After months and months of looking at what seems like 100s of houses you have finally found your dream home. You've gotten a mortgage, done your inspections, had the closing and have finally moved in.
You have been in your new home just about a week when you sit down on your brand new couch to write your Real Estate broker a thank you note for all the work he or she did to get you to this moment, and your ball point pen leaks all over the couch. Oh my God, what to do? Simple. Quickly apply some rubbing alcohol or alcohol-based stain remover.
Just as you are getting the couch cleaned up, Uncle Harry walks through the living room carrying a tray containing coffee, tea, fruit juice and soda for the guests who are about to arrive to celebrate the purchase of your new home. Your 4 year old is carrying a chocolate bar right behind him. He's moving rather swiftly, too, and as we might guess, not looking where he's going. Uncle Harry stops. The little one continues blindly on catching Uncle Harry right behind the kneecap. Harry's knee buckles and he and the little one go down in a heap. There is coffee, tea, fruit juice, soda, and chocolate all over the new carpet. Oh my God, what to do? Simple. To take care of the coffee, tea, fruit juice and soda, quickly blot the area of the spill with a clean clothe and then sponge with water. Then sponge with a water/vinegar solution, 1 part water and 2 parts white vinegar. Next, blot and then sponge with a solution of 2 tsp. mild liquid detergent and 2c. water. Then rinse and blot dry with towels. Finally, use Perky Spotter or other commercial stain remover. One can buy Perky Spotter from Groom Industries at 800 397-3759. To take care of the chocolate, sponge with 1 tbs. of ammonia in 1 cup of cool water. Then blot and sponge with 2 tsp. mild liquid detergent and 2 cups water. Rinse and blot dry with towels. Finally use Perky Spotter or other commercial stain remover.
As if this were not enough excitement, Frenchy the poodle, unable take the stress of all of these spills and consequent clean-ups, vomits on the vinyl floor in the kitchen. No problem. After blotting with a clean cloth, sponging with water, and then blotting again and sponging with a solution of 2 tsp. mild liquid detergent to 2 cups water, finally rub gently with a solution of chlorine bleach and water, one part bleach to 9 parts water. Be sure to test for colorfastness. Then simply do a final rinse.
The above cleaning tips and other remedies to a wide variety problems can be found in a wonderful Rodale Press book by Don Best I found at the Book Mart in Woodstock called The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Home Emergencies.
Steve Hubbard owns and operates Steve Hubbard Real Estate Services.