What a great party you’re having. Everyone seems to be having a great time…when suddenly—a spill! But before you get your reindeer panties in a bunch, prep yourself on these three common holiday stains and how to clean them.
The Basic Stain Treatment
First off, make your own stain pre-treater and keep it on hand throughout the season:
- Mix 1 part dish soap to 2 parts hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle. (Alternately, keep an oxygen bleach powder in the house.
- If a stain doesn’t come out with the first method, soak the garment in a mixture of this powder and water up to overnight, and that stain will definitely be gone (Be sure to read the care labels and test fabric first).
- When we were making this video, the wine stain didn’t entirely come out at first, so we soaked the shirt in an oxygen bleach powder solution and re-washed it. It came out whiter and brighter than ever!
First things first. Rinse the stain with cold water—hot will cause the stain to embed itself deeper into the fabric, which is exactly what you don’t want. Next, mix about a tablespoon of white vinegar with 1/2 teaspoon of liquid laundry detergent and add some cold water; let the garment soak for 15 minutes. Rinse with water and launder (using cold water of course!).
Mix a tablespoon of white vinegar with 2/3 cup rubbing alcohol. Sponge the solution onto the stain, then blot dry with a clean white cloth until the liquid is absorbed. Keep repeating the process until the stain disappears. Once it’s gone, use a clean cloth to dab it with cold water, and blot until it’s dry.
Mix 1 tablespoon dishwashing soap with 2 cups of cold water. Using a clean white cloth, dab the stain with the mixture, then blot until the liquid is absorbed. Keep at it until the stain disappears or is no longer absorbed into the cloth. Take a clean cloth and dab the spot with cold water, then blot dry. If you still have cranberry sauce remnants, try an enzyme pretreater, like Oxiclean or Pink Solution, on the affected area. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and test it on a small area before using it.
First stop on the gravy train? Your new linen pants! Here are the three best tips for removing gravy from your clothes, upholstery, and carpet.
Remove any excess gravy as best you can with a blunt, flat surface, like the back of a butter knife. Pre-treat the affected area with the stain remover or an enzyme pre-treater, like Oxiclean. Launder using cold water.
Scrape off as much excess gravy as you can. Sprinkle baking soda or cornstarch on the stain and let stand for 15 minutes. Vacuum it up, using the fabric brush attachment. Using a clean white cloth, dab the stain with a dry-cleaning solvent. Blot until the solvent is absorbed. Keep moistening and blotting until the stain disappears.
Use the same technique as you did with cleaning upholstery, blotting until the stain is removed or no longer absorbs into your cloth. If the stain just won’t go away, mix a tablespoon of dish soap and a tablespoon of vinegar into 2 cups of warm water. Sponge the stain with this solution. Continue to blot until the liquid is absorbed. Finish by dabbing with cold water, then blot dry to remove any remaining solution.
Red, red wine—on your white tablecloth? Have no fear! We’ve got a solution for that.
Blot up the excess wine immediately with a paper towel, then sprinkle salt on the spot to stop it from setting. Pour club soda onto the stain to lift the red wine out, then dab away as much as possible with a clean, white cloth. Spray with a pre-treater. Launder according to the label instructions.
Start by blotting as much of it up as possible. Mix 1 tablespoon dish soap with 2 cups cold water. With a clean white cloth, dab on the stain, then blot until the stain disappears. Once gone, use a clean cloth to dab with cold water, and blot until it’s dry.
Unlike with red wine on upholstery, after blotting up as much as you can, either use plain water or a mix of 1 tablespoon dish soap and 1 tablespoon vinegar in 2 cups of warm water. Using a clean white cloth, dab the stain with the solution, then blot frequently with a clean, dry cloth until the stain disappears. If you used dish soap with vinegar, sponge the area afterward with cold water, and blot dry.
So now you’re armed with knowledge. Go forth and party—and tackle stains with confidence!