When you’re a kid, fruit punch turns your mouth red and red, white, and blue pops turn it purple. It’s a carefree way of life. When you’re an adult, you drink too much red wine at your company’s happy hour, turning your teeth purple and your new blouse red, every month. It’s a drinking problem.
The moral of the story is that at every stage of life, stains happen. Jokes aside, not all stains happen at recess or in your boss’s new girlfriend’s favorite tapas restaurant. Many food- and drink-related stains happen in your own kitchen, and most of the time the only solution is to scrub it to hell or to rinse it with cold water. The following list is comprised of simple home solutions to some of the most common kitchen staining culprits.
Grab your glass of merlot, get your kids some ice pops, dab the red wine stain you inevitably just developed on your shirt, sprinkle salt on it, pour boiling water through it, and machine wash (the first tip was on the house).
1. Coffee Mug Stains
Your favorite “World’s Best Dog Dad” mug has acquired a stain – what do you do? First, live up to your title and tell Fido that everything is going to be a-okay (a “good boy” wouldn’t hurt).
Next, be the world’s best mug cleaner and fill that bad boy with a 50/50 mixture of hot water and plain white vinegar. Let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes, dump it, scrubbing it with a non-scratch kitchen scrubber and water afterward. Oh, and take the dog to the creek to celebrate.
2. Yellowed Tupperware
Unsure how to make your clear containers clear again? We’ll save the dog jokes this time around, but the solution is quite similar to the coffee mug conundrum.
Soak your Tupperware in a bath of plain white vinegar overnight, scrubbing it something a bit more scratchy than a sponge the morning after.
3. Copper Pan Burn Marks
Cooper pots and pans make any kitchen look rustic, and an obviously used (read: burnt) pan is a sure sign of one’s love for cooking. If burn marks on your copper isn’t for you, though, there are a couple of simple ways to remove them.
Salting a lemon (no, this isn’t the set up for a shot of booze) and rubbing it over the ailing areas is a great DIY remedy. You can also create a copper cleaning solution from equal parts salt, flour, and white vinegar.
4. Clouded Kitchen Glasses
According to Martha Stewart, a clouded or frosted appearance on your glassware is a call to action. The longer you wait to fix the problem, the harder it will be to fix it. Martha’s suggestion?
Swab the clouded glass with nail polish remover first and a mild detergent second. If you don’t feeling like swabbing, soak the glass in distilled white vinegar.
5. Silverware Rust
Reaching into the dishwasher to a handful of rusted steak knives and spoons with tiny burnt-orange dots on them is one of the world’s worst feelings. Don’t let it get you down, though.
Fill a glass with water, squeeze lemon into it, and soak any rusted silverware in the rudimentary lemonade for a while. After the spoons and whatnot are rightly soaked, the rust spots should come off with a simple scrubbing.
6. Tomato Sauce on Aprons and Oven Mitts
Other than red wine, tomato sauce is a huge cause of many in-kitchen stains. We’d be remiss not to mention it. If you’re handling a dish that has a tomato-based sauce and it gets on your clothes, don’t panic; try this instead. Scrape anything you can off of the spot, sponging it with cold water afterward.
If you’re not wearing white, rub a lime on the spot after sponging. If you are wearing white, put vinegar or hydrogen peroxide on the setting stain. Using a stain removal stick after these steps should prove a successful way to remove tomato stains. Other versions include sponges and ice cubes, so be sure to have a plan of action in mind for any and all spaghetti nights.
7. Kitchen Counter Oil Stains
According to This Old House, all it takes to remove common kitchen counter stains is some flour and a little hydrogen peroxide.
After mixing the two until they reach a peanut butter-like consistency (if you’re removing a stain from the oil in a jar of natural peanut butter, you’ll know this consistency well), you cover it, remove it, and seal it. Voila! A restored counter should be sitting before you.