Stain Removal: An After-Party Guide
The holidays are upon us, and that usually means a house full of guests and house full of mess! If you woke up this morning with red wine stains on your brand new, white Karastan carpet, you’re in luck. We’ve compiled the ultimate guide to getting rid of common party stains below. But cheer up, if none of these work you could always redecorate…
Oh red wine stains, you are the bane of all interiors! The number one thing to remember with this type of stain is to catch it early, keep it wet, and keep it cold. Whatever you do, DO NOT use a blow drier to remove the stain as this will permanently adhere the red wine to your fabric.
- Blot (don’t wipe) as much as you can with a dry paper towel or rag
- Pour cold water over the stain to dilute the color. This is especially effective if the stain has dried a bit, since a wet stain can be more easily absorbed
- Apply a paste of 1 part baking soda and 3 parts water to the stain and let it sit until dry.
- Once dry, vacuum out the rest of the stain
Another popular solution is a mixture of 1 tablespoon dishwashing liquid, 1 tablespoon of white vinegar, and 2 cups of warm (not hot) water.
If you have kids over, you can bet there’s going to be several chocolate stains somewhere in your home. The key here is to scrape as much of it off as possible, aka “dry cleaning.”
- Remove all large chocolate chunks by delicately scraping it away with a fork or spoon
- Mix 1 tablespoon of liquid dish soap with 2 cups of cold water and apply to a clean cloth
- Slowly remove the chocolate stain with the cloth starting from the outer edge
- Once the stain has been removed or at least lightened, rinse with a clean, damp cloth
- Blot with a dry towel and let it sit to dry completely
- Spritz a dry-cleaning solvent (like Dryel) onto what’s left of the stain, let it sit and then blot again with a clean towel until the stain disappears
Ah coffee, the chocolate stain of adults. This one is simple, but could require a few repeats depending on how deep the spill or fabric type. If your stain is on a table, wipe as fast as possible and apply distilled white vinegar, then polish or wax to seal. For fabric, unlike with previous stains, hot-water can often be your friend to help left the coffee out of your fabric.
- Blot any excess coffee with a dry cloth
- Spray a basic stain remover (like OxiClean or Resolve) onto the stained area
- Blot paper towels clean and and lift out the stain
if you don’t have a commercial stain removing spray, you can also try mixing a solution of equal parts hot water and rubbing alcohol and blot with paper towels or a sponge.
Unlike red wine, the bubbles in beer (or champagne) actually make for easier removal. Generally the darker the beer, the harder it is to get out.
- Mix a solution of 2 cups warm water, 2 tablespoons of dishwashing detergent, and 1 tablespoon of white vinegar
- Apply the solution to the stain and use a dry cloth to blot away
- Repeat frequently until stain disappears
Sauce, Gravy & Oil
We’ve saved the trickiest for last. Oil stains from gravy, sauce, or salad dressing are perhaps the most difficult stain to remove because they often go unnoticed until the grease has has time to set. Though it sounds insane, it can often help to “re-grease” the stain so it can ultimately be lifted away.
- Spray the stain with a few spritzes from a can of WD-40 to “re-grease” your stain and let it soak in
- Pour baking soda all over the effected area, using a toothbrush to carefully scrub it in. You’ll start to notice the baking soda becoming chunky as it absorbs the oil. Repeat this step as necessary
- Wipe off any excess baking soda and pour a solution of warm water and 1 tablespoon of dishwashing solution onto the area.
- Use a dry cloth to dry up the solution and pick up the rest of the stain
Good luck with all your stains, folks!