The 12 Stains of Christmas
Christmas might only come once a year but the festivities can leave our homes and clothes with a lingering reminder of food and drink spillages and other little nuisances! Here’s our run-down of the top twelve stains of Christmas, and how to blitz them.
Red wine / Port Spills
Red wine is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to stains and abundant methods for removing them exist – everything from salt, to baking soda to cat litter! One of the most popular solutions is to blot gently at the stain to lift the worst off then soak the garment in warm water and finish with a machine wash. Always check the garment’s care label first.
Those post-lunch walks are a great way to burn some Christmas calories but who wants mud trampled over carpets? The best advice we’ve found is to let the mud dry and then brush gently to lift the hardened dirt off. You can then vacuum as normal. If stains persist the best thing to do is to get your carpets professionally cleaned.
Nothing beats a dollop of brandy butter on a mince pie but it’s not such a good look on your shirt or blouse! The best advice we’ve found is to scrape any excess butter off, treat with a pre-wash stain remover and then wash as per the manufacturer’s guidelines. Make sure you take extra care with delicate fibres like silk – or better still, get it professionally cleaned.
It might be delicious on your Christmas roast but if it gets on to your clothes, the mix of fat and protein in gravy can wreak havoc on your clothes. A pre-wash treatment is a good starting point, after which the stain can be gently scrubbed with detergent and water followed by a hot wash (but not hotter than the maximum tolerance of the fabric).
Tea and Coffee
Where would we be without the great British cuppa? Both tea and coffee stains have a wealth of stain removal solutions, including baking soda, vinegar and soaking in water. Whichever one you choose, always check the fabric can be machine-washed afterwards. If not, hand it to your dry-cleaning expert.
Santa is probably used to it but for the rest of us, soot is a nuisance stain we could really do without. Popular advice is to carefully remove any lumps of soot, without rubbing in any further. Then sprinkle with bicarbonate of soda and leave to dry for a good hour. Vacuum the area. If the stain persists, you may have to get your carpets professionally cleaned.
White wine / Champagne
Less feared than red wine, but no less annoying! Gently blot the excess liquid away then sponge with cool water. Some people prefer to soak the item for about half an hour instead. Then pre-treat with a pre-wash stain remover and wash as normal.
A popular Christmas condiment but these ruby-red berries can leave a lingering stain. Popular advice is to blot the stain with a clean cloth (avoid rubbing otherwise the stain will embed further into the fabric). Leave to soak in a solution of mild detergent and water, before washing as normal.
Sadly, we’re talking about the five gold rings of Christmas but the ring marks left on tables and surfaces by cups and glasses. Most water marks (such as those caused by a steaming mug of tea) respond well to an oil-based substance, such as petroleum jelly, being rubbed lightly into the stain then gently buffed away. Darker stains require more perseverance (some people swear by rubbing in toothpaste!)
Candles are wonderfully festive but hot wax dripping over your carpet is not quite so pleasant. A great tip we’ve found is to place brown paper over the dried wax and iron it using the iron on a cool setting. The greasy wax will transfer to the paper: genius!
Don’t let pet hair ruin your sofa and chairs. A really useful tip is to pop on a pair of rubber gloves, dampen slightly under the tap and then wipe down the sofa. The damp and the static on the rubber helps to collect the hair. It’s a cheap and effective and completely safe for animals.