The 12 Stains of Christmas

December 2013
The holidays are here! What a perfect time to get together with friends and family and celebrate!
December is such a fun time for my family. Relatives from out of town visit. Our Christmas tree is filled with lights and hand-made ornaments from the kids. Special holiday cookies are baking in the oven, and presents are overflowing under the tree. School is out for ten days so there is nothing to do but eat, drink, and be merry!
Amongst all this celebrating, however, are stains, just waiting to show their colors. Don’t let stains ruin your holiday tablecloths and themed sweaters! Be prepared ahead of time to combat any stain that comes your way. 
Here are the top twelve stains that you might encounter during the holidays, and easy ways to remove them. I have used these tips in the past and they have worked very well for me. Try them and let me know what you think:
1.       Lovely, sticky candy canes. Rinse item in warm water to dilute stain. Add one tablespoon of white distilled vinegar to warm water. Let soak for one half hour. Launder as usual. Air dry.
2.       Wine. Blot stain. Spray on club soda. Blot stain until it disappears. Or, for red wine, try pouring boiling water on stain. Blot with a mixture of one tablespoon dish soap and two cups water. For white wine, pour cold water on stain and blot. Air dry.
3.       Coffee and Tea. For coffee stains, blot stain. Add one teaspoon liquid soap to a small cup of hot water. Pour slowly on stain and blot. For tea stains, place item into a mix of sugar and water and let soak for fifteen minutes. Rinse with warm water. Air dry.
4.       Good ‘ole Eggnog. Blot. Let soak in mixture of cold water and enzyme detergent for half an hour. Launder as usual. 
5.       Yummy Icing. Pour white distilled vinegar directly on the stain. Let vinegar soak in. Launder as usual. Air dry.
6.       Holiday Pies. For cherry pie stains, pretreat with cold water. Wash with liquid soap. Soak in hot water and liquid dish soap overnight. Launder as usual. Air dry. For blueberry pie, Combine vinegar, water, and liquid dish soap in a spray bottle. Spray stain and let item soak for half an hour. Wash.
7.       Fat and grease from turkey dinner. Pre-treat stain with liquid dish soap (such as Castille soap or Dawn dish soap). Soak for thirty minutes. Wash in hot water. Air dry.
8.       Butter. Sprinkle salt directly on the stain and let it soak in. Pre-treat stain with liquid dish soap. Wash in hot water.
9.       Gravy. Wipe off excess and pre-treat with liquid dish soap. Soak overnight in enzyme detergent. Wash with hot water. For gravy stains on carpets, pour baking soda on stain and let it soak in for 15 minutes. Blot with a microfiber cloth.
10.   Chocolate. Soak item in a mixture of baking soda, white vinegar and warm water. Rinse. Launder as usual.
11.   Vegetables. To remove carrot stains, soak item in one part vinegar to three parts water until the stain lightens. Rinse with warm water. Air dry. For yam stains, wet the back of the stain. Add one tablespoon dish soap to two cups water. Rub on stain. Rinse. Air dry.
12.   Lipstick stains. Dab excess lipstick with a white tissue. Cover lipstick with baking soda and rub gently with an old toothbrush. Shake off excess baking soda. Add a few drops of vinegar. Then a few drops of liquid dish soap to the baking soda on the stain. Rub mixture in good. Rinse with cold water. Launder as usual.
Always remember when dealing with stains, try not to put the item in the dryer. If any stain is left, the dryer will set it and can make some stains permanent. When trying to remove stains, push the stain out from the back of the fabric. Most stains that have already dried on the fabric are also easier to remove if they are soaked in cold water first before laundering. This will dilute and soften the stain.
So go ahead, drink some eggnog while singing Christmas carols! Eat that extra cookie topped with red and green icing, bite down on that sugary candy cane and enjoy your holiday season! After all, you deserve it!
I wish you all a very healthy, safe and green holiday season and best wishes for the New Year!
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