Identifying and Dealing with Unknown Stains

by Lee Wyatt
(last updated July 28, 2014)

Have you ever wondered how you can go about identifying and dealing with unknown stains? Chances are the answer to this is a resounding yes. After all, everyone has come across a stain at some point in their life that they can't really identify. The problem is that identifying a stain, when you don't know what it is, is next to impossible without loads of expensive equipment. What you can do, is actually treat the stain to the best of your ability. There are ways that you can deal with unknown stains, but it may require a bit of patience on your part. Here's how.

  • Identify the material. The main key to treating an unknown stain lies not in identifying the stain, but in identifying the material that that the stain is on. This will tell you what methods you can safely use to remove the stain from the material. After all, you don't exactly clean acrylic fabric in the same manner that you do marble. By taking the time to properly identify the material will give you the next step to take in the process of cleaning.
  • Treat the stain according to the material. Once you have the material figured out, you can begin looking up some methods for cleaning that particular material. For example, you can remove many unknown stains from alabaster or marble by simply wiping a warm sudsy cloth or sponge across the stain. In the event that the stain persists, you can leave a cloth that has been soaked in rubbing alcohol on the stain for about five minutes, and then repeat.
  • Use some commercial cleaners. There are some commercial cleaners, such as Pro-solve or Resolve, that you can use on a variety of different materials, and which will remove many types of stains. Simply apply the cleaner according to the directions, and you should get most of the stains out of the material it is in.
  • Hire a professional cleaner. In the event that you find yourself unwilling, or unable, to take the time to experiment a little to get the material clean, you can simply hire a professional to do the job. While it is more expensive, professional cleaners often have the tools, experience, and time necessary to get the job done. This should be held as a last resort, only to be used in the event that you cannot get the stain out yourself.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...

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