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Ten Tips for Basic Stain Removal Around the Office and House:

1.  Act quickly:  Treat stains as soon as possible to avoid letting them set.

2.  Know what caused the stain:  When you know the source of the stain, you can usually determine the best cleaner and method to remove it.

3.  Know the surface:  Be sure to know the properties and limitations of a stained surface in advance of tretaing it.  Consult labels or care instructions whenever possible.

4.  Know the cleaning agent:  Always read the lable on a cleaning agent before using it to treat a stain,  obeying all precautions regarding surfaces and materials that the some
cleaning agents may harm.

5.  Test the cleaning agent:  Remember to test a cleaning agent the first time you use it on a fabric or surface by applying a tiny amount of the cleaner to a part of the fabric or surface that is hidden from view.  Check for any adverse reaction on the fabric or surface, such as color bleeding, fading, or wrinkling.

6.  Be gentle:  Opt for the gentlest approach possible to stain removal as to avoid unnecessary damagt to the fabric or surface.  Use heavy-duty cleaners as a last resort.

7.  Apply heat only when instructed:  Typically, hot water is not better than cold water for removing stains.  Heat and hot water may actually cause many types of stains to set.  Treat stains with cold water unless specifically instructed to do otherwise- and never put any stained material directly into the dryer before attempting to remove the stain.

8.  Use clear detergent only:  Do not use liquid detergent dyed to appear blue or any other color for stain removal.  Only apply clear detergents directly to stains.  (Though using colored detergents in the washing machine is fine.)

9.  Blot, do not rub:  While attempting to remove a stain by rubbing it may be tempting, resist!  Rubbing can no only expand the stain, but it can also embed the stain more deeply within the material or surface you are cleaning.  Blot stains with an up-and-down motion, which will draw the stain up from its source and away from the stained material or surface.

10.  Be safe:  Though most stain removal is perfectly safe, certain cleaning agents can be dangerous if used improperly.  Always follow stain removal guidelines.

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