Tuesday, March 31, 2015

32 Quick Tip Tuesday: Magical Stain Be-Gone

This week's quick tip comes courtesy of my fabulous sister-in-law.  She shared a solution to a common problem and I couldn't believe what I was hearing.  So, I had to try it myself, and share this cool little gem of a tip with all of you.


Stains.  Always a word with a negative feeling.  And although a ring is a positive sign of eternal love in marriage, an eternal ring on a piece of furniture or counter-top doesn't emote the same level of happiness.


Last week, my sister-in-law and I were chatting about kitchen counter-top options (as we are in the process of selecting ours for our kitchen renovation), and were discussing the pros and cons of each type.  We talked about how overall, our laminate counters held up fairly well over the years of our abuse; we really only had issues with seams, the color/finish that was selected and a few areas where we made the poor choice to skip a cutting board.  She then proceeded to tell me that one thing she appreciates about laminate, is that if they happen to be stained with a ring of red juice or wine, hand sanitizer magically will take the stains away.  Hold the phone.  What did she just say?  Hand sanitizer + red stain = no more stain?  I had to see it to believe it.

I thought about staining my own white laundry room counter top just for the thrill of the experiment, but we all know how silly that sounds.  Then, this afternoon, I spotted a stain that happened on a piece of our furniture back in December.  I had filled a vase with flowers and water and the bottom of the vase was wet enough that it left an awful ring of discoloration on our white furniture top.  I scrubbed, I cried, I scrubbed some more. Gah, so disappointing and sad!  Nothing seemed to work.


When I spotted the stain, I recalled last week's conversation and I started wondering if it was worth testing out the hand sanitizer trick.  Although it is not a laminate counter, it does have a laminate-like finish.  I dabbed some sanitizer in a location of the furniture that was not visible to test things out, letting it sit for about 30 minutes.  The furniture held up to the test with no signs of wear, so I decided to go big or go home.


I applied a generous amount of sanitizer around the ring of the stain.  I then let it sit for 15 minutes.


After my timer went off, I used a soft microfiber cloth to wipe up the sanitizer.  I was surprised to see how about half of the stain was gone!


I tried to scrub a bit, it helped a little but I concluded it wasn't really about the scrubbing action.  I think it was more about the sanitizer just pulling the stain up and out of the furniture.

So, I applied again, for another 15 minutes.


Patience is key.  I did this three times, but in the end, the stain was completely GONE!


So, if you have a stain that you have been frustrated with, I say, give it a whirl.  Do a little research ahead of time, my guess is that there are some surfaces you definitely would not want to try this on, such as solid wood (the key ingredients in hand sanitizer are water and isopropyl alcohol), and always test a small area first.  If you do try it and it works, be prepared to CELEBRATE

Looking for more quick tips?  Check out the entire series here!

32 comments:

  1. What?! Your SIL is genius! We lived in a house for 4 years that had a small stain on the counter that I could never get up! Wish I knew this then!

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  2. Hand sanitizer is also very good for ink pen marks, even those on fabric.

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    1. I was about to say the same thing! Hairspray also works to dissolve ink on fabric, as long as it's not the super-conditioning kind (in other words, the kind with lots of hair-drying alcohol in it works best).

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    2. Thanks for the additional tips! Stuff like this makes me oddly excited! :)

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  3. This is fantastic! I will totally give this a go, especially as my beautiful white desk will likely end up with a lot of stains.
    Tegan xx - Permanent Procrastination

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  4. Hand sanitizer are so magical on old whiteboard pen marks on boards, books and fabric too !

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  5. I use hand sanitizer on my white board surfaces at work. Works better than plain cloth or alcohol wipes.

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  6. The alcohol in it probably does the trick - that's the old standby stain remover for ink. Good to know, we're moving out of our Japanese apartment and the corian-esque counters hold every single stain. I'm going to pour a whole bunch of sanitizer on there!!

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    1. I hope it works Ann! :) Just be sure to test a small spot first.

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  7. OMG! I just tried it on stain my kitchen, or rather a business card made with poor ink that printed itself on my kitchen counter when someone spilled water on it. Nothing worked on that damn purple ink, I gave it for lost. I didn't have to wait more than a few second and the hand sanitizer lifted that mess off the counter!

    GENIUS. Thanks for sharing the tip

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  8. I would have never thought to use that! I have a white dining room table that my son decided to do some pencil drawing on:( and even my trusted magic eraser didn't get that off all the way, so I guess I'll be trying the hand sanitizer!

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  9. I think I need to go get some hand sanitizer! Great tip about the whiteboard Nicekrol!

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  10. I have used it to remove Sharpie marks off our kitchen counter tops. It wiped right off!

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  11. It's the isopropyl alcohol that pulls out the stain. You should just buy a big bottle of that.

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  12. We had silly putty deep in the carpet of our rental (eek!) and hand sanitizer pulled it right out. That stuff is amazing!

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  13. You can also you hand sanitizer to remove permanent marker from hard, non-porous surfaces too! I had a bad experience where a permanent marker was left with the white board markers in a class I was subbing. I thought now they'll never call me back! But at recess I tried the trick and it worked perfectly! :)

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  14. It works well on permanent marker too. Love your quick tip Tuesday posts!!

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  15. Hand sanitizer also works well in removing dry erase marker stains from clothing. Do not use water until the stain is out since water will set the stain.

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  16. I'm so glad this wasn't an April Fool's joke! What a great tip!

    Her Heartland Soul
    http://herheartlandsoul.com

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  17. WHAT?!?!?!
    this is life changing! I am super clumsy so this tip will be so useful for me. can't wait to try it!

    J
    lipglosslibrary.blogspot.ca

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  18. We used isopropyl alcohol on a cotton ball to remove the sharpie marks on our laminate floor (my hub & crew used sharpies to mark where they needed to cut the boards). Similarly, alcohol (albeit stronger stuff than in your medicine cabinet) is used in scientific labs as a hardcore cleaning/disinfecting agent. Good stuff!

    Acetone is also amazing for stain removal, but obviously you have to be VERY careful to test what you use that on... :)

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  19. This is a great tip. Now off to do some scrubbing. On another note I love your pillows can you share the source.

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  20. Hand sanitizer will also remove Sharpie marker from hard (and some soft) surfaces.

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  21. Whaaaaa??? This is incredible!

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  22. YES! I am so excited about this, thank you so much. I just got a couple little pink stains on my new dress yesterday (thanks pink Easter peep...) and I came across this. No need to be sad anymore!

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  23. Getting ready for a yard sale & was able to remove our last name on a cooler with it!

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    1. I am so excited to hear how great this tip works on all sorts of surfaces! So cool!

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  24. WHAT?!? I’m so excited to try this! I can’t believe I just wrote that!

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