cleaning

Coke is a stain remover? 6 surprising cleaners in your home

July 22, 2014 at 12:43 PM ET

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From those annoying white deodorant stains on your little black dress to rust stains in the bathroom, some stains just won't go away — until now. With help from some savvy experts, we put together surprising tips to banish these stains once and for all. Best of all, you probably already have all the ingredients you will need.

Stain: Permanent marker on wood 
Stain remover: Non-gel toothpaste

Apply a small amount of white toothpaste directly on the marker stain. Then, using a clean cloth, wipe along the grain of the cabinet to remove the stain, recommends Meg Roberts, president of Molly Maid. The mild, abrasive action in the toothpaste gently scrubs the stain away.(Before beginning, test the toothpaste on an inconspicuous part of the wood.) 

Stain: Bathtub and toilet bowl rust stains
Stain buster: Coca-Cola

Coke — it’s not just for quenching thirst, the acid in the popular drink can also dissolve rust stains from porcelain. According to Leslie Reichert, green cleaning expert and author of "The Joy of Green Cleaning," pour enough Coke into a drained toilet bowl or bathtub to cover rust marks. Allow to sit overnight. In the morning, no more rust! (Note: This trick only works with real Coca-Cola.)

Stain: Hairspray build-up on curling/flat iron
Stain buster: Nail polish remover

Roberts suggests gently rubbing the metal surface of a cool and unplugged iron with a few cotton balls dabbed in nail polish remover. The remover breaks down hair product residue, leaving your essential flat iron or curling iron as good as new. For really stubborn spots, use a small amount of oven cleaner on a clean cloth and buff the residue away. Wipe the cleaned iron with a damp cloth to remove the nail polish remover. 

Stain: Water stains in vases
Stain buster: Powdered dishwasher detergent

Flower stems tend to leave an oily film in vases, but a little help from the grease-cutting properties in powdered detergent can easily remove the leftover residue. Shake powdered dishwasher detergent into the bottom of the vase and fill with hot water. After about an hour, it should be crystal clear, Roberts said. 

Stain: Deodorant or makeup on clothing
Stain buster: Nylon stocking

Did deodorant or makeup rub off on your clothing? Lift deodorant residue and makeup from garments by rubbing a nylon stocking over the mark as soon as possible, advises Kelley Nemec, cleaning expert at St. Croix Cleaners in Stillwater, Minnesota. “This will remove the top layer of the stain," Nemec said. "Just be sure to clean it soon after.” 

Stain: Sweat stain prevention
Stain buster: Baby powder  

Why worry about a stain if you can prevent it? Randi Dukes, from the lifestyle blog Dukes & Duchesses, has found baby powder to do the trick when it comes to preventing sweat stains from showing up on light-colored shirts. "I recommend dusting the inside underarm portions of light/white-colored garments with a light-to-moderate layer of regular baby powder, not cornstarch based-types," she told Hometalk.com. Then iron the area, as the heat from the iron seals the powder onto the fabric, thus creating a barrier against perspiration. 



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