How to Remove Stains: Furniture Polish, Oil and Latex Paints

To remove furniture polish from clothing, use a dry cleaning solvent such as Afta Cleaning Fluid or K2r Spot Cleaning Fluid. Always test an unseen area of the garment to insure it doesn't bleach out the color. Blot the stain with the cleaning fluid to remove. Do not rub the stain, as this will drive it further into the fabric. Blot the stain with an absorbent white pad until all traces of color vanish. Mix a teaspoon of color safe laundry detergent with one cup of warm water. Blot the stain to remove any residue from the cleaning process. Then, sponge with cool water to remove the detergent solution, and launder per care label instructions. To remove from carpeting, carefully blot up any excess. Apply an absorbent, such as cornmeal, to the carpeting. Let stand to absorb the polish, and then vacuum the area. If this fails to remove the stain, apply a carpet cleaning spot remover such as Bissell Deep Cleaning Booster to the area with a clean white cloth. Blot until all traces of furniture polish are removed. Sponge the area with lukewarm water and allow to dry. Repeat as necessary to remove all traces. Car mechanic waterless hand cleaner is also reported to work well on removing furniture polish stains from carpeting. Apply with a clean white cloth, let stand for about 20 minutes, and blot with warm water and an absorbent pad to remove stain and excess residue.

Oil paint can be removed from clothing by using distillates such as acetone, lighter fluid, or turpentine. Because these chemicals can be harsh, first try using lamp oil or kerosene to remove. Dab the distillate on the stain with a clean white cloth until all traces are removed from the garment. Rinse the garment well with cool running water. Presoak the garment with a stain remover such as Shout for approximately 15 minutes, and launder per label care instructions. It is possible to remove oil paint stains from dry clean only garments with a solvent such as Afta Cleaning Fluid, but it is recommended that this type of stain be handled by a professional. To remove from carpeting, use a small amount of dry cleaning solvent, such as Afta Cleaning Fluid, pour a small amount on a clean white absorbent pad, and carefully blot the stain. Do not pour the solvent directly onto the carpeting to avoid damage to the latex backing. When no more color comes up on the absorbent pad, mix a solution of one teaspoon of a PH balanced liquid detergent to one cup warm water. Sponge a small amount onto the stain, and again blot with an absorbent white pad. Blot until all residue is gone. Sponge to rinse with clean water, and blot up excess.

Latex pain on clothing can be very hard to remove. It is best if you get to the stain before it has a chance to dry for best success. First, scrape away any excess with a spoon. Using a commercially available paint remover such as Goof Off, apply small amounts to the stain. Allow to stand for several minutes until you see the paint begin to lift. Blot the stain with a good liquid detergent and a clean white absorbent pad. Keep blotting until no more color is lifted from the stain. Rinse the stain well, and launder per care label instructions. Always use Goof Off in a well ventilated area, as the fumes are quite strong. Hairspray is also reported to work well on removing tough paint stains. For carpeting, scrape away as much of the paint as possible with a spoon. Apply isopropyl alcohol to a clean white pad and blot the stain until all paint traces are removed. Be careful to not over saturate the carpeting, as the alcohol may have adverse effects on the carpet backing. If the stain persists, mix a solution of one quarter teaspoon of liquid detergent to one quart water, and blot the stain, working the detergent mixture into the effected area. Keep blotting the area, changing the pad often, until no more color is picked up on the pad. Rinse the area with warm water from a spray bottle. Blot up excess. Then spray once again, and place a thick pad of paper towel on the stain, and weigh it down with something heavy, such as a brick. Allow to dry. If the stain is stubborn, three percent hydrogen peroxide will help in removal. Spray a small amount on the stain, and let stand for one hour. Blot and repeat if necessary. Light causes hydrogen peroxide to turn to water, so a final rinsing and pickup with an absorbent pad should finish the job.

It is essential to get to a stain of these types while the stain is fresh. Stains such as paint may never be fully removed. Be sure to check fabrics or carpeting with any solution in an unseen area to insure that the color is not affected.

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Alden Smith is an award winning author and regular contributor to He writes on a variety of subjects, and excels in research.