No white surface stays safe for long when you’re trying to wrangle a full house. From bedsheets to t-shirts, we know what we’re getting into when it comes to keeping messes at bay, right? But does that mean that every surface in our home needs to be colored and covered?

Not necessarily. Don’t forego lighter colors in the home out of fear of potential spills and slip-ups. Instead, consider keeping cleaners on deck that you can make from everyday items that are probably sitting idle in your pantry. Keeping white surfaces clean doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg; however, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to cleaning as different surfaces do respond to different products.

Whether you’re trying to figure out how to keep your kids’ space or clean or want to invest in some classy furniture but are too stressed out over potential messes, start with the following cleaning solutions.

Carpet

Carpet can be an absolute nightmare to keep clean. Thankfully the following solution can work wonders if applied swiftly and before a mess is allowed to set it:

  • One cup warm water
  • One teaspoon of dish liquid (such as Dawn)
  • One teaspoon of baking soda
  • One tablespoon of white vinegar

Combine the vinegar and dish liquid together in a spray bottle prior to mixing in the warm water topped with baking soda. To apply, clean the affected arena of any large bits or pieces, spray and gently dab with a towel (repeating as needed).

Plastic Furniture

Since plastic can handle harsher products, you don’t have to be afraid to use a heavy duty cleanser, especially when dealing with mold or mildew. A solution of equal parts bleach and water applied to a brush can quickly clean just about any plastic surface with ease. Make sure to wear a glove prior to dipping your brush into the solution to prevent potential irritation to your hands.

Wooden Furniture

You have to be careful while cleaning wood to prevent peeling or unnecessary scratches. Keep the following checklist in mind depending on the type of mess you’re dealing with:

  • Everyday dust can be removed with a lightly dampened sponge: don’t go overboard with water
  • Mildew can be taken care of with a solution of one-part white wine vinegar mixed with two parts warm water: apply with a sponge or washcloth and wipe accordingly
  • Simple smudges can be removed using a non-abrasive sponge or washcloth, coupled with vertical strokes: dry with a paper towel to avoid molding

Fabrics and Shirts

Keeping a stain removing pen on you at all times is both stressful and potentially expensive.

Instead, consider a DIY stain remover comprised of one-part dishwashing liquid and two parts hydrogen peroxide. Mixed in a spray bottle and applied promptly on a stain that’s yet to set, such a solution serves as a cost-effective alternative to commercial stain removers. Additionally, this solution can also be scrubbed and soaked into heavy-duty stains (think: armpits) which have set over time.

White surfaces can be magnets for messes; however, most of them can be dealt with thanks to common household items. By keeping the aforementioned cleaning solutions on deck, you can stop stressing out about the lighter surfaces in your home.

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