Christmas is a time when food and drink run amuck in the average home. It is therefore inevitable that the festive season will leave a few unwanted memories to deal with in January. Stains on carpets and upholstery are just part and parcel of yuletide merriment in the home — but they don’t have to last into the New Year when you know how to deal with them.
Cranberry sauce might just end up on your carpets, table linen and upholstered furniture this Christmas. Thankfully, this is one of the most forgiving stains you will need to deal with during the festive season.
Clean up cranberry stains by removing any excess first, and then blotting the area with a little white vinegar. Finish by blotting the affected area with a solution of warm water and dishwashing detergent. Leave to air dry in a ventilated room to avoid any nasty smells.
If you’re using real candles in your home this Christmas, you’ll need to stay vigilant when it comes to melting wax. When this wax finds its way deep into the fibres of carpet, for instance, removing it can become very tricky. The longer wax has contact with fabric, the harder it will be to remove.
As soon as you notice a spillage, grab some ice or frozen vegetables, wrap them in a tea towel, and apply it to the affected area. This should speed up the hardening process, and ensure less grease finds its way into your fabric.
Scrape off the candle wax with a blunt knife, and vacuum the area to ensure all of the hardened wax is removed. To remove any existing wax that may not be visible, place paper towels over the affected area, and run a hot iron over them. The wax will melt, and stick to the paper — instead of your carpet or upholstery.
Gravy is loaded with grease, so you need to make sure you’re very careful when it’s anywhere near carpets and upholstery. However, if the worst does happen, it’s important to act quickly. Blot away any excess first — but make sure you don’t wipe, as this will merely spread the gravy over a wider area.
Apply a paste of baking soda and water, and continue to dab gently with paper towels, microfibre cloths or a damp sponge. Give the paste around 15 minutes of contact time for gently removing and leaving the area to air dry.
This is the Christmas stain that is most dreaded around the World. However, if you’re able to act quickly and decisively, there is a chance you can save your carpet or upholstery from permanent staining.
Start by blotting away excess wine with an absorbent cloth or sponge. However, avoid the temptation to scrub in your panicked state — as this will simply make matters worse. Add a little white wine to the cloth you’re using, but don’t add it to the red wine spillage.
Create a paste of baking powder and water, and spread it over the stain. Leave the paste to soak up the wine for at least 15 minutes, then remove it gently and dab the area dry with a clean, absorbent cloth. Finish off by vacuuming the entire area. Repeat these steps from the beginning if the stain just won’t budge.
Let’s face it: most homes have an abundance of chocolate during the Christmas period, so it’s one of the most common stains people have to deal with at this time of year.
The biggest mistake people make when tackling chocolate stains is starting to panic when they notice that chocolate has found its way onto a carpet. If dealt with in the right way, most chocolate stains can be removed from carpet and upholstery with relative ease.
Start by freezing the chocolate with a bag of frozen sprouts or a few ice cubes wrapped in a tea towel. Once frozen, scrape the chocolate away carefully with a blunt knife. Finish by vacuuming the entire area to remove any specks of chocolate you can’t see. If you find you’re struggling to remove some of the stain, a little hot water and dishwashing liquid should do the trick when applied gently with a microfibre cloth. Remember: blot, never scrub.
As long as you’re ready for Christmas stains in your home, removal should be a relatively straightforward process. So… eat, drink and be merry!