Effective stain removal guide for holiday spills

The hoildays are upon us so let the merriment begin. Along with the celebrations comes the cooking, baking, and eating with friends and family. Inevitably comes the spills and clean up that follow. I will share a simple stain removal guide to help with the party faux pas that commonly occur.

Table of contents:

  1. What spills commonly occur
    1. Gravy
    2. Wine
    3. Jello/fruit juices
  2. How to treat them immediately without going to too much trouble
    1. Baking soda
    2. Table salt
    3. Warm water and dish soap

You know the scenario, you can see it coming from across the table, the inevitable drip from the gravy boat right onto your holiday tablecloth. If you are anything like me, my mind immediately goes to how in the world am I going to get that out? The main culprit to the stain is the grease that gets left behind after the initial drip is wiped up.

Now to deal with the tough stain. This easy to follow stain removal guide will save the day.

If you have table salt on hand, simply sprinkle a generous amount onto the affected area and let it sit while you enjoy dessert. The salt will “draw up” the oil from the gravy. Allow the salt to soak in for about 10 minutes, brush off excess salt, and all you will need to do is spray some laundry pre spotter on the spot before laundering as normal.

Wine is another common stain around the holidays. These types of spills can occur not only at the dining table but also a side table, or the carpet too. Treatment of wine stains is most effective if you can treat the spot right away. The tannins in the wine respond very well to citrus based cleaners.

If you do not have any on hand, you can use straight lemon juice, but be careful, it is known to remove color from fabrics and textiles if it is too concentrated. If this is your only option, test a small area before treating the entire area. I use a homemade citrus based essential oil (citrus sinensis) mixed with a little water and sodium tetraborate that is quite effective.

Test a small area with an old toothbrush using a tapping motion to lift the wine out of a tablecloth or carpet. Use a tepid/cold water to rinse the area when finished. Repeat the process if necessary depending on the size and amount of wine spilled. If the wine is spilled on a carpet, baking soda can be sprinkled on the area to absorb the wine while you locate your citrus cleaner.

Much like wine stains, fruit juices are another tricky, but common spill. They can be in festive holiday drinks, in the jello on the dinner table, or other yummy treats. But unlike wine, these stains contain mostly food coloring and not tannins and should not be treated the same.

Food coloring stains are tricky and rarely come out, but there are some treatments you can use to hopefully stop it from ruining a favorite table covering if caught soon enough. To the rescue is good old baking soda. We know that some stains just can’t be treated right away, but a sprinkle of baking soda on the affected area is one way to draw up the food dye while the party continues and can wait until later for further attention from you.

Simply sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda on the spot and walk away. You will come back to find that the baking soda has absorbed a good portion of the stain. You will need to follow up with some mild dish soap, cold water and gently moisten the area and tap with a toothbrush to lift the remaining stain out. Wash and dry as normal.

This quick stain removal guide is the answer to some common fumbles around the holiday season with quick fool proof solutions. Happy Holidays!!