The holiday season is stain season – food stains, wax candle stains, tracked-in slush stains, and all the stains that come with increased entertaining. Home care experts have come up with some tips on how to remove holiday stains:
• For that white ring that a glass leaves on a wooden table top, apply baby oil to a cloth and wipe, or coat with petroleum jelly and let it sit over night. If neither of these methods removes the stain, mix cigarette ashes with olive oil and rub gently into the ring.
• Gravy stain? If the material is washable, soak in cold water to dissolve the starch. Then wash. If the spot remains after laundering, sponge with cleaning fluid. If the gravy stain occurs while dining out, sponge with cool water immediately. Back home, sponge again with cleaning fluid.
• To remove coffee and cola stains on pale shades of carpet, blot immediately with a terry-cloth towel. Then run an ice cube over the spot.
• To remove stains in the rug caused by the Christmas tree stand, hold a steam iron about an inch over the spot and brush the pile as it steams. Vacuum to restore the original grain.
• Cookies, cake and ice cream served during the holiday season can mean sticky stains on carpets and sofas. Sponge these stains with cool water. If a greasy stain remains, sponge with grease solvent. Let it dry and repeat if necessary. Vacuum the residue.
• If dirty slush or snow gets on the carpet, sweep off excess and allow to dry. Use a shag rake to stand pile up the wrong way for vacuuming. Then use the rake to smooth the pile the opposite way so it has a grainy appearance.
• To remove candle stains on a tablecloth, place a blotter over the waxed area and press with a warm iron. If a blotter isn’t available, substitute with a facial tissue folded into four thicknesses. If a mark persists, dab with turpentine and launder.
• If Christmas cheer causes someone to spill red wine on the tablecloth, sprinkle a generous amount of salt on it. After the meal, soak the cloth in cold water and rub the stain out before washing.