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Everyday stain fighting essentials from ShopSmart

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We here at Home and Living are great fans of the magazine ShopSmart, as we have featured many articles from them and today's piece on everyday stains is no exception. They just offer great information in reasonably-sized chunks and it is always something to add value to your life. If you can only subscribe to one magazine, think about ShopSmart, a division of Consumer Reports.

Everyday Stain Fighting Essentials
Dealing with difficult-to-remove stains can be stressful, not-to-mention expensive; yet many of the tools needed to tackle a mess may be lying around the home already. The April 2014 issue of ShopSmart, from Consumer Reports, identifies common household products that may help tackle even the toughest stains.

Before turning to costly professional cleaning services, ShopSmart recommends trying out a few of the simple home product cleaning solutions used by pros. Below are a few of the everyday items ShopSmart recommends shoppers keep on hand for almost any stain emergency.

• Clean, white towels or napkins. A cleaning essential for everything from red wine to chocolate milk spills. The white color also allows users to see the stain they’re lifting, and whether or not they’re removing color from the fabric.

• Clean sponges. Great for blotting up pet accidents and chocolate messes with the help of a little tap water.

• Enzyme-based pet-stain remover. Test first in an inconspicuous spot and don’t overdo it with this cleaner. Enzyme products attack wool fiber proteins, so take care when using this solution on wool.

• Colorless enzyme-based laundry detergent. The secret to getting up gooey stuff. If a stain remains, blot with a solution of 1 teaspoon colorless enzyme detergent (such as Tide Free & Gentle) and a cup of warm water.

• Mild liquid soap. A mild soap such as Ivory can help close the deal on hard-to-get-out stains like chewing gum and greasy gravy.

• Fresh hydrogen peroxide. A lesser-known solution for red and white wine stains. Be sure to check the expiration date – once the bottle is open it quickly loses strength.

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