Tricky Thursday : : Post-holiday Stain Removal Guide

“What a lovely party!”

The holiday season can indeed be jolly and merry. Especially for the entertaining queens, this time of the year is best to host hearty parties for friends and family. With little tots running around and the klutz of the family waltzing around with a cocktail in one hand and an munch in the other, spills are inevitable. The secret is, treat the stain instantly or blot with clean, dry cloth, then cover with a damp cloth to await treatment.

Martha Stewart has a perfect handbook for common holiday stains:

How to Get Rid of Red Wine Stains

For washable fabrics: On delicate cloth, soak spot with denatured alcohol. Flush with white vinegar to remove residual stain. On sturdy fabrics, coat stain with salt; leave for five minutes to absorb wine. Stretch stained area over heat-proof bowl; secure with rubber band. Place in sink; carefully pour boiling water over stain from a height of at least a foot.

For nonwashable fabrics: Dab spot with denatured alcohol. To remove remaining color, dab with white vinegar, and then dab with cool water to rinse.

How to Get Rid of White Wine Stains

For washable fabrics: Flush with cool water.

For nonwashable fabrics: Dab with cool water. Point out spots to dry cleaner, since any wine sugars that remain can caramelize when dry-cleaned.

How to Get Rid of Cranberry-Sauce and Other Berry-Sauce Stains

For washable fabrics: Dab with denatured alcohol. Flush with white vinegar to remove remaining color, then dab with dish detergent to remove residue.

For nonwashable fabrics: Treat as you would washables, but use water sparingly. Even if stain can’t be seen, mark with low-tack tape, and point it out to dry cleaner, since any sugars that remain can caramelize when dry-cleaned.

How to Get Rid of Gravy Stains

For washable fabrics: Use a combination solvent for the grease, then flush with white vinegar until color is gone.

For nonwashable fabrics: Use an oil solvent for the grease, then dab remaining stain with white vinegar until it disappears. Dab with cool water.

How to Get Rid of Grease Stains, Including Butter

Treat the stain ASAP. If impossible, blot with clean, dry cloth, and cover with a weighted dry cloth to await treatment.

For washable fabrics: Cover with an absorbent to draw out stain. Dab with a combination solvent, and flush thoroughly with water. If necessary, follow by flushing with mineral spirits or oil solvent.

For nonwashable fabrics: Dab with an oil solvent, then flush thoroughly with water. Follow with a flush of mineral spirits or denatured alcohol if necessary.

How to Get Rid of Sap Stains

Sap stains can be treated right away or when it has hardened.

For washable fabrics: Dab with mineral spirits or oil solvent; let air dry. Rub with laundry detergent before laundering.

For nonwashable fabrics: Dab with mineral spirits or oil solvent; let air dry. Rub gently with laundry detergent, then flush gently with water to rinse.

How to Get Rid of Tea Stains

For washable fabrics: Flush spot with lemon juice to remove color, then diluted bleach if necessary. If tea contains sugar, follow up with flush of water; if it contains milk, follow up with combination solvent.

For nonwashable fabrics: Dab with lemon juice to remove. If tea contains sugar, follow up by flushing with water. If it contains milk, follow up with an oil solvent.

How to Get Rid of Wax Stains

Wax stains can be treated right away or when hardened.

For washable and nonwashable fabrics: Let the wax harden, or freeze it by running an ice cube over it. Scrape off as much as possible. Iron on low setting with several layers of paper towels placed over and beneath the stain. Use an oil solvent or mineral spirits to remove any residue.

How to Get Rid of Coffee Stains

For washable fabrics: Flush spot with white vinegar until color is gone. If coffee contains sugar, follow up by flushing with water; if it contains milk, follow up with combination solvent.

For nonwashable fabrics: Dab with white vinegar till color is gone. If coffee contains sugar, follow up by flushing with water; if it contains milk, follow up with an oil solvent. Dab with water to rinse thoroughly.

How to Get Rid of Chocolate Stains

For washable fabrics: Start with a combination solvent for grease. Rinse thoroughly. If the stain remains, follow up with a digestant for protein.

For nonwashable fabrics: Start with an oil solvent for grease; rinse gently. Dab remaining stain with vinegar until gone. Dab with cool water.

Source: Martha Stewart Entertaining

There’s even a print version available here for you to stick on your fridge. Happy cleaning!

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