Tuesday, May 04, 2010

That's a nasty stain

I know about nasty stains. We have had two dogs and two cats, the dogs from pups to death, and the cats from teens to senility and death. There have been careless people in our houses. We have been careless at times.

I think I am repeating myself, but I wrote a long time ago about when I stepped off a ladder onto a full tin of paint and tipped it over. No more painting was done that day as I spent the rest of the day cleaning up, almost successfully.

Of course it is a natural reaction to yell at a dog if it does something wrong, so when he stepped into the paint tray and I yelled, he took off, leaving a wonderful trail.

We were in the middle of polishing woodwork when friends called in and one of them kicked over the bottle of Marveer. That was fairly challenging.

Another friend used to like to make us and himself coffee when he visited. He would overfill the mugs and then carry them with his less than steady hands to us. Much coffee dribbling.

Little Jo has caused her fair share. Stains on the carpet were almost a thing of the past until she arrived. The latest was a cup of milk.

The mega stain was when R dropped a bottle of red wine on the kitchen floor tiles, next to the carpet. As well as staining the white tile grout, it flowed onto the carpet. Not quite as bad as upending the paint tin, but pretty bad. The paint was on old carpet though, the red wine here. Bleach cleaned the grout.

In times past, I sometimes used to step in grease at work, and then walk it on the carpet. That actually was easy to clean.

You only really need two things to spot clean carpet, white spirits, aka Shellite, for grease stains, and wool wash for the rest. Bleach to clean the grout was a one off.

If none of those work, you just live with the stain.

So, c'mon. Fess up. What is the killer stain you have made?


  1. What do you mean 'wool wash'? Umm ... I have a red wine stain beside me right now. Knocked it off my work table one night last week. Me and one of the cats ...

    I covered it with salt immediately ... but the stain is still massive.

    What is wool wash, please?

  2. Children and dogs - always keep one of them handy to blame for unsightly stains :P

  3. Martha Gardner's Wool Wash. There are other brands though. About half a cap in a couple of litres or so of warm water. Add the wool mix after the water. Wet and dab away, and dab away and keep at it. Don't rub and upset the pile. I have never used salt but I have seen less than impressive results when it has been used. The key is sopping up as much as you can when the wine is just spilt, not something you feel like doing if it wasn't your first glass. After the wool mix treatment, sop up and dry the carpet as best you can be putting a towel over the stain and standing on it. Might need to have a second go at it.

    And don't forget odours too Jayne.

  4. Let's see... Despite the fact I'm a total klutz of epic proportions, I do alright keeping things clean, but thet's developed from being the kind of person who always eats over the sink, and screws the cap back on the wine bottle after I've had a swig.

    My worst effort was from a little art project where I was spray-painting stuff silver in my bedroom, I managed to land a few solid coats on the recently varnished cork parquetry and didn't notive until it was well and truly dry and still there to this day - 15 years later.

    Actually, come to think of it that floor could probably do with another varnish.

  5. Is it called 'an art project' now Mutant? Reminds me of silver overspray I managed to get on paving in our last place. We laid cork parquetry many years ago. I learnt that I could not varnish and polish nearly as well as a pro.

  6. Domestic Goddess here ... eucalyptus oil is fantastic for removing evil marks, eg: sump oil from white hat.
    City Hatters told me that and I did not believe it, but desperation drove me to test it. That's the main thing you need for stains - A Daring Attitude.

  7. apparently my sisters ex spilled a bottle of red wine on my carpet once, but I have no recollection of the event! He told me this tale recently, much to my amusement. Obviously it was cleaned up successfully.

  8. Anonymous5:12 pm

    When I read your blog post title I prepared myself for anything! Cat vomit is always a joy to clean up off carpet especially when it's dried up and crusty. It used to be worse when the cats ate Friskies - there were red and orange dyes in that stuff.

  9. Ann, we have euca oil but mostly use it for removing sticky label residue. Yeah, we use it for some other things too. A worthy addition to the stain removal cupboard.

    Seriously good work on someone's part Fen. You still see your sister's ex? I'm saying nothing.

    So Scott, it was a good subject line for the post, cheers. While we did not feed our cats Friskies, I can't recall ever been really challenged by an animal stain. One dog used to do a nice line in yellow bile mixed with grass.

  10. Tumeric can do some damage if allowed to spill on kitchen benches. We once had a guest who managed to throw up red wine all over a white painted wall. That was probably the worst clean up job of all time. Thank goodness for wash and wear.

  11. I have seen tumeric stains at an Indian friend's house LiD. Permanent on laminex. Ex friend after doing that is he/she?

  12. I have a photo of my eldest (ha) sister about to open a bottle of champagne with the cork pointing right at don's head - he had a look of pure terror and she seemed unaware...moments later after opening it...not at his face, but sensibly just missing the light above, she dropped it and it heit the floor and spun about delivering a short spray of contents in a semi circle...that was melbourne Cup day 2004...milk yes, cat and dog vomit yes, beetroot...nto yet

  13. Must have been a hoot to see MC.

  14. Please let me add a warning to Happy Homemakers Hints @ Highriser:
    when waving the spray bottle of bleach around watch for drips onto clothing. not good.

    stain story: friends brand new car - let's go down to the Shoreham house ... take the cat of course. Well, the cat wee'd in the car and the kids spilled a milkshake = permanent odeur.

  15. G has gotten into authentic Indian cooking of late. I have to follow him with a sponge when the tumeric comes out.

    Red wine friend is on probation, but I must admit I was a fairly unhappy camper for awhile.

  16. I know well enough about bleach drips Ann. Now, who was it who spilt milk on the carpet of my Valiant? Can't recall, but it could be removed. Cat's piss is bad bad.

    Damn women lazing around LiD, while the bloke slaves away over the stove to cook her a meal and all the woman does is moan about stains. Gotta be charitable. The projectile wine was an accident.

  17. LOL, point 1, guilty as charged. Point 2 - true, and I grumbled mainly to G about it.

  18. Anonymous11:17 am

    Hi Andrew

    What did you use to get Marveer out of the carpet. Am housesitting at the mo and knocked a bottle onto the carpet - need to get it out asap... would be grateful for any advice...

  19. Err, Anon, it was thirty years ago. Not sure. Now I would soak up as much oil as I could with paper towel and then use wool wash in warm water. Dabbing at it only, not rubbing. Then dry but standing on a towel on top of the stain and probably repeat the whole process.