The holidays bring so much wonderful food and drink…all of which can be spilled, splatted, dropped and oops-ed. Knowing how to remove stains needs to be part of your Holiday Survival Guide.
The cardinal rule of stain removal is that the sooner that you can get to a stain, the better the chance that you can fully remove it. Therefore, knowing what household items will remove which kind of stain will make you the hero of the day.
I saved the day for a young bride when my daughter noticed a huge red wine stain running down the length of her wedding dress. I quickly took her to the kitchen where some paper towels and carbonated water took the stain right out of her dress. Talk about quick work!
Here are five staining problems (with their solutions) that you might run into over the holidays. As with any stain removal, test in an inconspicuous spot first.
- Hot chocolate on carpet – Mix 1 tablespoon of liquid hand soap with two cups warm water. Sponge on the stain. Blot with paper towel to remove liquid. Repeat. If still stain, use ammonia and water same portions as above.
- Candle wax on garment – Freeze the wax by putting the garment in the freezer or putting ice cubes on the spill. Scrape off the frozen wax. Next put a paper bag on the top and bottom of the stain and iron (low heat) the bag. The wax should soak into the paper bag. Move bag and continue til no more wax transfers. Now wash as normal.
- Fruit stains on fabric – Stretch fabric over a pot in the sink. Pour boiling water onto the stain from a height of 1 to 2 feet.
- Ketchup stains on shirt – Pour full strength Mr. Clean on the stain. Let sit for 30 minutes. Rinse. If still there, repeat. Wash as usual.
- Spinach on fabric (not wool) – First, sponge area with rubbing alcohol. Rinse well. Now rub area with a baking soda and water paste (3 units baking soda to 1 unit water). Wait 5 minutes. Rinse. Repeat if not gone. If still stained, use spot remover laundry stick and wash. Do NOT put in dryer until stain is gone or the stain will set forever.
If you are looking for more information about stains, check out what the Smithsonian Museum Conservation Institute has to say about stains. I recently compiled a list of secret uses for baking soda, ammonica, salt, and tin foil. Yazmin has a handy list of 31 secret uses for vinegar.
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