The holidays are here and with good food and drinks flowing freely, stains and spills are (unfortunately) inevitable. Before you let those pesky holiday spills ruin your cheer, check out our cleaning guide to learn how to treat gravy messes, berry pie disasters, and every stain in between.
Grease: Sprinkle with salt to soak up any excess grease. Spot-treat with a dishwashing detergent and rinse on the hottest setting possible.
Cranberry Sauce: Pour boiling water over the stain. Make sure the fabric is stretched taut. Spot-treat the stain with white vinegar or club soda. Launder.
Coffee: Spot-treat the stain with a mild dishwashing detergent, working it in, and rinsing repeatedly.
Red Wine: Treat a wine stain as soon as you can for best results. For clothing, pour club soda or hot water over the stain repeatedly. Let a thick layer of salt dry over the stain, then brush it off. If the stain is dry, saturate with white wine, then apply salt layer to dry. Pretreat the stain with a laundry stain remover. Launder.
Salad Dressing: All salad dressing stains are oil-based and are treated a bit differently than protein-fat gravy stains. Remove the excess dressing. Remember, blot without rubbing. Pre-treat the spot with stain remover. Add baking soda to the stain for extra oil absorption. Sprinkling baking soda over your pre-treatment will help draw out additional oil. Launder.
Butter: Butter stains require quick action. Skip the initial rinse— the butter will not react to water. Instead, immediately spot treat with liquid dish soap. Rinse and release butter from the fabric by running it under cold water. Pre-treat with a stain-lifting spray and wash.
Berry Pie: Lift solids from fabric and run under cold water. Wash garment on hottest setting using a laundry detergent that contains enzymes. Enzymes can help to lift and break up stains.
Pumpkin Pie: Remove any excess pumpkin pulp, and run the fabric, inside out, under the cold water. Spot-treat the stain with a laundry stain remover. Launder.
Candle Wax: If the wax is still soft, freeze to harden it, and then scrape off excess wax. Place stain between clean paper towels and press with a warm iron to transfer the wax to the paper towels. Replace the paper towels frequently to absorb more wax and prevent transferring the stain to other places on the fabric. Pre-treat the stain with a stain remover. Launder. Bleach can be used if color persists.
Lipstick: Blot with acetone-based nail-polish remover. Then try pre-treating with Oxi-Smart Stain Removing Spray. If that doesn’t work, try a detergent solution of 1 teaspoon of a mild clear dishwashing liquid in 1 cup of warm water, then rinse.
For carpets or rugs: soak up any excess liquid immediately; dilute the stain with water, then pat and absorb as much of the stain as is removable. Spot-treat with limited dishwashing liquid, then rinse and blot the stain repeatedly.