Every house gets its fair share of stains. The good news is most, both inside and out, can be remedied with the right method. From pen on walls to rust on your cooktop, we’ve rounded up some of the most common household cleaning dilemmas and how to tackle them.
Rejuvenate timber floors and walls with an eraser pad block. Cut the block to the desired size and lightly dampen it before gently wiping the affected area.
Tip: High-traffic areas like the living room are notorious for scuffed walls. Keep leftover paint on hand for touch-ups.
Don’t panic if your toddler has used your soft furnishings as a canvas. “To remove pen and ink marks, blotting with some paper towel and isopropyl alcohol should do the trick,” says Jay Rawcliffe of Pristine Professional Cleaning.
Tip: Choose an easy-clean wall paint, such as Dulux Wash&Wear, in kids’ areas.
“The only way to reliably remove urine stains and odour from soft furnishings is with an enzymatic cleaner,” says Jay. “First, blot with paper towel to remove excess moisture. Then soak thoroughly with an enzyme cleaner.”
For mud trailed onto carpet or rugs, Rowena Jongejan of Family Clean cleaning services recommends leaving it to dry completely before gently vacuuming the affected area. “Follow by blotting the carpet with a microfibre cloth and a solution of warm water and dishwashing liquid, before removing residue with a dry cloth.”
Fast action is best. “Use paper towel and a gentle blotting motion to absorb the liquid, followed by a sprinkling of baking soda or talcum powder to soak up the stain,” suggests Rowena. “Then apply carbonated water to the stain, blot the area and soak up remaining liquid with a microfibre cloth.”
Target mould with a solution of eight parts white vinegar to two parts of water, says Rowena. “Spray the affected area and let it sit for an hour. Using a soft sponge, scrub the surface to remove residue and liquid.” For pervasive problems, wheel in the big guns with a specialised mould cleaner, which also helps prevent mould reforming.
Soap scum on glass and tiles can often be scrubbed off, but for calcium deposits, you’ll need to use an acidic cleaner, such as vinegar or CLR, to help soften the build-up. “Follow by rinsing the glass and working a scraper blade in one direction to remove the deposits,” says Jay. For lasting results, finish with a glass treatment like EnduroShield to help repel water and soap, and squeegee the glass after a shower.
Gently rub rust patches from stainless steel cooktops and appliances using super-fine grade 0000 steel wool. “Just be sure to spot test to ensure it won’t scratch,” cautions Jay.
Tip: Wipe up spills straightaway to help avoid permanent stains on your benchtop.
If gum is stuck to your fabric or carpet, Jay suggests a remover such as Oomph. “Follow the directions and test on an inconspicuous spot first,” he says.