• 08
  • Nov

Treating Thanksgiving Holiday Stains

Here are some helpful tips on caring for fine garments & household textiles during the Thanksgiving holiday.

While we of course always recommend trusting the Sun Country Cleaners team for your stain removal and cleaning needs.  The holiday’s can present a bigger challenge for the spills and accidents that happen.  Obviously you can’t run out in the middle of Thanksgiving dinner to deal with a cranberry-sauce-stained tablecloth, or to pull out your carpet-cleaning machine to suck up a spill on that area rug.

So here are some great tips from Good Housekeeping on how to pre treat some of the common holiday stains you might encounter this year so that they don’t settle in by the time you get them to us!

Red wine

When a glass goes over, and cabernet is coloring your carpet crimson, now’s the time to grab some paper towels or absorbent cloths and blot up as much of the liquid as you can. Stand on the towels, to sop up what’s deep down in the fibers. Dampen a clean cloth with plain water and quickly sponge the stain, or keep a spray bottle handy that’s already filled with cool water and spritz the splotch. Blot up as much as you can with dry towels. Place a clean, dry towel over the stain to keep people from walking on it, and go back to your guests. To finish it later, mix up a solution of 1 tablespoon plain hand dishwashing liquid (without any added ingredients), 1 tablespoon white vinegar, and 2 cups warm water. Dampen a cloth with the mixture and apply it to the stain a little bit at a time (too much and it’ll be hard to rinse out), blotting with a dry cloth as the stain dissolves. When the stain is gone, rinse well with a clean, damp cloth and blot dry. Pile on a clean stack of paper towels, place a heavy vase or pot on top, and leave it overnight. The next day, toss the paper towel (along with any remaining stain it’s absorbed) and fluff the carpet.


If the turkey gravy’s gone wild on your tablecloth, all you can really do during dinner is to scrape up any excess, to keep it from making a bigger stain. After the guests have gone, apply your favorite laundry prewash product and soak the linen overnight in the washing machine in warm water with some enzyme detergent and all-fabric bleach added. The next morning, drain the washer and start a new cycle using the hottest water and type of bleach that’s safe for the fabric. Check for any remaining stain before putting the cloth in the dryer.

Candle wax

When your supposedly dripless candles are anything but, well, dripless, don’t worry if a little melted wax dribbles onto the tablecloth during dinner; you can handle it later. Actually, later is better, because wax is easier to remove once it dries. Just blow out the candle and keep eating. To remove it, gently scrape off as much of the hardened wax as possible. If it’s a colored candle, sponge the stain with a solvent-based cleaning fluid to help lighten the color. Place the stain between clean paper towels and press with a warm iron to melt and transfer the wax to the paper towels. Rotate or replace the paper towels as they absorb the wax. Repeat until no more wax is released. Rub a little liquid laundry detergent into the stain and wash in warm or hot water, adding chlorine or oxygen bleach, whichever is safe for the fabric.


Your brew may be good to the last drop, but when it drops on your sofa cushion, that’s not so good. Just dab a little water on the stain and let it go, for now. If your fabric tends to water spot, like silk, just leave the coffee stain alone. Later, for fabrics that can safely be cleaned with water, sponge the stain with a clean cloth dipped in a solution of 1 tablespoon plain hand dishwashing liquid mixed into 2 cups cool water. Blot with a dry cloth and repeat until the stain disappears. Rinse and blot dry. If the chair fabric can’t be cleaned with water or if milk was in the coffee, sponge the stain with a dry-cleaning solvent until the stain disappears and blot dry.

Cranberry Sauce

Whole berry or jellied, it’s bound to land on your tablecloth today, so mid-meal, just scrape up the excess with a spoon and sponge on a little cool water. When the party’s over, mix 1 tablespoon white vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon liquid laundry detergent into 1 quart cool water. Soak the stain for about 15 minutes. Rinse and sponge with rubbing alcohol, if the stain remains. Finally, launder it as usual with a little bleach added, if possible.


If your warm biscuits are dripping butter on your tablecloth every time you take a bite, reach for the salt. No, not to spice things up, but to sop them up. Salt can help absorb the grease while it’s still fresh and keep it from soaking further into the fabric. Artificial sweetener also does the trick. The next day, pretreat the stain with your usual laundry spot remover or rub a little liquid detergent into the stain and launder it in the hottest water that’s safe for the fabric.

Sweet Potato or Pumpkin Pie

Serving dessert in the living room is a fun idea, until a piece of pie tumbles onto the carpet. For now, just pick up the pieces and pull as much of the pie as you can out of the carpet fibers with a damp cloth. Tomorrow, sponge the stain with a cloth dipped into a solution of 1 tablespoon plain dishwashing liquid and 2 cups warm water. Rinse and blot dry. If a telltale stain remains, mix 1 tablespoon nonsudsy ammonia (caution: don’t use ammonia on silk or wool carpets) into 2 cups warm water. Sponge and blot the stain until it disappears. Rinse and blot dry.

Source:  http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/holidays/thanksgiving-ideas/a17385/help-holiday-stains/