The 10 biggest lockdown stains (according to Google Trends) and how to remove them

From wine to baking – find out what our Google searches for stain removal tells us about lockdown. And find out how to get rid of those tricky stains.

The past 12 months has seen much of the UK spend more time than ever in their homes and adopt various lifestyle changes. As a result, the likelihood of household stains occurring has increased.

In this article, Heating Wise analyses Google trend data to determine the stains that have seen the biggest rise in searches and presents the homemade concoctions that will lift them.

1) Wine stains – 334.46% uplift

As government guidelines instructed the closure of hospitality, much of the nation opted to drink alcohol in their homes. Google trend data reveals that the past 12 months has seen a 334.46% uplift in the search term wine stain, indicating that much accidently spilt their beverage.

To lift a wine stain from fabric, it is important to act fast. Firstly, blot the stain with a cloth to remove access liquid. Mix 4 tablespoons of washing up liquid with 4 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide (available in all good chemists/pharmacies).

Pour the mixture over the stain and spread the concoction evenly. You will notice that the stain will begin to fade immediately. After three minutes, remove the mixture with a damp cloth. It is essential to note that hydrogen peroxide can act as a bleach. Therefore, only use on lighter fabrics. 

2) Pet stains – 250% uplift

Lockdown saw several households adopt a pet into their homes, so much so that the phrase, ‘pandemic pup’ was coined. Training any pet can be problematic and ‘urine accidents’, are somewhat unavoidable. Therefore, it is no surprise that the search term, pet stainshas collected a 250% rise in searches.

Not only are pet stains stubborn, but it is also crucial that their scent is removed to prevent the animal returning to the same spot and urinating again.

To remove the stain, mix one pint of warm water, a teaspoon of washing up liquid and one tablespoon of white wine vinegar. Continually blot the stain with the mixture, using a warm damp cloth. The practice may need to be repeated several times until the stain is removed.

3) Coffee stains – 494.35% uplift

Working from home led to the UKs workforce saying farewell to the commuter coffee. As a result, coffee is often consumed within our newly makeshift workspaces. coffee stains are a home occupiers’ nightmare as the substance is incredibly pigmented. The occurrence of a coffee stain is highly likely as Google has seen a 494.35% rise in searches.

Dilute white wine vinegar in warm water. Pour a thin layer over the spillage. Take a toothbrush and scrub the stain. This will work to penetrate the stain at an internal level. Lift the stain with a warm damp cloth. If a trace of the stain remains, add more white wine vinegar to the mix.

4) Painting stains – 355.56% uplift

A combination of home schooling, new hobbies and house renovations has seen the nation paint on various surfaces throughout the home. Spillages are highly likely as Google trend data has received a 355.56% rise in searches. It can be a shock to notice spillages/splatters in certain areas however, there is no need to panic. 

Remove any excess liquid from the surface. As hard as it may be, wait for the paint to dry. With a butter knife, scrape the paint away from the surface. As the paint is completely dry, soak with a thin layer of warm water. Scrub the area with a stiff brush. The paint is likely to come off in large chunks, so keep the vacuum cleaner handy.

5) Baking stains – 2,500% uplift

The popularity of baking has sored in lockdown. It is a skill that passes the time, is family friendly and cost effective. Its rise is not without its challenges as it can be a messy hobby and stain everyday kitchen tools!  Baking sheets are multipurpose and their stains can be problematic. This is reflected in google trend data as the term basking stain has seen a 2500% rise in searches.

Firstly, clean the tray by hand with washing up liquid. Dry as normal. Cover the stain with a thin layer of baking soda. Leave for five minutes. Add a couple of teaspoons of water to the baking soda until the powder evolves into a paste.

The paste should be thick in consistency. Leave the paste on the stain for 20 minutes and wash off as normal. Ensure that the sponge has a rough and smooth side as it is likely that you will need to use both.

6) Mud stains – 660% uplift

Long walks have become the norm and can be a great way to obtain some new scenery. Spring forest walks can lift mood and serve as a great way to exercise. However, bringing forth mud stains into the home can be problematic as Google trend data shows, with a 660% rise in searches.

Mud is far easier to clean when dry, so patience is key. Vacuum the area slowly, holding the nozzle in one place 5 seconds at a time. Aggressive vacuuming will lead to rubbing mud into the fabric’s fibre, making it harder to remove.

Once the excess mud has been removed, use warm soapy water to scrub the stain. Keep in mind that lots of water will lead to the mud becoming so wet that it may be harder to remove. Therefore, add a little water over time, as and when it is needed.

7) Sofa stains – 429.24% uplift

Netflix binges, working from home and the casual lockdown nap has seen us use our sofas more than ever. Staining a sofa can be the stuff of nightmares as they can be so evident. Google trend data illustrates 429.24% rise in searches.

A teaspoon of washing up liquid, baking soda and white wine vinegar mixed into half a pint of warm water will not only remove the most stubborn of fabric stains, but ensure that there is no colour loss in the sofa. Gently rub the stain until the stain is removed. Use a hairdryer to dry the area so that the sofa can be used again straight away.

8) Juice stains – 450% uplift

As children and adults spend more time indoors, the likelihood of stubborn stains is high. So high that Google trend data confirms that the search term juice stain has seen a 450% rise. 

 Lemon juice is a natural acidic, making it great for stain removal. Squeeze lemon juice across the stain and leave for 10 minutes. You will begin to see the stain lift instantly. Remove with warm soapy water. 

9) Scuff marks – 660% uplift

Scuff marks can suddenly appear within the home in a matter of seconds. Their removal can be problematic if a simple damp cloth does not work. Google trend data has revealed that within the past 12 months, the term scuff marks has received a 660% rise in searches.

To remove scuff marks, mix a small amount of sodium tetraborate, 1 teaspoon of ammonia and a small amount of washing up liquid together. Using a soft cloth, use the mixture to remove the marks, gradually increasing the pressure.

10) Oil stains – 150% uplift

Oil stains are arguably one of the most stubborn stains to remove. This is reflected in Google trend data as the term oil stain has received a 150% rise. 

Oil stains are in fact fairly easy to remove, you just have to be patient. Remove access liquid with a paper towel. Apply a thick layer of baking soda to the area and leave for 12 hours.

After 12 hours vacuum the baking soda. Apply white wine vinegar and water to the area and leave for 10 minutes. Remove with a warm damp cloth. Repeat the use of white wine vinegar until the stain is removed.

Photo by Annie Spratt