How to Eliminate Holiday Stains Like a Pro

It’s bound to happen—you’re handling a thousand things at once, with a big bowl of mashed potatoes cradled under your right arm, and a glass of wine half full with merlot in your left hand; before you can even reach the table, the dog sprints under your legs with a toy in his mouth. You lose your balance. Out tumbles the potatoes onto the floor, and the wine spills nimbly onto the carpet. What are you going to do? Clean it like a pro.

Easy Techniques for Defeating Difficult Stains

There’s no need to cry over spilled milk, or spilled wine, or spilled gravy, or spilled anything, any longer. These stains can be a real ache to get out, but they’re not impossible, and it doesn’t have to be difficult.

Many cleaning products are made up of ingredients that can be hazardous, like ammonia or sodium hydroxide, but tough stains can be conquered with non-toxic remedies, too.

White vinegar is a super product that can help to take out problematic stains. Depending on the type of stain, use a bit of white vinegar, and it can go a long way.

Red Wine Stains on Carpets

  • Use paper towels to absorb as much of the wine as you can.

  • Use a blotting approach. Don’t rub, because it will rub the stain into the carpet.

  • Mix together one tablespoon of liquid dishwashing soap, one tablespoon of white vinegar, and two cups of warm water.

  • Purposing a little bit of the solution at a time, use dry paper towels and continue with the blotting method until the stain lessens or disappears.

Coffee Stains on Clothing

  • Soak up the stain with napkins or paper towels.

  • Mix together ⅓ cup of white vinegar with a ⅔ cup of water.

  • Drench the stain with the solution.

  • Allow the clothing to dry.

  • Launder the clothing as you usually would.

Gravy Stains on Carpets

  • If there is extra gravy on the carpet, wipe it away with paper towels. But be careful not to rub it in.

  • Put baking soda on the stain and let it sit for 15 minutes.

  • Vacuum the stain and baking soda away.

  • Mix together one tablespoon of liquid dish soap, one tablespoon of white vinegar, and two cups of warm water. Pour a little bit of the solution onto the stain, and blot until the solution is absorbed. Repeat this step until the stain lessens or disappears.

  • Pour a little bit of cold water onto the stain and continue with the blotting method to remove the excess solution.

Blueberry Stains on Upholstery

  • Mix ⅔ cup of rubbing alcohol, (be careful: it’s not non-toxic), with one tablespoon of white vinegar.

  • Use paper towels to blot the stain with the solution.

  • Repeat this step until the stain lessens or disappears.

  • Use a little bit of cold water to wash away the solution.

  • Blot dry with paper towels or a clean, white cloth.

What About the Toughest Stains?

White vinegar is a great remedy to use on stains to lessen the intensity of them or to get them out completely. But for really intense stains, or for old stains that haven’t been treated, sometimes the best bet is to call an actual professional.

If there is a stain, the best thing you can do is to treat it immediately—and in this case, white vinegar is great. Also remember to blot at the stain, don’t rub it in.

Don’t let the fear of stains stop you from trying out some new recipes.

Are there cleaning solutions that you swear by? What do you like to use to tackle tough stains? Do you have an embarrassing story about spilling something at dinner? Go ahead and share a comment, or ask us your questions. We always love to hear from you.

Sources: Good Housekeeping, The Balance