Expert reveals how to get rid of stubborn wine, gravy, oil and candle wax stains on tablecloths, carpet and clothing at the Christmas clean up
A cleaning expert has revealed how to remove common stains to make Christmas cleaning much easier for Australians.
With the chaos of Christmas comes the inevitable spills, splashes and stains, some of which are almost impossible to clean.
Cleaning expert at MyJobQuoteSarah Dempsey has shared her favorite tips for removing wine, make-up, cooking oil, candle wax and gravy stains, as well as glitter on clothes, carpets and tablecloths.
“The holidays bring a hectic rush, which makes the chance of spills, stains and other accidents even greater,” she said.
'Whatever the stain, the key to success in treating it is to act quickly: faster cleaning prevents the stain from spreading and taking effect. Some stains, if left untreated, can react chemically with fabrics or surfaces and cause irreversible discoloration or damage.”
A cleaning professional has revealed how to remove stubborn stains during Christmas cleaning. Sarah Dempsey shares her seven best stain-removing hacks (stock image)
1. Oil stains
Getting stubborn oil stains on clothes is a common Christmas blunder, but Sarah said even the deepest spills can be fixed with the right method and it's better to take action sooner rather than later.
“Dab the stain with detergent or fairy liquid and set the machine to the warmest recommended setting for the fabric type of your clothes,” she explained.
“For oil spills on carpet or other deep-pile fabrics, pour baking soda to absorb the residue, then vacuum over the affected area after letting it soak for five minutes.”
“Rub dish soap or laundry detergent onto the affected area and scrub it before rinsing with water.”
2. Candle wax splatters
Candles are popular festive decorations for Christmas tables, but one tap can leave wax splatters on tablecloths, carpet and wood.
For clothing or tablecloths, Sarah recommends scraping off excess wax and then using a low heat of a hairdryer on a paper towel to melt and absorb the wax, followed by treating any remaining stains with oil stain remover or solvents such as rubbing alcohol.
“For polyester or denim, use an ice cube to harden the wax, then scrape the garment and freeze it before heating or using an iron to remove any remaining residue,” she added.
Sarah said cleaning spills on carpets can be more difficult because the wax sinks into the pile of the carpet.
Getting stubborn oil stains on clothes is a common Christmas blunder, but Sarah said even the deepest stains can be removed with the right method and it's better to take action sooner rather than later
'To remove wax from carpets, gently scrape the wax off the surface with a butter knife, apply low heat with an iron and cloth to loosen and absorb the wax, then use rubbing alcohol and a carpet stain remover to tackle the stain,” she says. said.
'For wooden floors, soften the wax with a hair dryer and then gently scrape it off with a dry cloth, clean the surface with a solution of water and vinegar and finish with a wood polishing spray after removal.'
3. Spilled wine
Many people swear by using white wine to soak up red wine stains on clothes, carpets or tablecloths, but Sarah said sparkling water is much more effective.
'Rinse the area with sparkling water and then pat it dry. Apply some type of carpet cleaner or, if treating clothes, throw the garment in the washing machine with a strong stain remover on it,” she said.
'Sparkling water is much preferred to white wine as the carbonation helps remove the stain and prevents it from setting into the fibers or carpet and fabric.'
4. Gravy drips and drips
As Aussies spend the next few days finishing up leftovers from Christmas dinner, there's a good chance gravy will be spilled – and Sarah said it's best to act quickly.
She said there are two pantry staples that work best against gravy stains: table salt or cornstarch.
Many people swear by using white wine to soak up red wine stains on clothes, carpets or tablecloths, but Sarah said sparkling water is much more effective
“If you notice a gravy stain halfway through your meal, cover the stain with cornstarch or table salt to absorb the oil in the gravy and prevent a stain from setting.”
“Scrape the now-gravy paste with a knife, then blot the stain with dish soap,” Sarah explained.
'After pre-treatment, wash the tablecloth in the washing machine at the highest possible temperature to effectively remove the stain.'
5. Makeup stains
During this festive season, clothes can fall victim to makeup stains, especially when undressing after a few Christmas or New Year's Eve champagnes.
Sarah said makeup on clothing is treatable if found quickly, but getting spilled cosmetics from carpet can be more challenging.
“For carpet stains, blot the area with a clean, damp cloth and then scrub with clean dish soap and a stiff-bristled brush,” she said.
'For clothes, micellar water is essential: it is just as effective at breaking down oils on clothes as it is on faces.'
Sarah added that quick action is crucial for liquid products such as foundations that contain oil.
“Immediately blot the stain with micellar water, then use a stain-removing detergent for a thorough finish,” she said.
6. Glitter explosions
Glitter on Christmas decorations and packaging can wreak havoc anywhere in the home, and homeowners can sometimes find traces of the sparkly specks for months.
However, Sarah has an unexpected but effective way to pick up glitter: using a balloon.
'To make glitter cleanup easier, collect glitter particles in one spot so you can clean them up easily. Use a vacuum extender to suck up the collected pile,” she said.
“For the remaining glitter, take a balloon with smaller dots: blow it up, create static electricity by rubbing it on the carpet or hair, then roll it over the remaining glitter, creating a sparkly ball.”
“For other stubborn stains, grab a lint roller and catch any remaining stubborn glitter.”
7. Cranberry sauce accidents
“To treat cranberry sauce stains, gently blot the area with a clean white cloth or paper towel, absorbing as much moisture as possible with an up and down motion,” Sarah explained.
She warned against rubbing the stain as this would spread the sauce wider and create a bigger stain.
“Apply white wine vinegar to the affected area and ensure thorough coverage by working it into the stain with your fingers,” she said.
“Let the vinegar sit for at least five minutes before throwing it in the washing machine.”