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How to Remove Holiday Stains


The holidays are here once again and that means lots of company and stains! Every year you throw your annual holiday party and at the end of the night you discover someone has accidentally spilled some wine or coffee on the carpet and there’s an unidentified grease stain on your favorite tablecloth. Before you decide to pack up your party gear and swear off soirées, I have a few tips that might help.

carpet stain

How to Treat Butter and Grease Stains

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.

How to Treat Coffee Stains

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, white 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. Launder washable items as usual.

How to Treat Red Wine Stains

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.

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.

Remove Burnt Food from Pots and Pans

Lots of holiday cooking means lots of pots and pans to clean. Create a grease and grime fighting scrub by combining cream of tartar, salt and baking soda. Simply sprinkle on pots and pans and scrub with a damp sponge. Add in some  lemon juice to make a paste and apply to those stubborn spots of burnt food. Let sit for several minutes then wash as usual. Repeat as necessary.

How to Remove Water Marks from Wood

Mayonnaise is often the cause of household stains but in this instance it actually can remove water marks from wood. Simply spread two tablespoons of mayonnaise on a paper towel and cover the stain for approximately 15 minutes. If the the stain doesn’t go away at first, repeat the process but this time, add  some ashes (like wood ashes) to the mayonnaise and reapply. This should do the trick.

Let us get your home ready for the holidays and give it a Non-Toxic Green Clean. Call Teresa's Family Cleaning for an estimate today!


  1. Ugh, the dreaded red wine stain. No matter how much I hand out coasters and napkins, somehow it always happens. Thanks so much for sharing these tips.

  2. Oh wow I hadn’t heard the one about the wood stains & mayo – good one. What is the ratio for the cream of tartar scrub? Is it just 1:1:1? Sounds like another one I need!

  3. I’ll have to try your tips for coffee stains. Not sure how we always end up with coffee stains around our house. Oh wait, yes I know… my husband and his coffee obsession! 😉

  4. These are great! I always splatter myself with grease, and I really need to learn how to not burn foods. In the meantime, I’ll use your tricks to get my pans clean. 🙂

  5. THis is just what I needed as I just got butter and gunk on my shirt tonight and I thought I was doomed with the grease stain. Thank you so much for sharing and I am bookmarking this page. Thank you!!!

  6. I have a pinkish looking stain on a carpet. No one in the house knows what it is {or they aren’t ‘fessing up}, but we have tried using baking soda, Shaw Carpet Cleaner and a few other things to get it out to no avail. Any advice?

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