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Wednesday, February 19 2014

Remove Ink Stains from Leather

“Leather and the Ink Spot” sounds like a rock group, but if the duo is ink on your new leather vest, you won’t be happy until they part ways. Before you try to break them up, first determine what kind of leather and what kind of ink you must separate.

Types of Leather

  • Suede: stop reading and take your garment to a professional dry cleaner that specializes in cleaning suede.
  • Smooth leather: test cleaning methods in an inconspicuous place and proceed with care. If your garment or accessory is very expensive and you will be devastated if you ruin it, take it to a professional cleaner.
  • Vinyl or pleather: begin cleaning.

Types of Ink

  • Ballpoint pen: proceed with cleaning method.
  • Felt tip marker: proceed with cleaning method.
  • Permanent ink or marker: consider having your garment dyed to match the stain or a darker shade. Permanent ink cannot be removed from leather without causing a great deal of damage to the garment. Professional dry cleaners or shoe repair shops can dye leather.

Cleaning Method

Isopropyl alcohol, plain old rubbing alcohol, works best for home removal of ink stains from leather. Fresh ink stains are easier to remove and usually come out easily, while older stains may require repeat treatments. Leather is porous and the stain can penetrate deep into the hide.

Begin by dampening a white cotton cloth or cotton swab with the alcohol. Don’t use a colored cloth because it can transfer dye to light colored leather. Work from the outside of the stain toward the middle by dabbing with the cloth. Keep the work area small – do not spread the ink into a bigger area!

You should be able to see the ink transfer to the cloth. Dampen a clean area of the cloth or get a new swab as you see ink coming off to prevent re-staining the garment. Gently, keep blotting away until the ink is gone. Do not scrub harshly as that can remove color and a layer of the leather.

Need your leather re dyed?  Call Furniture EMT Maryland today, we will evaluate your leather an offer the best methods of restoring the color.

Posted by: Tony Varvaro AT 02:28 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, February 19 2014

Question: How do I Remove Stains from Suede Leather?

Suede is created from the underside of the leather hide. The fibers are treated and raised to create its trademark soft and velvety feel. Professional cleaning is recommended for large or heavily oily stains. But some stains can be successfully removed at home using extra care. Always test a small, hidden area first to check for any damage or discoloration.


To remove a stain that is already dry: Use a clean, soft cloth to gently rub the area and remove any dried on surface stain. The cloth will also restore some of the texture to the nap. If stain remains, gently rub the area with a pencil eraser or art gum eraser. As a last resort for tough stains, use an emery nail file to gently rub the area. After each step, brush the stained area with a suede brush to restore and smooth the nap. Again, test these steps on an inside seam before you tackle the outside of the garment.

To remove an oily stain: As soon as possible, sprinkle the stain with baby powder, foot powder or cornstarch to absorb the oil. You should see the powder begin to look oily and then brush it away with a soft brush. Repeat the process until the powder no longer changes color or texture. Next, brush well to restore the nap of the suede.

To remove a wet stain: Use a clean, soft cloth to blot away as much moisture as possible. Put the cloth directly over the stain and apply some pressure to draw the moisture away from the suede and into the cloth. Keep turning the cloth to a clean, dry area and continue blotting. When no more moisture is transferring, allow the suede to dry completely. If the stain is gone, just use a suede brush to restore the nap. If the stain remains, follow the steps recommended for a dry stain.

Posted by: Tony Varvaro AT 02:23 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, February 19 2014

How to Remove Water Stains from Wood Furniture

You don’t have to panic when a steaming cup of coffee, sloshed water, or some other liquid leaves a mark on your wood furniture. Most of the time, getting the piece back to its original condition is fairly easy. The first thing you have to do is determine how deep the damage is. You can tell that by the color of the stain or water mark.

Stains and marks made by liquid or steam are usually white or light-colored. That means that they haven’t penetrated much more deeply than through the waxed or polished surface. When the stain is dark, however, it indicates that the liquid has penetrated through the finish on the wood and possibly through to the wood itself. If this is the case, you have more of a fix on your hands.

Here are some ways to treat light-colored stains. Start with the first, and if it doesn’t work, then try the next step:

1.Rub the area with an oily furniture polish, mayonnaise, or petroleum jelly.

The goal is to displace the water mark with the oil. If the stain disappears, good; skip to Step 6. If the stain is still there, try Step 2.

2.Put a little toothpaste on a wet cloth and rub the stain gently until the spot disappears.

Toothpaste sometimes contains a mild abrasive that will help get rid of the stain. If toothpaste does the job, skip to Step 6.

3.If the stain is still there, mix equal amounts of baking soda and toothpaste together to make a slightly stronger, yet still mild, abrasive and rub that mixture on the stain.

Depending on the size of the stain, 1/4 or 1/2 teaspoon of each should do the trick. Apply a little more pressure than you did in Step 2. If the stain is gone, go to Step 6; otherwise, proceed with Steps 4 and 5 for stubborn water marks.

4.Thoroughly clean the area.

5.Dip a soft cloth — an old T-shirt will do — into a mild solvent such as mineral spirits or paint thinner (odorless). Squeeze excess moisture from the cloth, and then rub gently until the stain is gone.

To make sure you won’t harm the surface, pretest the solvent on a finished underside of the furniture first. If the solvent doesn’t dissolve your finish, then it’s safe to work on the stain itself. If it does dissolve, don't use it.

6.After the water mark is gone, wax your table, chest, or chair.

Use a thin layer of paste wax and a clean, soft cloth. Although paste wax takes a little more work to apply, it leaves a nicer, longer-lasting finish than a liquid or cream wax.

After the paste wax thoroughly dries — give it half an hour — buff the piece with another soft, clean cloth until you have a rich, smooth patina.

Posted by: Tony Varvaro AT 02:16 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, February 11 2014

How can I get static electricity out of my couch?

I recently bought a new couch that has a real problem with static electric buildup. What can I do to lessen/remove this? Is there a way to ground a couch? the buildup is enough to make hair stand up with minimal touching of the couch. i'm not rubbing my arm on it for 5 minutes to get this to happen. Just sit, stand up. you'll discharge on something. i sat down with my laptop and got stung twice just during the motion of sitting.

Fabric softener sheets and sprays are temporary fixes.

The winter season brings much dryer air which enables static buildup on your couch (and other things in your house too). With more humid air, the charge buildup will disappate into the air and things will remain at a more even state. No more shocks.

Turn on the humidifier that's on your furnace (or get one installed). The periodically need maintenance, new filters, clearing of water lines in order to continue to function. Sometimes you also need to turn a level on an air bypass line to get the air properly flowing through your furnace.

If you're in an older house or apartment with radiators, place a small pan with water in it on the radiator. You can also buy a table top humidifier for about $20. Doesn't matter which room you run it in as long as you keep the doors open between rooms.

Careful not to turn up the humidity too high if its extremely cold outside. If you start seeing condensation appear on your windows, you will want to slightly lower the humidity level lest the water buildup and runoff (over time) rots the wood at the bottom of your windows.

Posted by: Tony Varvaro AT 03:42 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, February 06 2014

Remove Cigarette odors from fabric

Cigarette smoke coats walls, window treatments, and everything else exposed in a home, especially fabric furniture. Unfortunately not all fabric furniture can be cleaned using typical upholstery cleaning methods, but if cigarette smoke has permeated fabric furniture that cannot be cleaned with soap and water, you can still get rid of the smell. Try the following easy ways to get rid of the smell of cigarette smoke on fabric furnishings. It is possible to completely get rid of the smell without getting rid of the furniture!

Begin by Vacuuming or Lint Rolling Fabric

If you have ever known or lived with someone who smokes, you probably already realize how the smoke residue sticks to everything. Clean any hard surface and you will find a brown film that is not always easy to remove. Cigarette smoke not only settles on hard surfaces, but it also clings to fabric and makes it smell like a dirty ashtray. Before trying any method to get rid of the smell of cigarette smoke on fabric furnishings, it is important to vacuum or lint roll it first. Use a vacuum with an upholstery attachment, or if a vacuum is not available use a lint roller or tape. It will help get rid of the residue that settles on the fabric. After all, how can you get rid of the smell of cigarette smoke if the source is left behind?

Plastic Bag or Tarp Method

Natural odor absorbers can be used to get rid of the smell of cigarette smoke on fabric-covered furnishings, but first it is necessary to completely wrap it in sealed but loosely fitting plastic. Tape together several large plastic trash bags or use a plastic tarp. Wrap the furniture in the plastic, and tape the edges with the exception of an opening large enough to accommodate a shallow bowl of one of the following natural odor absorbing products.

Natural Odor Absorbers

Ground dry coffee is a fantastic natural odor absorbing material, and it works well to get rid of even the strongest of odors. Fill a shallow bowl with freshly ground coffee, place the bowl in with the fabric item, and seal the plastic around it. Allow the ground coffee to remain sealed with the fabric furniture for at least 24 hours, depending on the severity of the smell. Once unwrapped, the material should have little or no trace of the smell of cigarette smoke.

Charcoal briquettes can also be used to get rid of the smell of cigarette smoke on fabric furniture. Fill a shallow bowl with charcoal briquettes, and seal the plastic around the furniture as directed above. Allow the charcoal to remain wrapped with the furniture for at least 24 hours to get rid of the smell of cigarette smoke on otherwise clean fabric furnishings.

Posted by: Tony Varvaro AT 02:19 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email

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