Sept. 16, 2016 (Gephardt Daily/Family Features) — Whether the family dog gets his muddy paws on the couch, an ice cream cone melts all over the backyard hammock or a sudden storm soaks your new patio cushions, life is filled with unexpected messes. There’s no time like the present to plan ahead so you’re ready for whatever mess life throws your way.
Here are some simple steps you can take to protect the things you love both indoors and out, so they last well beyond the season:
Clean upholstery: Sofas and chairs are vulnerable to surface stains, so cleaning upholstery on a regular basis is important. Start by vacuuming the furniture to remove as much surface debris as possible. Then use a damp, soapy cloth to gently spot treat the fabric, allowing it to soak in, reaching dirt beneath the surface. Once dry, protect the material with Scotchgard Fabric & Upholstery Protector, which helps repel liquids and stains, preventing future messes.
Remove rug and carpet stains: Whether it’s red wine, tomato sauce or berries, spills and dropped food can create unwanted stains, damaging your rugs and carpet. Tackle these messes as soon as they happen with a quick and easy DIY recipe. First, sprinkle the spot with baking soda, let it sit for 10 minutes and then vacuum. Mix a tablespoon of dish soap, a tablespoon of vinegar and two cups of warm water. Blot with a clean sponge until it disappears.
Clean your curtains: After using your curtains as a barrier between the outdoors and your living space all summer long, they likely collected dust. Most curtains can be steam cleaned, but taking them down and putting them back up again can be a hassle. To limit this, dust or vacuum your curtains every week as part of your cleaning routine. You can also use a lint roller to remove embedded dirt and grime that the vacuum can’t handle.
Waterproof outdoor fabrics: With cooler temperatures coming, winter elements are sure to make landfall in your backyard. Protect your favorite outdoor cushions with the Scotchgard Outdoor Water Shield – moisture and liquids just roll right off.
Protect your footwear: As you break out your suede boots to step out in style this season, keep them looking great by protecting them from salt stains and snow with a water- and oil-repelling leather protector.
Care for your car: From muddy boots to coffee spills, messes often make it to car seats and floor mats when we least expect it. To clean these surfaces, mix 2 tablespoons of dish soap with 2 tablespoons of hot water and baking soda. Use a cleaning brush to lightly work through the stain in a circular motion. Wipe the area with a cloth and let the space air dry. To help prevent future stains, use an auto interior fabric protector.
Find more tips for protecting the things you love at Scotchgard.com.