As we near the holiday season, it’s undoubtedly going to be a question a lot of people will be asking.
Tidying up after Christmas Dinner, maybe you notice your Uncle Mark has let a gravy stain on your favourite tablecloth. Or perhaps your children have taken their new colouring set and decided to test it out on your Christmas pyjamas. Perhaps in an effort to protect your beloved pooch from the New Years Eve fireworks, you left him inside, only to find the next day he’s left you a rather messy gift on the floor.
How are you going to get these stains out?
In any case, Christmas provides us with a lot of opportunities for stains. So much so, that many of us will avoid using our fancy tablecloths or busting out the nice clothing altogether. We forget that the Holidays can be a messy time, and if it requires so much cleaning up afterwards, why bother?
It’s certainly a lot easier to use the old and well-worn tablecloth, or to not dress up for dinner if you know you’re going to be getting messy with the kids. But, just because it’s easier, doesn’t mean this is the right attitude to have!
Stain removal can put a lot of people off. But, it shouldn’t have to.
Thankfully for you, at Laundry Revolutions we’ve compiled a very simple and very effective stain removal guide for those at home.
We break down the different stain removal techniques depending on the stain or surface, and what you need to make sure your efforts are successful.
However, if stain removal isn’t for you, don’t worry! At Laundry Revolutions, we offer two different expert laundry and dry cleaning services. Whether you’re looking for a one-off service or a repeat subscription, we can help. Just check out our services here.
How To Clean Carpet
A good carpet has one natural enemy: stains. Unfortunately, carpets are susceptible to getting dirty rather quickly. And rather than being able to sweep or mop up these messes like you can with tiles or a hardwood floor, carpet requires a little something extra.
So, what do you do?
Here we break down your carpet stain removal guide for liquid stains, and solid stains.
Whether it’s urine from pets, a spilt drink, or something else, liquid stains can be a terror on your carpet. How on Earth do you get them out?
Firstly, don’t panic. 99% of the time you will be able to remove the stain.
Start by filling up two spray bottles with cold water. One with dish soap in it, and the other not. If you don’t have spray bottles, two bowls will also work.
Also take two cloths and keep them separate.
With the one cloth, either spray the dish soap water onto it (not the carpet! You don’t want it getting too wet) or dab the cloth into the water.
Then, attack the stain. Gently dab at the stain, being careful not to use a rubbing motion so as to avoid rubbing it further into the carpet.
With the second cloth, use the clean water to rinse the dish soap from the carpet. Using the same technique, this should ensure that you’re not spreading about dirty water into the fabric more.
Repeat this process until the stain is as improved as can be. Finally, lay down several sheets of kitchen towels or other absorbent paper.
Place a heavy object like a pan or book on top. The pressure will force the paper to absorb the rest of the stain.
And, in the morning, it should be disappeared! Simple.
Unlike liquid stains, you have more to compete with here. Physical stains like mud, food, or some other solid can be more difficult. But, that doesn’t mean there isn’t hope.
The first step is to carefully pick up the stain as gingerly as possible, without pushing it into the carpet anymore.
If it’s a spilt bowl of pasta, you need to pick them up. If it’s a mud print, you need to remove the flecks of dirt and grass. You can’t continue with the next steps unless you’ve removed all chunks from the area.
Now, you need to wait for it to dry. If it’s mud or food it may often be wet when the stain is created. But you can’t really do anything until it’s dried.
Once it is, now you can introduce the vinegar.
White vinegar has acidic components that attack food and mud stains with ease. Mix some vinegar with warm water and apply it to the stain.
But, this time, let it sit for a bit.
We really want to give the vinegar a chance to do its work. Then, use the same technique as earlier and start blotting it out.
You should find that, as long as you’re not too heavy handed, the stain will disappear in no time.
Wine Stains on Table Cloth
Wine is a natural accompaniment to good food. Particularly good Christmas food.
The very thought of tucking into your Christmas dinner, your pigs in blankets and roast potatoes, without a glass of red wine next to you seems almost criminal.
But, inevitably, there is going to be a stain.
Red wine has a funny little habit of doing that.
Even though red wine stains are one of the worst ones you could possibly face, don’t panic! We have the solution.
Red Wine Tactic Number 1
The most important tip for tackling a red wine stain is to act quickly. You don’t want to give it any more time that it already has to seep into your fabric.
Good Housekeeping says that if you can’t attack the stain with proper stain removal quickly, that you should use something with bubbles. Sparkling water or soda water will push the stain out of the fabric.
So, even if it’s a temporary solution, bubbly drinks are a good idea.
Red Wine Tactic Number 2
If you’re in a position to tackle the stain immediately, put the kettle on.
No, not to make yourself a cuppa. Although if that will help keep you calm, then maybe it’s a good idea!
While the kettle is boiling, place a large bowl in your sink. On top of the bowl, place the tablecloth, being sure to centre the stain above the bowl.
Now you need to secure the tablecloth with an elastic band or tie. This makes sure that the tablecloth is taught and stretched over the bowl.
Once the water is boiled, over a small height, pour it onto the stain. The bowl should catch most of the water, but the sink is there if it doesn’t.
Using this tactic will force the hot water through the stain. And, hopefully, flush the red wine out.
Stain Myths: Debunked
Now you know what to do, you should also know what not to do.
There are several stain removal myths floating about on the internet. And, as well intentioned as people can be, they’re no good for you.
So, we’ve decided to debunk some of the most common ones. If someone at your dinner party recommends one of these, ignore them! They’ll do you more harm than good.
Salt: when faced with a bad stain like red wine or coffee, most people will turn to salt. Don’t! Whilst you think that salt will rub the stain out, salt can actually set the stain. Meaning that you’re left with a new permanent mark on your favourite evening dress.
White Wine: speaking of red wine, you’ve likely heard the myth that pouring white wine on top of a white wine stain will work. Maybe the idea is that it will cancel it out, or has some special component that works? No matter why people think this is true, it’s not. You’re just going to create a different kind of stain which is harder to remove. Save yourself the bottle and don’t bother.
Hairspray: likely a tip you were told by your mother or grandmother. Hairspray used to contain a high percentage of alcohol that was rumoured to help remove stains. But, now, with the majority of hairsprays holding little if not any alcohol in them, you’re likely to just cause a sticky mess.
Hopefully these techniques will help with your inevitable stain removal this holiday season.
And, hopefully, they shouldn’t put you off from using your nice tableware or clothing. Whilst having guests or piling your table with food can be cause for stains – it shouldn’t be cause for worry.
Our simple stain removal tips will help make sure that your holiday period is able to be carried out with ease!
And, if you ever need some professional help, check out our Laundry Revolution services.