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Cleaning Secrets & Hacks From Our Executive Housekeeper

One of 2019's hottest topics so far has been "tidying up"! Who would be better to give cleaning tips and tricks than an Executive Housekeeper? In our opinion, not many people would! So, we thought it would be fun to start a series of posts that tackle various topics related to "tidying up" with expert advice from our Executive Housekeeper and the professionals from our housekeeping team.

The first topic is something that we all have had to deal with at one point or another...stain removal. There are all sorts of interesting and creative stain removal remedies. There are different remedies for different substances. It all boils down to the chemistry of the substances, which could be an entire blog post on its own. Instead of tackling that topic, we thought it would be easiest to leave that to the scientists. Here is a great article from the chemistry website, "Compound Interest", that breaks it down to easily understandable terms:


Here are some of the remedies that we use...

1. Marker or Pen on Walls: Apply hairspray generously to the marker or pen marks on and wipe clean with a paper towel. Rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover work as well for different types of pen and markers.

2. Ink or Marker on Countertops: Soak a cotton ball in nail polish remover and wipe the stain away. This works on laminate, granite and marble surfaces.

3. Oil or Grease on Fabric: Saturate the stain with anti-grease dish soap. Let it sit for a few minutes. Rinse the soap from the fabric. Another remedy is to cover the oil stain with baking soda (if the stain is still wet). Let it sit for 45 minutes. Squirt some dish soap over the baking soda. Use a toothbrush and vinegar to scrub the stain away.

4. Paint Stains on Fabric or Carpet: If the paint is still wet, blot it with a paper towel to remove as much as possible. Soak the affected area with rubbing alcohol. Scrub it with a toothbrush in a circular motion. Rinse the area with warm water and repeat as necessary until the stain has been removed.

5. Wine on Carpet: If the spill is fresh, soak up as much wine as possible.

Pour white vinegar on the stain. Let it sit for 15 minutes. Blot away the excess vinegar. Sprinkle the area with baking soda. Scrub the stain with a wet toothbrush until the stain is completely removed. Rinse area with water and blot dry with a towel.

6. Mascara on Pillow Case or Bed Sheet: Use a butter knife to gently scrape the mascara off of the pillowcase or bed sheet. Mix a few drops of grease-fighting dish soap with 2 cups of water. Use a cloth soaked with the soap mixture to dab at the stain. Do not scrub. Rinse and run through a wash cycle. Do not dry the item(s) in case the process needs to be repeated, as running the item(s) through the dryer could further set the stain if it is not completely removed after the first attempt.

7. Wax on Carpet or Fabric: Pre-heat a clothes iron to medium heat. Cover the stain with several layers of paper towel. Glide iron over the paper towel to melt the wax. Ensure that the iron is in continuous motion to avoid scorching the paper towel. The paper towel will absorb the wax. Replace paper towels as they become saturated with wax. Repeat until wax is completely lifted from the fabric or carpet.

8. Chocolate or Dirt on Carpet: Vacuum up any loose particles, if applicable. Mix half fabric detergent and half water. Pour the mixture on the stain. Scrub the stain with a toothbrush. Blot with a towel.

9. Lipstick on Fabric: Pour room temperature rubbing alcohol on the stain. Let it sit for about a minute. Dab at the stain - do not scrub! Spritz strong hold hairspray on the stain. Let it soak for 15 minutes. Dab with a cloth soaked in warm water.

10. Coffee on Carpet or Fabric: If the stain is fresh, blot as much of the liquid with a towel as possible. Combine 2 parts white vinegar, 1 part dish soap and 2 parts water. Pour the mixture on the stain. Scrub with a toothbrush. Rinse with water and blot dry. Another remedy is to saturate the stain with white vinegar. Sprinkle with baking soda. Let it sit for about 15 minutes. Use a toothbrush dipped in additional white vinegar to scrub the stain.

11. Foundation (Makeup) on Pillowcase or Bed Sheet: Spray shaving cream (that's right!) on the stain and let it sit for 15 minutes. Dampen a cloth with water and dab the stain working from the outside in. Do not scrub. Rinse with cold water. Repeat as necessary. Run through a hot wash cycle. Do not run through the dryer cycle to avoid setting the stain should the stain not be completely removed after the first removal attempt. Repeat as necessary.

12. Accidental Color Bleed in White Laundry: Mix approximately 16 cups of water with 1/4 cup of bleach. Soak the affected items in the mixture for 10 minutes. Not a fan of bleach? Another mixture to try is one part ammonia and one part dish soap. Soak the item(s) for 30 minutes. For both methods rinse thoroughly in water and repeat as necessary. Run the laundry through a hot wash cycle.

13. Mascara or Foundation (Makeup) on Wash Cloth: Mix 2 cups warm water, 1 tablespoon grease fighting dish detergent and 2 tablespoons Oxiclean. Soak overnight. Wring out wash cloth and rinse it well under warm water.

Do you have any home remedies that are miraculous or unusual? We would love to hear more tips and tricks!

Happy cleaning!

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