They came, they ate, they STAINED! Now what?

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The stains of the holiday

It happens every year. Weeks of planning, shopping, cooking and cleaning to create the perfect holiday. We all do it to to create wonderful memories with family and friends and sometimes we get more than we bargained for…like stains! Eek! The good new is, if you are prepared to deal with the most common stains before they happen, chances are, you wont have an unwanted memory left behind after the party is over. For even less stress, make sure you check out our amazing deal at the end of this post to help you get through all the holidays!

When you have a large amount of people in your home (or even a few people) it is bound to happen. A spilled glass of red wine on the carpet, food stains on your linen table cloth or coffee on your couch. Now before you run out to Home Depot to cover your entire home in drop cloths, check out the tips below and learn how you can easily clean up* these common stains when they happen and still enjoy  your get together!

Butter/Grease
  • If a pat of butter happens to find its way out of the dish and on to your table cloth or your shirt, simply sprinkle some salt, cornstarch or artificial sweetener on to the spot immediately to sop up the stain and prevent setting. Before tossing in the laundry, pretreat the spot with a dab of green laundry detergent and launder as usual. If possible, apply a dab of dye-free, non-toxic hand dishwashing liquid to the stain and gently work in. Rinse with white vinegar and repeat until the stain is removed. Launder as usual.
  • Grease stains on your carpet or sofa* can be treated using the same detergent based solution as seen under “Red Wine” If you are unable to treat the stain right away, prevent the stain from setting by sprinkling salt, cornstarch or artificial sweetener on to the spot immediately.

Coffee

  • If you find yourself with a black coffee spill on your sofa, try blotting the stain with a clean, white cloth dipped in a solution of 1 tablespoon dye-free, non-toxic hand dishwashing liquid combined with 2 cups cool water. Blot with a dry cloth and repeat until stain is removed. If your sofa is made of a delicate material like silk, or if there was milk in the coffee,  it is best to leave the stain alone and consult a upholstery  professional before treating.
  • For most coffee stains on linens and carpet gently blot the stain with a clean, white cloth, removing as much of the stain as possible. Apply a solution of  1/3 cup of white vinegar combined with 2/3 cup warm water to a clean white cloth. Gently blot the stain with solution, then with a clean, dry, white cloth. If you do not have vinegar on hand you can use 1/4 teaspoon of dye-free, non-toxic hand dishwashing liquid mixed with 1 quart warm water instead. Repeat until stain is removed. Once the stain from the carpet is completely removed, rinse well with a clean, damp cloth (do not saturate) and blot dry. To help the drying process, take a stack of white paper towels, or a white towel and place on the area you just cleaned. Add something heavy like a stack of books and leave overnight to allow the towels to pull out any remaining moisture left behind. Leave overnight. In the morning, remove the towels and fluff the carpet to finish drying. Launder washable items as usual.
Red Wine
  • No matter what the stain is, the quicker you get to it, the better. This is especially important when dealing with a red wine stain. As soon as you notice the stain, blot (do not rub!!) immediately with a white cloth, using a fresh part of the cloth each time you blot. When you have absorbed all the liquid, spritz some cold, plain water on the stained area (do not saturate) to dilute and blot thoroughly again. To treat the stain, make a 3:1 baking soda and water paste and gently apply directly to the stain. Allow to dry, then vacuum.
  • Another method to try after blotting and diluting the stained area is to mix a solution of 1 tablespoon dye-free, non-toxic hand dishwashing liquid, 1 tablespoon white vinegar, and 2 cups warm water. Dampen a white cloth with this solution and apply directly to the stain, one small area at a time. Blot as you go along using a separate dry cloth. Once the stain is completely removed, rinse well with a clean, damp cloth (do not saturate) and blot dry. To help the drying process, take a stack of white paper towels, or a white towel and place on the area you just cleaned. Add something heavy like a stack of books and leave overnight to allow the towels to pull out any remaining moisture left behind. Leave overnight. In the morning, remove the towels and fluff the carpet to finish drying.
  • Treat red wine on light colored clothing by first blotting up as much liquid as possible with a clean white cloth, then spraying area with 3% hydrogen peroxide* followed by a generous amount baking soda. Leave on for 2-3 minutes then rinse with water (launder as usual if washable)
  • If  you are unable to treat the stain immediately, pour some white wine, club soda or salt on the stain to neutralize the purple pigments and prevent the stain from setting before you can treat it.
  • If the stain has set or if these methods have not worked, consider calling a carpet professional before running to the store for a conventional carpet cleaning spray or foam. These products are general cleaners and contain toxic chemicals and because they are not always stain-specific, by using them, you always run the risk of permanently setting the stain so always take that into consideration before using.
No matter what spills, spatters or flops down during your holiday gathering, always remember to treat the stain as soon as possible, blot, don’t rub and always check with the manufacturer for cleaning instructions when in doubt. *When using any cleaning method or product, always test in an inconspicuous area first before treating entire area, especially when using hydrogen peroxide which has a mild bleaching effect. When in doubt, consult manufacturer’s instructions.
Now that you are all prepared for the big meal (and the big clean up), are you ready for your Black Friday shopping plans? To help keep the stress of scrubbing, dusting and household chores away and to keep you in the holiday spirit we are offering our amazing, once-a-year Black Friday Sale available for purchase only on 11/23/12! Make sure you take advantage of our lowest rates of the year and save the after-holiday-mess for us…we really don’t mind!


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