April 24, 2007:
Secrets To Getting Out Stains
Interview with Editor Carolyn Forte, of Good Housekeeping's Stain Rescue!

Mike Carruthers:
Club soda - it's supposed to be a great stain remover, however…

Carolyn Forte:

We haven't found that club soda provides any benefit over plain water. We've done side-by-side tests and it really hasn't…it's not that it doesn't work but we haven't found that it works any better than plain water.

Carolyn Forte of the Good Housekeeping Research Institute, which has just published a new book called Stain Rescue, says people think hairspray is good at getting out ink stains.

And again, it's not that it doesn't work but what's working in the hairspray is the alcohol. So for ink stains, ballpoint ink stains that is, we recommend just sponging on a little rubbing alcohol and we find that it dissolves the stain and helps get it out.

Carpet stains can be tough because they sometimes seem to come back after you think they are gone.

A big reason carpet stains come back is because they dry and the stain brings itself back up to the top of the surface. So what you want to do is after you've removed a carpet stain is, our best advice is pile on a stack of paper towels and weigh it down with something heavy like a pot or a vase. The next day the carpet will be dry and any stain residue will be up in the paper towels and you can throw it away.

And a general rule for stains in carpet and upholstery is…

You want to pull it out; you want to draw it out. It's not easy to get behind the stain, so you want to blot, blot; blot as much as you can. If you've got like a wet dry vac or a little hand vac that can pick up spills, those are great for pulling extra moisture out of carpets or upholstery.

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