Tips to clean the toughest stains

Some things in the house are more difficult to clean than others, but with these handy homemade tips, they don't  stand a chance. Cleaning even the toughest stains is a breeze!

Tips to clean the toughest stains

Stained marble tabletop?

Marble makes a beautiful countertop or tabletop, but this porous stone is a real stain magnet. To remove a beverage stain, rub a paste of baking soda and equal parts water and lemon juice into the area, rinse with water and wipe dry. To remove other kinds of stains on marble (including scuff marks on a marble floor), shake a good amount of salt over the area. Wet the salt with sour milk for as long as two days, checking periodically to see whether the salt–sour milk combo has done its job. When it has, mop up the salty little puddle with a sponge.

Scrub away soot

It's hard to keep a fireplace spotless, but these easy cleanups will make it look miles better.

  • Clean the tiles or bricks around the fireplace with a scrub brush moistened with white vinegar.
  • Rub soot marks off the hearth and surrounding tiles or bricks with an art-gum eraser.
  • After removing ashes from the fireplace, set a plate of baking soda inside for a day to get rid of the sooty odour.

Vinegar for vases

Long-necked vases and bottles are not easy to clean. Make the task possible by filling the vessel with warm water and an equal amount of vinegar. Add up to 175 grams (3/4 cup) of uncooked rice and shake vigorously. (If cleaning a vase or a bottle without a lid, put a sheet of aluminum foil on the top, mold it to the sides, and grip the top tightly as you shake.) The rice acts as an abrasive that scrapes the glass clean.

Freshening a mattress

To rid a mattress of urine or any other odours, sprinkle it liberally with baking soda, let sit for a day or two and then vacuum well.

Whiten piano keys

If you wonder how your piano keys got so yellow, don't despair: You can restore their whiteness a few simple ways. Use a soft cloth to rub the keys with lemon juice and salt or with a 50/50 mix of rubbing alcohol and water; or apply mayonnaise and gently scrub with a soft cloth or soft toothbrush.

Whichever method you choose, prevent seepage by holding a piece of cardboard between the keys as you work your way down the keyboard. Wipe off each key with a slightly damp cloth before moving on to the next one. Let the keys air-dry — and then sit down and take it away, maestro!

No more embarrassing stains and odours! These handy tips have even the hardest stains beat.

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