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Five unusual ways to bring colour to your kitchen

For families who spend a lot of time together in their kitchen, it is important to take the time to create a space that perfectly matches the household’s personality and way of living. If you are looking to add some much-needed energy and life into the room, including vibrant and vivid colours can be a great way to go about creating a lively space that the whole family enjoys.

Take a look at these five inventive ways to add splashes of colour into your kitchen:

  1. Colour pop appliancesretro kitchen

Make large kitchen appliances the focal point by opting for bright items that add cheery pops of colour to the room. Many fridges and cookers are now available in a wide range of shades, and when paired with stainless steel or neutral tones, can help you to create a cheerful and energetic atmosphere.

 

  1. Bright and unusual splashbacks

Splashbacks are often only thought about in terms of practicality. However, why not steer clear of the status quo and look for bright glass tiles, decorative steel sheets or even patterned tile decals and inject a hit of colour into your kitchen?

 

  1. Display your kitchenalia with open shelving

This idea can seem a little terrifying, after all how will you be able to hide your clutter? In order to do so stylishly, pick a few choice areas to place open shelving and select your most colourful crockery, dishes, bottles and glasses to display so that you can bring a slice of the rainbow to your cooking space.

 

  1. Statement countertops

If you are looking for a way to add a feature colour to your kitchen, why not opt for a bright countertop? For a contemporary look, select a statement shade such as pink, yellow or orange and pair with wooden cabinets.

 

Alternatively, if you want to add a touch of luxury, choose a granite countertop in a striking deep tone. What makes granite special is the intricate patterns that can be found within the stone. Sat against bright white walls or cabinets, it can help you to make a beautifully bold and colourful statement.

chalk board walls

  1. Creative chalkboard walls

For those wanting to bring a little fun into their kitchen, why not paint a wall with chalkboard paint? Not only is it perfect for writing reminders and shopping lists, but it can be a great opportunity to let your creative juices flow. If you have a young family, the children will love being able to create chalk masterpieces and any big kids will have just as much fun drawing their own doodles!

For some, incorporating bright colours into your kitchen design can seem daunting. If you’re feeling nervous, think small to begin with and pick out a few bold accessories to add to your space. Once you start to see the energy that these brighter shades can bring, there is no doubt that you will want to add even more flashes of colour into the hardest working room in the home.

 

 

 

AUTHOR BIO: Ashleigh Harman writes for Britannia Living. Famous for their collection of iconic range cookers, customers can use the Britannia Colourange tool to create statement range cookers in any shade, providing people with the opportunity to create kitchens that are truly unique.

 

Image Credits: FlickrFlickr

 

 

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Invigorating spring and summer colour schemes for your home

Invigorating spring and summer colour schemes for your home

It’s your home, and everyone loves the personal touch that decorating brings to your room. This summer, it’s all about the style statement, so don’t whimper out and opt for bland colours, take one of these striking colour palates and incorporate it into your home.

Black and White

It might seem like a simple and classic combination, however done right, the black and white palette adds real depth to a room, especially when utilised with a modern and contemporary twist. From incorporating the style into the wall decoration with a striped design, to adding furniture and decorations that complement the style perfectly, you have a whole heap of options when it comes to this colour palette. Here are some of our favourite room additions with this colour scheme.

Black and White Chevron Rug – Urban Outfitters, £69.

Chevron Lampshade In Black – Not On The High Street, £30

Bossenden Wall Clock – House Of Fraser, £40

Coastal Cool

With the sun baking down, and the mild breeze providing a refreshing cool as it calmly blows over the garden and into your home, you can be forgiven for allowing your mind to wander with daydreams of a beached coastline, with radiant heat beaming down and the cool ocean waves whipping at your toes as you stroll over the perfect white sands. It sounds idyllic, but for most of us, the majority of our summer will be spent at home, so now is the perfect time to implement those elements of coastal cool into your house. It gives your rooms a light, breezy feel and with cool vibrant colours, it provides plenty of energy. Colours to incorporate are vast, but mainly focus on aquatic blues and greens, sandy yellows and natural browns.

MissPrint Home Dashes Cushion – John Lewis, £28

Wooden Frame Tealight Holder – Laura Ashley, £22

The Ascot Rug – The Rug Seller, £75-£359

European Clean

In the summer, there’s not colour that emphasises the warmth quite like a clean crisp white. We see it time and time again in the world of sashion, expecially in the summer. Be it in a light and airy linen shirt for a man, or a striking dress or jeans on a woman, white is a colour that really comes into its own in the warmer months. Although it might not be the most practical of solutions, the colour will provide a refreshing and fresh feel. Use white as a neutral backdrop, and then accessorize with statement complimentary pieces in your favourite colors, or create a monochromatic design by enveloping the room in an all-white palette. Mix and match with tones from the coastal cool selection, to add a real touch of summer to your rooms.

Knitted Pouffe – Etsy, £65

Baby Betty Vases – Brissi, £24

 

This article was provided exclusively to First Home News by Kate Hobbs, who has a passion for home interiors and trends.

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Adding a splash of colour for spring
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Adding a splash of colour for spring

Decorating, changing how a room looks and being able to put your personal stamp on it is one of the most enjoyable aspects of homeowning. But be warned, if you’re a first-timer because decorating it can be a potential nightmare if you don’t do your homework first. You risk either starting and then giving up half-way through, or doing a botch job. So if you’re thinking of finally taking on that magnolia coloured living room, here’s some advice.

Before you start

Don’t forget your tools and materials. Buying an initial stock of supplies can be pricey so shop around at places like B&Q, Homebase and Wickes. Remember you don’t necessarily need to buy top brand paint. You will need, at the very minimum:

  • Dust sheets (or you could use old bed sheets or curtains)
  • A roller and tray (or you could try a paint pad)
  • A selection of paintbrushes
  • Paint – emulsion for the walls, gloss or eggshell for woodwork
  • Masking tape to put round sockets and skirting boards

You may also need

  • Filler and a filling knife
  • Safety goggles
  • A shower cap or a head scarf
  • A radiator brush and roller
  • White spirit
  • A roller extension
  • Undercoat / primer
  • Sugar scrub
  • Paint stripper
  • Sandpaper

You might not envision it being a big job, however it’ll certainly take a chunk of hours out of your day. Painting takes longer than you think, so set aside a decent amount of time in which to do it. If you’re painting a large area, it may prove useful to break it down into sections.

Don’t skip the cleaning and dusting. The walls need to be clean before you start applying paint, so don’t forget to get the duster out. Next, wash them using either detergent or sugar soap. Rinse afterwards and wait until they’re dry before you start painting. You may also need to fill in holes and cracks.

Don’t leave your furniture unprotected. In fact, try to clear the room as much as you can. If anything can’t be moved, cover it with a sheet. You should also cover the floor. It’s surprising how far paint can travel.

Don’t wear your favourite clothes and don’t leave your hair uncovered. Getting paint out of your hair or off your favourite top is tricky, so cover up.

During

Don’t just slap some paint on a random part of the wall. Work systematically from the ceiling, to the walls and lastly the woodwork.

Don’t assume that one coat will do. Unless you’re using a product like Dulux Once, you will need at least two coats, and then it depends on what colour you’re painting with. Leave plenty of time for the paint to dry in-between coats. Don’t keep the windows and doors shut; the fumes and smell are quite pungent, so make sure you consider ventilation.

Afterwards

Don’t leave the paintbrushes and roller tray to dry solid. Clean them properly and store them in a safe place for next time. Admire the view.

Finally

Pat yourself on the back, sit yourself down and admire your work. Sometimes it feels like it takes longer to do the preparation than it does to do the actual painting, but it’s worth it in the end.

 

Photo Credit: khrawlings via Compfight cc

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Boring to beautiful homes in 6 simple steps
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Boring to beautiful homes in 6 simple steps

Your home is not only a place to lay your head, but a reflection of your individuality. Regularly updating the look of your home will help maintain a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere without running the risk of boredom. In order to achieve this, we’ve compiled our six top tips on how to transform your place from being boring into beautiful home, with little cost and minimal effort.

 

Wall Murals

Plain, dull coloured walls in a room can instantly add a sense of monotony when not used creatively. To brighten up lifeless walls around your home, design, create and paint your own mural. By choosing one singular wall as your focus point, adding a mural not only adds a sense of individuality to your room, but also saves on the expense of redecorating. For those of you who are less artistic, wall stickers are available for a quick fix to any room.

 

Storage Solutions

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Storage space is key when it comes to de-cluttering your home. Not only are storage boxes efficient, but they are also cheap. Store those rarely used belongings under your bed and inside your closet. By moving these items out of sight, focus is shifted on the remaining pieces of furniture in the room, whilst also giving the appearance of larger space. Alternatively, if you prefer to proudly display your collections, invest in some conventional storage shelves and cabinets to place around your home.

 

Accessorise

A patterned duvet is no longer enough to create that homely bedroom feel. By investing in cushions, throws and blankets, you are not only increasing the comfort of your bedroom, but also creating a more relaxed environment. Similarly, invest in contrasting cushions and throws for your living space in order to refresh the look of other rooms around the house.

 

Interior Lighting

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Lighting has a significant effect on the mood and ambiance within any room. Soft lighting creates a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere, whereas bright, florescent lighting can be harsh. In order to achieve a relaxed atmosphere and sense of style within a room, invest in candles, crystal lampshades and fairy lights. Make sure you also make the most out of the natural light provided.

 

Improve your Exterior

Things-to-Consider-Creating-a-Good-Living-Room-Interior-Design-Nice-View

If the view outside your front room is not overly pleasing on the eye, distract yourself and visitors by making the view inside a more appealing one. With a variety of blinds, curtains and nettings, you can make sure the inside look attractive and stylish, even if the outside does not.

 

Personal Touch

personal

Finally, nothing says home sweet home quite like a display of framed family photographs. By hanging them along the hall, above the mantel piece or across the walls, the faces of your loved ones will brighten up any room within your home.

 

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Real vs Fake: The Christmas tree debate
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Real vs Fake: The Christmas tree debate

It’s that time of year again when tradition faces up against practicality in a debate which gets replayed up and down the country every Christmas. Do you get a real tree this time or an artificial one? The truth is that both are worthy of being the focal point of your seasonal celebrations but to help you make that all-important decision, we’ve put a together a guide outlining the pros and cons of both set-ups so you can avoid any festive fall-out this year.

A Real Tree

Pros

The custom of having indoor trees arrived in the UK in the mid 1800’s and since then they have gone on to become a traditional staple of British homes during the Christmas season. For some, it just wouldn’t be Christmas without a real tree adorned with tinsel and lights and the process of getting one and then realising it might need some modifying to get it into the house has an air of nostalgia about it. This is matched by the fresh pine smell which intoxicates the room, and regardless of what some companies may tell you, this scent cannot be replaced by a festive air freshener or plug in.

For the eco-warriors amongst you, real trees are all natural and so disposing of them is easy and environmentally friendly. You also won’t have any problem having to store it, as you can just take it outside and let it bio-degrade naturally.

Cons

Real Christmas trees are an expensive investment, when compared to its artificial counterpart; especially as you’ll have to pay out year after year. The care and attention they need as well as the mess they leave behind can also be more hassle than it’s worth for some.

An Artificial Tree

Pros

The beauty of having an artificial tree is its convenience and practicality. There’s no need to stress about having to go out and choose a tree and try and force it through the front door, it’s just merely a case of getting it out of the box and assembling it. An artificial tree will also prove to be cheaper in the long term as it’s a one-time purchase and a relatively low cost one at that. They’re also easy to clean up afterwards and you’ll avoid that unenviable pain of standing on loose pine needles with bare feet.

An artificial tree also has the added benefit of always looking pristine and perfect. If you’re preoccupied with having an idealistic looking tree then an artificial one is the way to go as it will never go brown and will most likely fit your living room to size.

Cons

The flip side to all this practicality though is that artificial trees are not friendly to the environment as most of them tend to be made from PVC which is non-biodegradable and can release toxins over time. Perhaps its biggest flaw in this debate though is that it doesn’t hold the same memories of Christmas that the traditionalists yearn for.

Which one you choose is merely a matter of lifestyle and preference, but whether you go for tradition or convenience, it’s not the tree that matters but the people around it.

 

This guest article was provided exclusively to First Home News by Samanta Towns.

Images used under creative commons courtesy of Jean-Marc PAYET.

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Finishing odd-jobs in time for Christmas
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Finishing odd-jobs in time for Christmas

To say it’s simply a few days of celebrations, the festive period can be an incredibly hectic period. Aside from wrapping presents and preparing food in time for the big day, you may have spotted areas of your home which require touching up or working on in preparation for the 25th With guests arriving for the celebrations, you need your home to be looking its best. As the calendar ticks over to December, there isn’t time for grand renovations, however you should have opportunity to add the finishing touches that will get your home ready for the festivities. To help you along your way, we’ve put a list together a list of the areas you may want consider touching up before Christmas

Getting rid of any clutter

If you are going to be hosting a house full of guests over Christmas, the last thing you want is to have them to  clambering over clutter. Before you contemplate decking the halls and throwing tinsel over the tree, take a look at ways in which you can declutter and create a tidy, welcoming environment for those coming to stay.

For best results, take it one room at a time and look at what is and isn’t necessary. Be practical; you may find there are plenty of items that can be discarded or removed temporarily from the room.

Make sure you have enough room to accommodate extra beds

Beyond getting rid of any clutter, if you are going to be having quite a few guests and you will be using inflatable beds, it makes sense to move things around to accommodate them while you have the time. Of course, also make sure you have a pump and that it works.

Finish off any odd-jobs

They’re the nagging jobs on your to-do list that you just never get around to doing. Whether it’s fixing the lock on the bathroom door, replacing light bulbs or hanging those mirrors that have been leaning up against the wall for the last few months, take a look at the odd-jobs you haven’t got around to doing and make the time to do them.

Change your door knobs

If you want to make some stylish changes in your home before Christmas, door knobs are an excellent place to start. Often overlooked, door knobs featuring ornate detail can transform existing doors without having to replace them. Consider Victorian door knobs which feature plenty of grandiose detail but are perfect for both contemporary and traditional interiors.

Giving your skirting boards and door frames a lick of paint

Freshen up a room by concentrating on the smaller details. Through every day wear and tear, skirting boards and door frames can become grubby, discoloured and in generally in need of some TLC. Give them the love they need and make your home look a little fresher with a lick of paint.

Clean the carpets

Hire a carpet cleaner for the weekend and really get deep into your floors. It’s amazing just how dirty carpets can get and we guarantee you’ll be amazed at the results once you have given them a deep clean with a specifically formulated carpet shampoo.

Make use of fold-up chairs

If you’re going to be having a lot of guests over for dinner, it’s wise to make use of folding chairs as these can be easily stored away when not in use and will save you from reanacting a scene from a comedy sketch where everyone is sitting on chairs of varying heights.

This guest article was exclusively written for First Home News by Dean Ronnie.

Photo credit: Jonas Nordlund via Flickr

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Kerr Drummond’s top tips for making your first home your dream home

Kerr Drummond’s top tips for making your first home your dream home

Whilst moving into your first home is a real life milestone, it’s a time which is extremely hectic. Once you’ve got your house bought, and are finally moved in, it’s time to get cracking and stamp your own personal style on the home. If you’re searching for the best ways of making your first home into your dream home, here are some top tips, courtesy of interior designer and TV personality, Kerr Drummond.

Don’t be scared!

For most first time buyers, once the expense of investing in your new home is committed to there won’t be a huge amount of cash left for home improvements, so don’t be scared to do some of the work yourself – modern tools and materials are so well designed that even a complete novice shouldn’t be scared to try a bit of DIY. Tasks such as wallpapering and painting are easier now than they have ever been and if you are unsure use the internet as it is full of information. Take the Solvite “Help & Advice” section for example, which has lots of useful videos and a really handy tool that helps you choose the right product for each individual job.

Don’t be tempted to do loads of work on your new home as soon as you move in.

My most successful designs are achieved when I’m working with a client who has lived in the property for a while first. Having lived in the property for some time you will gain a lot of information such as which rooms benefit from natural light and which don’t – this is especially important when it comes to decorating, choosing colour schemes etc. You will also find out what does and doesn’t work about the existing layout in the kitchen and bathrooms, which will allow you to come up with improved designs for these rooms if necessary.

Trust your taste and don’t give in to trends.

The look I always try to achieve is one that is timeless.

Wallpaper is your friend!

Consider wallpapering as oppose to painting, especially in older properties where the plaster finish on walls is not great – a decent filler, lining and wallpaper will hide these imperfections and won’t cost you nearly as much as re-plastering and then decorating.

Consider which room is most important to you.

For some the kitchen is the heart of the home, for others it’s the living room. Allocate your budget accordingly.

Don’t be scared of adding some personality to your new home.

Too many people obsess over keeping their home neutral (another word for Beige) in case they ever want to sell it…I think we should be more inclined to worry about this once we have actually decided to sell the property – redecorating before a sale is not something we should be scared of. So if flock wallpaper and rich colours are your thing go for it!

Use local specialists.

If you are investing in a new kitchen or bathroom head down to a local independent specialist as oppose to one of the national brands – they will be more inclined to give you what you want as oppose to what they have been told to sell to you by head office. They will also develop a relationship with you, which should serve you well as you climb the property ladder.

Visit design shows to get inspiration.

Magazines are great but being able to see products first hand is really important. Many manufacturers use design shows to showcase new products so you will be up to date on what is on the market – be it kitchens, bathrooms or wall coverings.

Make a scrap book of design ideas and styles that you like, from magazine cuttings. Continuity of theme when home decorating is often a good idea to make the whole house work aesthetically and feel right but many of us don’t know what style it is that we like until we put all our ideas together and see that there is a theme running through it.

Don’t be tempted to buy copy-cat-products just because they’re cheaper.

Whether it’s kitchen appliances or wallpaper paste, in the world of interior design and D.I.Y. you generally get what your pay for so stick to a brand you know and trust.

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Winter colour schemes for your home
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Winter colour schemes for your home

When the summer is over, and you think it’s time to get your home ready for the winter, colours play a large role. There is no better way of readying your rooms for the colder seasons than to implement a good, well suited colour scheme for the coming months, be it through incorporating new items and accessories into your rooms, or by having a re-decorate and painting your walls in a way which readies them for the season. If you’re looking for the best colours to implement into your home this winter, here are the top picks.

Bold

Implementing a bold colour will really make an impact in your room. Outside, it’s highly likely that the weather will be drab, having a dulling effect on much of your home. Counteract that by really going bold with your decoration. Purples and reds are great, as they help to add a splash of vibrancy to an area. Whilst it might be a bit much to  decorate an entire room in such a colour, implementing it on a feature wall, or through some new accessory additions could be a winner.

Blues

Around the home, blue is always a popular shade. If you’re wanting to keep it bold, then opting for a vibrant and striking shade will work well, and as blue is more of a staple home colour, it can be utilised more lavishly without fear of being overpowering. Whilst living areas often go for a more neutral colour, blue can again be utilised as a feature wall. If you don’t fancy making that statement in one of your key rooms, then start off by introducing it in a room of a more creative ilk. Blues often go well in the bathroom, and can definitely often be found in the kitchen.

Autumnal

If you fancy incorporating elements of the season into your room, now is the time to add shades of green to your home. Whilst you’re unlikely to want to bring brown indoors, shades of green are very well matched with the base colours of cream, beige and caramel you expect to see in most homes. Whether your preference is a more vibrant emerald, or something that brings an earthier tone, such as a pine green or teal, green works well, especially through autumn and leading up to the festive period.

Monochrome

If you just want to go back to basics, contrasting black and white is an intense but simple combination of colours that, when utilised correctly, can give off a truly elegant feel. Sometimes, it can be tough to get right, and incorporating an abundence of zebra-esque stripes might not be ideal for the feel of a room, but a good contrast, be it through gleaming white walls with black accessories, or a similar juxtaposition from floor to walls, can make for an inspired colour scheme. For some of the best black and white options, check out these tips from interior designers.

 

We’d love to hear your thoughts on autumn decorating! If you’ve given one of your rooms a referb, let us know what style you went for in the comments section below.

 

Photo credit: Free to use & share image from flyreview.com

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Autumn additions on a budget

Autumn additions on a budget

With the summer now over, and the dark autumn nights drawing in, it’s the perfect time to cosy up in your living room and keep warm. Throughout summer, your home will undoubtedly have taken on an open and airy feel, however as the cold of winter approaches, it’s time to turn up the heating, light the fires and go for comfort, as well as style. If you’re after some great autumn additions for your home, here are our top picks.

Huntingtower Tweed Footstool

Autumn styles are all about getting earthy with your colours. Tweed is always a popular option as the colder months roll in, and whether you’re looking at fashion, or home style, tweed is a great option. If you’re trying to add an element of comfort and cosiness to your living room, this Footstool, available at NotOnTheHighStreet is a great option. Adding extra seating for when you entertain, or easily used as a pouffe, this stylish and smart addition will aid in bringing a closer feel to your home. Adding an element of cosiness is always tough, however by adding this to any unused middle ground in your room, it will help to pull your space together.

Candles

With a lack of warmth and a feeling of darkness, evenings throughout the autumn and winter can bring on a feeling of gloominess. If you’re looking to inject a feeling of warmth and fragrance into the air, candles are a favoured option by many. Play around with colours and scents to turn your place from a dull winter home into one with a truly radiant ambiance. In addition, why not try housing your candles in fun and quirky designs? Lanterns are one popular accessory for the home, and with more creative options than ever, you’ll be able to customise the scent, and look of your home.

Rugs

With colder weather, adding a rug to commonly occupied areas is a smart choice. Areas such as your living room or hallway can sometimes lack character, however to provide a more homely and cosy environment over autumn, incorporating a trendy rug is a great option. When it comes to selecting items, it’s always important to take into account the layout and style of your existing room. A cosy feel throughout autumn and winter is good, however there is a fine line between getting it right, and your room ending up cramped. Make sure your new rug pulls elements of your room together, and isn’t just chosen and thrown down without considering the flow of the space as a whole. Remember, more doesn’t necessarily mean better, especially when it comes to furnishing and accessorising.  

Have you already made a start on your autumn accesorising? We always love to hear your ideas, so make sure you drop us a comment below!

Image credit: CC via Prospect Park Alliance

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Stain removal in your home

Stain removal in your home

When utilised in a room correctly, many rugs add a real depth and, in most cases, can project a feel of expense on a room.  When mud and dirt mingle into a rug, however, in the general wear and tear of everyday life, it can destroy the appearance and texture of the item. A dirty or worn looking rug doesn’t exude an attractive feel, and as a result, cleaning and removing everyday stains is a part of domestic cleaning.

 

Why removing stains from a rug is so important in domestic cleaning

Rugs are like any other product. When they are cleaned and cared for, they will be a real mainstay in your home. When they aren’t, and the everyday wear and tear of home life gets the better of them, their lifespan will significantly shorten. It is virtually impossible for a rug not to come into contact with dirt. The consequence of this is that over time, the dirt will destroy the fibres within the rug. In the worst cases, if the rug is not cleaned, mildew can set in, effectively destroying the product. This is the reason why removing stains from a rug is so important in domestic cleaning, to maintain the feeling of newness and ensure you get maximum lifespan out of your product.

 

Using the right tools to tackle the stain

When it comes to cleaning stains, it’s important to blot the rug before any stains dry. Rubbing a stain as opposed to blotting will only make the stain worse. It is also important to use a dish cloth or a microfibre cloth to tackle the stain in the rug. These types of cloths won’t break up when dampened by water.

 

Removing stains from rugs

There are a variety of different ways to remove stains from a rug. The way to tackle the stain often depends has caused the produce to become marked. One simple starting point is to remove the stain using a mixture of washing up liquid and water.  To do this, simply create a mixture comprising of one teaspoon of washing up liquid, some warm water and a teaspoon of white vinegar. Using a dish cloth, place the mixture onto the rug stain. This mixture is good for removing stains caused by a drinks spillage, such as alcohol and tea.

 

Removing the stain using white vinegar

The process of removing a stain using white vinegar is to try and blot the stain first. After that, place some white vinegar on the stain, before rinsing the stain with warm water. This tip is ideal for spillages such as fruit juices and milk.

 

Dealing with pet stains

If you’re a pet owner, we all know that from time to time, they’re going to create a real mess in your home. Pets aren’t always the cleanest of home inhabitants, so it’s good to get into the practice of cleaning items like your rugs on a schedule.  Whilst everyday dirt can easily be cleaned, from time to time, you might have to deal with larger and tougher stains. With tougher stains, it is probably a better idea to take the rug to a professional cleaner for a thorough once over.

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