

Once you’re ready to begin the upholstery stain removal process, first determine if the stain can be removed by a water based cleaner. If the stain is removable by a water-based cleaner then use a solution of approximately 4 litres of cool to warm water with 5 teaspoons of everyday washing up liquid. If the stain is greasy or contains caramelised sugar then a solution of 50% white vinegar and 50% water would be better.

Be sure that not too much water is applied to the upholstery, using mainly the foam of the solution. Blot the stain and rub from the outside to the centre in order to avoid rings.

Providing you are not using solvent, you should now use clean water and a clean sponge to remove any remains left over from the cleaning solution.

Common Stains

How to Clean a Mattress Stain

Removing mattress stains can be a nightmare, so learning how to clean a mattress stain properly is important, if you want to be a good housekeeper. Cleaning mattresses the wrong way can leave you with a stained bed for year to come. When and what you use to clean your bed and bed sheets are most important, because all stains are not equal.

Mild Cleaning Solutions – Simple Stains

For mild stains, you want a mild cleaning solution. You don’t want to bring out the “nuclear option”, except for the tough stains. A mild remedy of dry suds includes mild detergent in a 1/4th solution with water.

This means you’ll add one-fourth of a cup of mild detergent with 1 cup of water. Stir with a whisk or egg beater, to turn it into a sudsy solution. Dip a sponge into this solution and wring it out to keep it from being too watery. Dab the stain with the sponge, trying to wipe away the stain.

If this doesn’t work, move on to more extensive methods. For some of the stains listed below, know this won’t work and skip this option.

Upholstery Shampoo – Tough Stains

Upholstery shampoo should be used for tough stains and deep stains. Some brands to look for in stores and online are Dirt Devil, Bissell, Franklin, Hoover, Joe Campanelli, 3D and Ace.

Each of these products is going to include instructions, so follow the instructions for the upholstery shampoo you buy.

White Vinegar – Urine Stains

How to Clean a Mattress Stain

How to Clean a Mattress Stain

White vinegar can be used to clean up urine stains from your mattress. Blot the stain with a sponge dipped in white vinegar. You can also use the following suggestion (hydrogen peroxide) for urination stains on mattresses.

Hydrogen Peroxide – Blood Stains

Hydrogen peroxide is the best method for removing blood stains from sheets and mattresses. Blot the stain with hydrogen peroxide applied with a towel. If you use a white or light tower, you can tell when blood continues to seep from the mattress. If so, continue until the blood no longer seeps.

Remember that some blood stains are impossible to entirely clean.

Enzyme Cleaner – Toughest Stains

Enzyme cleaners are cleaners that use enzymes, which act as a catalyst to chemical reactions, to remove stains. The enzyme cleaner goes deeper than other cleansing agents and are used to remove protein stains, resistant starch residues, fatty stains and oily stains from materials.

Mattress Cleaning Tips

Remember to clean a stain quickly. The longer a staining liquid is allowed to set, the harder it’s going to be to remove that stain. Don’t let a stain set in.

When cleaning a mattress, don’t use so much liquid that it can seep into the mattress itself. This makes the situation worse, because you won’t be able to get the liquid out of the mattress and it’s likely to cause mold and mildew. Along the same lines, don’t replace the sheets and comforters on your mattress, until it is completely dry. Otherwise, mildew and mold is likelier to grow.

Knowing how to clean a mattress means you’ll usually be able to get rid of stains. Some stains are too big to remove, but if all else fails, get out the yellow pages and call a local carpet cleaner, to see if they can help you get your mattresses clean.

How to Get Ink out of Clothes with Hairspray

There’s nothing worse than getting an ink stain on your new garment, so here’s how to get ink out of clothes with hairspray. Believe it or not, hairspray gets ink stains out of clothing, especially polyester. The alcohol content in spray-on hair products seems to react with the ink.

Getting Ink Out

That means, if you use a hairspray with low alcohol content, the hair care product may not work as well as advertised, since certain hairsprays don’t use as much alcohol as a generation ago. If you have a hairspray with high alcohol content, though, this should work like a charm for getting ink out. When spraying hairspray on your clothes, remember to rinse well afterwards.

Let the Ink Dry

When you get an ink stain, let the ink dry onto your shirt or paints, before trying to remove. If you don’t, you’re more likely to spread the ink than remove it.

Use Paper Towels

How to Get Ink out of Clothes with Hairspray

How to Get Ink out of Clothes with Hairspray

Get a paper towel or two and place it behind the ink stain, so the towel is between one side of the shirt and another. This keeps the ink and hairspray from seeping through to the other side, while the paper towel will sop up the ink as it breaks down.

Next, spray liberal amounts of hairspray on the ink stain area. Cover the stain area completely.

Blot with a Second Paper Towel

Take a clean paper towel and start dabbing the ink stain. Continue dabbing for a minute or two. This might take a little bit of trouble, but keep dabbing until all the stain is removed.

Wash Your Garment

Once you have the ink stain removed using hairspray, wash the shirt or pants as per the usual washing instructions. Keep your clothes away from an open flame, until you wash the clothing, because the alcohol in your clothes is flammable.

Also, don’t put stained clothes in the dryer, until the entire stain from the ink is out. Instead, let your clothes air dry and try a second application of hairspray. Once you do, wash your shirt to get rid of the stain.

Getting Ink Stains out with Hairspray

Know that you know how to get ink out of clothes with hairspray, you don’t have to dread the next time your pen blows up and stains your dockets or your button-up. Find some hairspray and get to work dabbing the ink stain.

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