No more stubborn stains

Wednesday March 21, 2007
Cleaning (AAP Images)

Shannon Lush, discusses how to get rid of pesky stains.


How can I get sunscreen off a black leather car seat?

Put a few drops of dishwashing liquid on your finger tips and massage onto the spot. Leave the spot for a minute, then wipe off the dishwashing liquid with a damp cloth or pantyhose (pantyhose is best).


How can I remove a large Bundaberg rum and Coke stain from my cream carpet?

This is a high-sugar stain. You need an ultraviolet light or sunlight to remove it. You can hire an ultraviolet light from chemists or hardware stores. Aim the light onto the stain until it leaches the colour out and then use a cloth dampened with warm water and sponge over the stain to remove it.
You can use an ultraviolet light to remove any vegetable dye stains.


What is the best way to clean grout between my floor tiles without using chemicals?

Sprinkle with bi-carb soda and spray with white vinegar, then rub while it's fizzing.


How can I remove paint from school shirts?

It depends on the type of paint. Most kids' paints are water-based vinyl paints and can be removed by soaking the shirt in methylated spirits.


How can I get rid of blue and red biro from my grey leather car seat?

Make sure it's biro and not a gel-based ink. If it is biro, wipe the stain with a little methylated spirits.

  • If it's a gel-based ink stain, use pure acetone on a cotton bud to wipe the stain first, then wipe with white vinegar straight after. Make sure you work fast so that you do not damage the leather.


    I spilt dark hair dye solution on our Tassie oak kitchen door. How can I remove this without damaging the timber?

    Use more of the same hair dye and rub it over the old hair dye until the stain spreads, then immediately rub the spot with a cheap shampoo (or a shampoo without very much fruit oil).


    How can I remove a large white spot on my pine table caused by condensation from a hot pot?

    You need to know the surface first. Is it polyurethane, varnish or shellac? Do a surface test. Heat a needle (using a pair of plyers to hold the needle over a stove) and then place the needle on an inconspicuous part of the table. If it's polyurethane, you will smell burnt plastic, if it's varnish it will smell like an electrical burn, if it's shellac it will smell like burnt hair.

    • Polyurethane: Rub some Brasso brass polish over the stain in the direction of the grain, fast, but not hard.
    • Varnish: Use beeswax on a piece of lemon peel and rub in direction of the grain.
    • Shellac: Use beeswax on a piece of lemon peel and rub in direction of the grain.


    How do you get pen out of light brown suede?

    Use white spirit or methylated spirits, white spirit is best. Sponge with the spirit and then sprinkle with talcum power. Let the stain dry and then brush off and it's clean!


    How do you get mould stains out of linen and clothes?

    Use one kilo of salt per bucket of water and soak overnight. Hang the clothing or linen on a clothesline without rinsing it. Once it dries, a salt crust forms on the fabric. Brush it off.


    How can I get rid of perspiration and antiperspirant from shirts?

    If this is happening, you are using the wrong type of deodorant and should try a different brand. However, to remove the stain use Nappysan Plus. Make up a paste with water and the Nappysan Plus, leave for 15 minutes and then wash the shirt as usual.


    I have a cream leather couch with blue biro on it across a whole stretch. How do I remove the biro?

    Use some white spirit on a cotton bud. White spirit is liquid hydrocarbon and is often found in supermarkets near the methylated spirits.

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