Three Tricks To Clean Expensive Stains and Save Big Bucks

cleaning any stains

When life hands you lemons, you’re supposed to make lemonade. I, personally, use lemons all the time so I fail to see why people view them as a negative. They are wonderful in so many things, including cocktails; lemons are not bad. However, when you turn lemon to permanent marker and you view it in that context, life is a bit different. “When life hands you permanent marker, it’s in the form of art work your kids left for you on various surfaces,” is the more adequate description. Once, life handed my children a permanent marker and it was ugly. With a capital U; so very ugly.

It was more than ugly, though. It was also very expensive. You see, my husband and I had no idea that permanent marker is not all that permanent. In fact, it’s downright easy to remove if you know how to do it. We will get to that, though. You see, my husband and I were cooking dinner one night when our middle daughter was in her first few weeks of VPK last year. We’d just moved into our dream home. We had painted the twins’ nursery and each of our daughter’s bedrooms their own special colors and preferences, decorated impeccably, and we were thrilled. Our middle daughter, Sweet Ava, has a lovely lilac purple room with plum accents and beautiful white furniture.

The kind of very beautiful, very white furniture that is built to last and is always timeless so that she can grow with it. Unfortunately, she took growing with it to be a bit more literal than we meant for her to take it. You see, she thought that learning to write her name and her alphabet was part of growing up. When she could not find paper, she came into the kitchen and asked us if it would be all right for her to “practice writing her name in her room,” and we said of course. We had no idea she did not have paper or a pencil or crayon. She found a permanent marker in my office, and she wrote all over her closet doors, her bedroom door, her kitchen set, her bed, her dresser, her dollhouse and her walls.

We tried to clean it, and nothing worked. We had to buy white paint, sand her furniture and paint coat after coat over the black to get it off. We had to buy her new closet doors and a new bedroom door because the paint didn’t cover the marker no matter how many coats we applied. We had to buy new lilac paint after five coats wouldn’t cover the paint.

It turns out, we could have saved ourselves a lot of trouble and we could have saved ourselves even more money if we’d only known that most anything can be cleaned off of most anything. Now that I am the mother of four, I know that I can clean most anything with most anything I have around the house. I’m going to let my kids’ horrible behavior (I promise they are pretty good kids and we really don’t let them run rampant) change your life forever.

Permanent Marker – Magic Eraser (or dry erasers)

If your children decide that they want to draw all over anything in your house with permanent marker, rest assured that you can get it off in a matter of seconds with magic eraser. It’s called magic for a reason; it took permanent marker off of a wall and off my daughter’s bed the second time she got a permanent marker (to be clear, she thought you could draw on anything with washable marker since she knows she can take a wipe and get it right of and she did not realize that permanent markers are not magic. To be even clearer, we have to do a better job of hiding writing utensils). Magic eraser takes it right off in seconds by simply wetting in and wiping it right off. It takes of crayons and anything else, too; including scuff marks on doors and trim.

Pen on Leather – Hairspray

Once, I accidentally marked my leather seats in my car with a pen. I was digging around for something in my handbag and didn’t realize that I clicked the pen to the on position when I took it out of my bag and set it on the seat. I ended up with a few marks, but it was enough on my very white leather to make me feel terrible. Hairspray was all it took to get it off in a matter of seconds. However, you do need to catch this as quickly as possible if you want it to work. It works on the couch, on chairs on anything leather.

Red Gatorade on White Carpet – Salt

If you want to get a red stain out of white carpet, toss salt on it right away. We recently had to do this in our family room when our kids’ friends spilled a drink while they were over for dinner. Salt on it seems to get the red out of the carpet and into the salt. Then we vacuum it, then I toss some white vinegar on it and then I scrub it until it’s clean. It comes out better if you catch it sooner, though.

Photo by Getty Images


Leave a Reply