This week's quick tip comes courtesy of my fabulous sister-in-law.  She shared a solution to a common problem and I couldn't believe what I was hearing.  So, I had to try it myself, and share this cool little gem of a tip with all of you.

Stains.  Always a word with a negative feeling.  And although a ring is a positive sign of eternal love in marriage, an eternal ring on a piece of furniture or counter-top doesn't emote the same level of happiness.

Last week, my sister-in-law and I were chatting about kitchen counter-top options (as we are in the process of selecting ours for our kitchen renovation), and were discussing the pros and cons of each type.  We talked about how overall, our laminate counters held up fairly well over the years of our abuse; we really only had issues with seams, the color/finish that was selected and a few areas where we made the poor choice to skip a cutting board.  She then proceeded to tell me that one thing she appreciates about laminate, is that if they happen to be stained with a ring of red juice or wine, hand sanitizer magically will take the stains away.  Hold the phone.  What did she just say?  Hand sanitizer + red stain = no more stain?  I had to see it to believe it.

I thought about staining my own white laundry room counter top just for the thrill of the experiment, but we all know how silly that sounds.  Then, this afternoon, I spotted a stain that happened on a piece of our furniture back in December.  I had filled a vase with flowers and water and the bottom of the vase was wet enough that it left an awful ring of discoloration on our white furniture top.  I scrubbed, I cried, I scrubbed some more. Gah, so disappointing and sad!  Nothing seemed to work.

When I spotted the stain, I recalled last week's conversation and I started wondering if it was worth testing out the hand sanitizer trick.  Although it is not a laminate counter, it does have a laminate-like finish.  I dabbed some sanitizer in a location of the furniture that was not visible to test things out, letting it sit for about 30 minutes.  The furniture held up to the test with no signs of wear, so I decided to go big or go home.

I applied a generous amount of sanitizer around the ring of the stain.  I then let it sit for 15 minutes.

After my timer went off, I used a soft microfiber cloth to wipe up the sanitizer.  I was surprised to see how about half of the stain was gone!

I tried to scrub a bit, it helped a little but I concluded it wasn't really about the scrubbing action.  I think it was more about the sanitizer just pulling the stain up and out of the furniture.

So, I applied again, for another 15 minutes.

Patience is key.  I did this three times, but in the end, the stain was completely GONE!

So, if you have a stain that you have been frustrated with, I say, give it a whirl.  Do a little research ahead of time, my guess is that there are some surfaces you definitely would not want to try this on, such as solid wood (the key ingredients in hand sanitizer are water and isopropyl alcohol), and always test a small area first.  If you do try it and it works, be prepared to CELEBRATE

Looking for more quick tips?  Check out the entire series here!