Dave’s Stain Survival Guide

Dave’s Stain Survival Guide

Scott Spector

Spilling the Secrets

In our contactless, home school, remote cocooning, Dave said we should give you a survival guide to cleaning up the common spills and stains in your car. Well I’m no expert when it comes to cleaning, but I can share what works best inside your car’s durable demeanor. Here’s the Top 6 stains you will combat in your car – they always say, ‘it’s never IF, but when.’

das:  “Dave, no one should be drinking wine in the car!”

Dave:  “You’re right, but haven’t you ever had a roadie?” Point made, sir.

WINE.  Specifically, red wine is a challenge, because its color comes from elements in the grape known as chromogens, which are similar to molecules used in dyes, according to my grape embibing friends in Napa. Hopefully, you keep a handful of napkins in your ride from your stop-over’s at Mac’n Don’s or the chicken place. If not, then pack a couple microfibers in the glovebox and immediately blot up the stain. BLOT! Not smash it deeper in the carpet. A bottle of water is a good thing to have also to wet the stain and soak up with the microfiber. Dry as best you can until you get home. Treat with a prewash stain remover, Folex or a mix of 50/50 white vinegar and water and 2-3 droplets of a free and clear dishwashing liquid. BLOT damnit!

POOP.  s**it happens… opposite of time on the throne, don’t let the poo sit… scrape off any gross excess from the upholstery. Grab that spray bottle of 50/50 vinegar and water and add a couple extra droplets of free and clear dishwashing liquid. Spray away wetting the fibers a bit less than soaking the area. If the poo is loose or wet, then a pinch or two of baking soda will absorb the stain and its acids. Blot the stain with paper towels (not napkins or microfiber) until it disappears. Repeat the spray steps and blot with paper towels. Sprinkle (don’t make a paste) baking soda over the stain area and air dry (10-30 minutes). Vacuum up the stain area and air dry. Treat with fabric protector 24 hours later. Why free and clear? Because there’s no dyes or additives.

MILK. Same applies for milk shakes, baby formula or other dairy based protein stains. No vinegar needed on this one. Tap water and 2-3 drops of free and clear dishwashing liquid. Here’s a tip – don’t shake the bottle like you’re mixing a martini. Simply, tip the bottle back’n forth to simply mix the solution – you’re not taking a shower here Bubbles! Spray the solution onto the stain and gently mix with plastic bristle brush. Blot dry with clean mircofiber. BLOT! Repeat until stain disappears. Stubborn stains will need a couple applications of Folex. 

INK PEN. Ballpoint or similar, not a Sharpie. Amodex or Ink Away are great things to have, but in case you’re not that guy, then follow these steps:  a toothbrush is better than cotton swabs and if you have dental swabs even better, soak swab with rubbing alcohol and gently work the solvent into the stain. Blot the area with clean microfiber. Voila, this works very well on headliners, too!

BLOOD. Using the same solution to remove milk, attack blood stains similarly. Cold water is key here! Cold water dilutes stains, hot water sets stains. Spray the solution onto the stain and gently mix with those dental swabs and a microfiber. If this process isn’t removing the stain, then break out some hydrogen peroxide and a cotton swab. Soak this swab with H2O2 (hydrogen peroxide for you non-chemistry sorts) and gently dab the stain until the bubbles dissolve the blood. DAB and BLOT! Blot with microfiber. Once the stain is removed, allow to air dry. Return to the stained area and spray with sanitizing disinfectant spray as directed on bottle.

VOMIT. Whether little or a grown-baby, hurl happens. Two things to consider here. Fresh puke or dried chunky spew? Get your H2O2 ready and your vinegar/water solution either way. DON’T USE BOTH ON THIS STAIN. Pick one! Start with the vinegar solution on newly christened area or if it’s dried dampen the area. If chunks persist, wet the area a bit more and use a spoon to remove the ick. If the hurlage is minutes old, then use the H2O2 and a damp sponge. My money is you’re on a trip to Meemaw’s house and baby Bonnie reverses gears on her Cheerios-Happy Baby-Plum Organics mixture as you weaved through all those curvy roads. Bonnie blows chunks and you’re in no mood to stop…not yet. Here’s where you want to wet the landscape with vinegar/water then sprinkle baking soda and agitate with a plastic bristle brush. Blot up with towels you will dispose of.

BONUS: There’s one thing we’ve not touched on yet! “Whiskey bottles, and brand new cars, Oak tree you’re in my way…Oooh that smell, Can’t you smell that smell, Ooooh that smell, the smell of death surrounds you!”  Cleaning alone cannot remove smells and in some cases an ozone machine is required by a professional. Short of that, here’s what will remove (I didn’t say eliminate) much of the smells. First thing is change out your cabin air filter. Sprinkle a tablespoon of baking soda on your carpeting on occasion helps absorb bad odors as it reacts with the residual acid stains in your carpets and cloth seats.

To flush out the smells open up the bonnet to reveal the air intakes near the wipers. We spray vent cleaner through the outside intake and the inside vents. Turn on A/C and recirculate air in the car for 5 minutes with windows up. Turn off recirc and A/C leaving fan on full blast and allow fresh air inside car with windows down. Spray air freshner onto carpet and agitate carpet and blot dry with microfiber. Vacuum carpet and seats one last time. That’s all we’re dishing out on stains today so you can survive the next trip to grandma’s. Cheers!

Merry Ho-Ho!Dave Readies for Winter