How To Make Wet & Dry Spotters

Dry spotter:

To make a dry spotter, combine 1 part coconut oil (available at pharmacies and health food stores) and 8 parts liquid dry-cleaning solvent. This solution may be stored if the container is tightly capped to prevent evaporation of the solvent. Mineral oil may be substituted for the coconut oil, but is not quite as effective.

Caution: Dry-cleaning solvents are poisonous and may be flammable.

Wet spotter:

To prepare a wet spotter, mix 1 part glycerine, 1 part white dishwashing detergent, and 8 parts water. Shake well before each use. Store wet spotter in a plastic squeeze bottle.

It has happened to all of us. You go to put on your favorite article of clothing only to see a spot. What's worse is that you can't figure out what caused the stain or even how long it's been there. Follow these tips to restore your household surfaces to their former beauty.

How to Remove Unknown Stains From:

Acetate, Carpet (synthetic or wool), Fiberglass, Rayon, Silk, Triacetate, Wool

Sponge (the method of using a dampened pad to apply light strokes, moving outward from the center of the stain) the area with a dry-cleaning solvent such as Afta Cleaning Fluid. Then apply a dry spotter. Tamp (the method of bringing a brush down with light strokes on stained durable fabrics and materials) or scrape (the method of using a dull tool to gently lift off excess solid or caked-on stains) to help loosen the stain. Flush (the method of applying stain remover to loosen staining material and residue from stain removers) with the dry-cleaning solvent. If stain persists, apply amyl acetate and tamp again. Flush with the solvent and allow to dry. If stain still remains, sponge stain with water and apply a few drops of white vinegar. Tamp again. Apply a wet spotter and a few drops of ammonia (do not use ammonia on silk or wool). Tamp again. Allow to dry. Sponge with rubbing alcohol and pat with an absorbent pad dampened with alcohol (do not use full-strength alcohol on acetate, rayon, or triacetate). Allow to dry.

How to Remove Unknown Stains From:

Acrylic Fabric, Cotton, Linen, Modacrylic, Nylon, Olefin, Polyester, Spandex

Cover the stain with a rubbing alcohol compress. Let it remain on the stain for a few minutes, then wipe with a cloth moistened with ammonia. If stain persists, sponge the area with a dry-cleaning solvent, K2r Spot Lifter or Afta Cleaning Fluid. Apply a dry spotter. Tamp or scrape to help loosen the stain. Flush  with one of the liquid dry-cleaning solvents. If stain remains, apply amyl acetate and tamp again. Flush with the dry-cleaning solvent. If stain still persists, sponge with water, then apply a wet spotter and a few drops of white vinegar. (Do not use vinegar on cotton or linen.) Tamp again and apply a wet spotter and a few drops of ammonia. Flush with the dry-cleaning solvent and allow to dry.

How to Remove Unknown Stains From:

Acrylic Plastic, Aluminum, Bamboo, Cane, Ceramic Glass/Tile, Chromium, Copper, Glass, Gold, Paint (flat or gloss), Plexiglas, Polyurethane, Vinyl Clothing, Vinyl Wallcovering

Wipe the stain with a cloth or sponge dipped in warm sudsy water to which a few drops of ammonia have been added. Rinse well and wipe dry with a soft cloth.

How to Remove Unknown Stains From:

Alabaster, Marble

Wipe the stain with a cloth or sponge dipped in warm sudsy water. Rinse well and wipe dry. If a stain persists, soak an absorbent pad in rubbing alcohol and place it over the stain. Wait 5 minutes, then apply a pad that has been soaked in ammonia and wrung nearly dry. Alternate alcohol and ammonia pads until the stain has been removed. Wipe surface with a damp cloth and wipe dry.

How to Remove Unknown Stains From:

Asphalt, Cork, Linoleum, Vinyl Tile

Wipe the stain with a cloth dipped in a solution of washing soda or detergent and water. Rinse well and wipe dry. If any stain remains, cover with an absorbent pad moistened with rubbing alcohol. Let it remain several minutes, then wipe the area with a cloth dampened with ammonia. (Do not use ammonia on olderLinoleum or vinyl floor tile.) Wash with a cloth dipped in warm sudsy water. Rinse with clear water and allow to dry.

How to Remove Unknown Stains From:

Bluestone, Brick, Concrete, Flagstone,

Granite, Limestone, Masonry Tile,

Sandstone, Slate, Terrazzo

Wash the stained area with a solution of washing soda or detergent (never soap) and water. Scrub with a cloth or soft-bristled brush. Rinse thoroughly with clear water and allow to dry.

How to Remove Unknown Stains From:

Grout

Wipe the stain with a cloth dipped in warm sudsy water. If stain remains, dip a wet toothbrush into a little baking soda or powdered cleanser and gently scrub the spot. Rinse thoroughly with clear water and wipe dry.

How to Remove Unknown Stains From:

Leather, Suede

Mix a solution of mild soap in lukewarm water. Swish to create a great volume of suds. Apply only the foam with a sponge. Rinse with a cloth dampened with clear water. If a greasy or oily residue remains, powder the area with an absorbent such as cornmeal. Allow plenty of time for the absorbent to work. Gently brush (the method of using a stiff-bristled brush to sweep staining material up onto a piece of paper) the powder off the hide. Repeat application of absorbent if necessary. On leather only, follow with Tannery Vintage Leather Cleaner & Conditioner or Fiebing's Saddle Soap to condition the leather.

How to Remove Unknown Stains From:

Wallpaper

Gently rub the stain with an art gum eraser. If stain remains, wipe gently with cloth dampened with lukewarm water. If traces persist, mix a paste of cornmeal for light colors. For dark colors, mix a paste of fuller's earth (a claylike substance used to absorb oils). Rress paste onto stain with the palm of your hand. Let dry, then gently wipe off powder with a soft cloth.

How to Remove Unknown Stains From:

Wood

Mix dishwashing detergent in hot water and swish to make a great volume of suds. Dip a cloth in only the foam and apply to the stain. Rinse with a clean cloth dampened with clear water. Polish or wax the wood as soon as possible.

Unknown stains are tricky. How do you remove something if you can't even identify it? These stain removal techniques will help you conquer your fear of the unknown.

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