Thursday, August 12, 2010

Cleanup Duty

Today started off with a pretty significant coffee spill…I’m not talking about a “oops, four drops escaped from my cup and instantly air dried without a trace” spill…I mean an honest to goodness coffee deluge.  I’ll spare you the details, but the bottom line is I was left standing outside my Aunt’s house waiting for a change of clothes with half my hair, my entire shirt, the majority of my pants and everything in my hands soaked.  The sheer amount of coverage was shocking…the only explanation I can come up with is that the coffee must have been regenerating itself as it flowed out of my cup.  I’ve moved past phase one (yelling) and plan on eventually reaching phase three (laughing), but for now I’m smack dab in the middle of phase two…accepting the fact that spills are a part of life.  All things considered, I was pretty lucky the spill happened outside and not inside the house.  For tips on what to do when the floodgates open in your living room, read on.

The number one thing to remember is to act fast!  The longer you wait to clean and treat a spill, the more likely it is to cause permanent damage to your furniture, carpet, floor, etc.  The best way to treat a stain varies depending on what was spilled and the type of surface you’re attempting to clean.  The last thing you want to do is make a spill worse, so it never hurts to do some quick research before you attack.  I found a few incredible stain charts with a pretty comprehensive list of culprits- click here for stains on washable fabricshere for carpet stains and here for stains on upholstery

As a general rule of thumb, use white paper towels or a white cotton cloth soak up as much of the stain as possible.  Use a blotting motion instead of a wiping one so as to not rub the stain in deeper.  After soaking up as much as you can, rinse the area with water and blot again…remember- no scrubbing!  If necessary, apply a cleaning solvent (see applicable stain chart for more information) to a plain cloth and work from the outside of the stain to the center to avoid spreading it.  Apply cleaner, blot, rinse, blot, and repeat until finished.

Now please pardon me while I wash the dried coffee out of my crunchy hair.  What a day :)


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