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These two pantry items will take out any stain

From baby poop to blood to coffee

These two pantry items will take out any stain Credit: Getty Images

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Two days before closing on our first home, we found out I was pregnant. Still, we went forward with our original decor plans, filling the space with light gray and ivory couches and neutral colored rugs as planned. It’s a beautiful space, but it’s a space designed for two adults—not for a baby and the messes they create.

It was no later than day 10 with a newborn, when we laid our son down for a diaper change, that sh*t hit the fan—almost literally. As soon as the diaper came off, that 7-pound baby sent bright orange poop flying at least two feet in the air, all over our white rug and gray couch.

While my husband took control of diaper duty, I assessed the damage. A wet wipe only smeared the offending stain in even more. But then I remembered a cleaning trick I’d learned while working at Real Simple—a trick that requires just two everyday items that I’ve kept on hand ever since.

The hack

Credit: Getty Images

According to Real Simple, salt works to absorb spilled liquid. It should be applied to any stain as soon as possible for the best results. Once the salt has had time to sit, saturate the spot with hydrogen peroxide. Real Simple recommends hydrogen peroxide—a mild bleach—for tough stains on lighter fabrics. Be careful with dark fabrics, though: peroxide can lighten the fabric.

The result

White couch
Credit: Getty Images

When I employed this technique post-poop debacle, to my surprise and delight, there was no remaining trace of that bright orange poop on neither my couch nor my carpet. The bad news: this is a trick I’ve had to perform at least a half-dozen times with various spills—spit up, more poop, blueberry puree—since November when the baby was born. The good news: my furniture and poor, victimized carpet still somehow remain stain-free.

Try it at home

What you'll need:


First, blot the stain as best as you can with a quality paper towel or a clean white rag. Never use colored napkins, which can bleed onto fabric, and dab the stain, don’t rub—that just pushes the stain deeper into the fibers of the fabric. Then, liberally sprinkle table salt over the stain. Now for the hardest part: wait a few hours and wonder if the magic is working. (It is.)

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After the salt has sat for at least three hours, pour enough hydrogen peroxide on to saturate the spot. Let dry, then vacuum the area and blot with a clean (read: not the same one from before) paper towel or rag once more.

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