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Removing Christmas stains

Have you had a party and are you trying to clean up stains from a variety of foods and drink in preparation for Christmas Day? Use the quick guide from the professionals at MOLLY MAID to help you with removing common Christmas stains:

Red Wine

Red wine is one of the most common ‘party’ stains, and unfortunately can be one of the most difficult to remove. Before resorting to a professional carpet cleaner, the most effective first step is to blot as much of it up with kitchen towel as possible. Then blot with a little water and apply a solution containing 1 teaspoon of clear or white dishwasher detergent liquid (no bleach) along with 1 cup of warm water. Then blot the carpet one more time with water.

With red wine, the sooner the spill is worked on the better. Once a glass is knocked over on a table cloth for example, immediately try to soak up as much of the spillage as possible with kitchen paper and apply salt, which will absorb the wine. Then wash the table cloth with a stain remover as soon as possible.

White Wine or clear drinks

As with all liquid carpet stains, it is recommended to blot the carpet immediately after any spillage happens. For a white wine stain on carpet, it is recommended to blot the area with water. After that, apply a homemade solution containing 1 teaspoon of a clear or white dishwasher detergent liquid that does not contain bleach combined with 1 cup of warm water. Once you have blotted and applied the solution, blot the spill again with water.

White wines and clear drinks spilled on fabric are some of the easier stains to remove. It is recommended to put any items that can be laundered in the washing machine as soon as possible, or take them to a professional as soon as you can.

Coca cola or any other dark drinks (not red wine)

For treating cola or other dark sticky drinks on carpet or fabrics, use a detergent solution to blot the stain. The solution should contain 1 teaspoon of clear or white dishwasher detergent liquid without bleach mixed with 1 cup of warm water. If this does not remove the stain from the carpet or fabric, it is recommended to use a vinegar solution made up of 1/3 cup of white vinegar and 2/3 cup of water. Continue to blot with warm water. If the stain still doesn’t come out, you may wish to try a special stain removing product with a mild hydrogen peroxide solution in it to blot, but remember to test the product on a small unnoticeable area first.

Cranberry Sauce

Dark red cranberry sauce is a delicious accompaniment to festive food, but can create a nasty Christmas stain! Again, as with most stains, it is important to act as quickly as possible. First, scrape away any sauce or cranberry pieces. It is recommended to then blot with detergent and cold water, and if that doesn’t work after a few tries, apply a stain remover to the underside of the mark to help lift it and leave for 10-15 minutes. Then, wash as normal adding a cap full of stain remover to load.

Candle Wax

Having a candle on a table at a party is always a lovely addition creating festive atmosphere, especially at Christmas, but if wax drips onto a favourite table cloth or carpet, it can soon be a disaster. Firstly, fill a plastic bag with ice and lay it directly onto the area of your carpet or fabric with the wax stain. Let the wax freeze for a few minutes. Remove the plastic bag and begin to scrape the wax off the carpet or fabric using a dull knife. Next, lay either a brown paper bag, grease proof paper or a clean cloth directly over the affected area of your carpet. Using a warm iron, slowly press the iron on top of the paper bag or cloth. You’ll see that the material will start to absorb the wax and lift it off the carpet.

You can repeat the ironing step with a fresh paper or cloth until it comes up.

If it is a coloured candle and the wax has left a coloured stain, try using a  dab of rubbing alcohol on a clean cloth to remove the stain and blot the carpet until it is dry.

Christmas tree sap

All those who opt for a natural Christmas tree may find that their trees will leak out a little sticky sap, which is a difficult stain to remove – a true Christmas stain! It is recommended for both carpet and upholstery or fabric to blot sap with isopropyl rubbing alcohol. The isopropyl alcohol should be used until the sap is dissolved. Once dissolved, sap should be blotted with a solution containing 1 teaspoon of a clear or white dishwasher liquid detergent (no bleach) combined with 1 cup of warm water. Once the stain has come up, you can then blot the stain with clean water until it is gone and dry it with a white cloth or thin towel.

Good luck!