whether or not your Valentine’s Day plans were a success, we have four tips to help you clean up some common messes.
mess #1: lipstick on clothes
don’t worry. we won’t ask how it got there. but we will tell you to get something to gently scrape the excess lipstick off, like a butter knife. once that’s done, put a clean towel under the stain. apply a bit of rubbing alcohol directly on the stain and tap on it firmly with the back of a tablespoon. the goal? to transfer as much of the lipstick onto the cloth (and off of your clothing). let what’s left of the stain dry naturally—don’t use anything hot, like a hair dryer, to help speed up the process. once dry, apply a pump of dish soap to the stain. rinse with cold water, then wash with laundry detergent on a warm setting. bonus tip: if the stain is particularly stubborn, you can also pre-treat with a little laundry detergent on the area prior to washing to get best result in one wash.
mess #2: candle wax on a throw pillow
perhaps there was a slight snafu with the romantic mood lighting. or the candle wax didn’t go exactly where you’d planned. to remove spilled wax from fabric, first find another piece of fabric that’s more absorbent than what you spilled on (like a cotton rag to absorb a spill on linen). place the absorbent fabric on top of the wax and use a warm iron to re-melt it. then, use the fabric to pull up the melted wax. spot clean any leftover wax with laundry detergent diluted in warm water.
mess #3: red wine on a rug
for a spill like this, acting quickly is key. so, after the inevitable “oops,” use a dry, absorbent rag to gently soak up as much of the spill as possible. just be sure you don’t push the wine further into the rug fibers. cover the stain with a generous scoop of salt and let it sit to help absorb more of the wine. later, apply some club soda to the stain and blot again with a clean cloth. (if you have a naturally dyed rug, you can test a tiny spot first to make sure you won’t remove any color.) still see the stain? mix a drop of dish soap into a cup of lukewarm water and use a clean rag to blot and soak up the rest.
mess #4: chocolate on bed sheets
a mess like this isn’t as sweet as you’d think. when chocolate melts, it smears and can get stuck on every fiber of the fabric making stain-removal super difficult. but a pump of dish soap goes a long way. first, remove any dried bits of chocolate from the sheet. next, dampen the spot with cold water and apply a pump of dish soap directly onto the stain. rub the soap vigorously until the chocolate fades away. rinse with cold water from the back of the stain. then, toss the sheet into the washing machine, using cold water again (and laundry detergent). finally, check that the chocolate is gone before throwing the sheet into the dryer.