Party foul! Unfortunately, spills, breaks and stains are often part of get-togethers when food and drinks are involved. Don't let them ruin your good time though. The Daily Muse's Laura Drucker offers tips for cleaning up the most stubborn messes.
Red Wine On Your Couch
- Paper towels
- Clean white towel
- White wine
- Soda water (maybe)
You knew you shouldn't have gotten all fancy and let your friends drink out of actual wine glasses instead of sturdy plastic cups — but you did, and that red wine spill on your couch looks catastrophic. There is hope, but you've got to snap into action fast — couch fibres absorb liquids quickly and the longer the stain soaks in, the worse your chances at removing it.
Start by blotting the stain with clean, dry paper towels, taking care to gather up all excess liquid. Next — in a step that sounds sort of like a party trick — pour a little bit of white wine on the stain. I know, I know — so much precious wine wasted on a couch where no wine should be. But white wine is surprisingly good at removing red wine stains.
Grab a clean white towel and blot at the stain, then watch breathlessly as it disappears. Repeat the process as many times as necessary, using soda water if you run out of wine. (Isn't it handy that so many of the contents of your liquor cabinet double as cleaning aids?)
Candle Wax On Your Carpet
- Dull knife
- Paper bag
If you've found that some candle wax has dripped onto your carpet, just remember: if you're going to have a candle malfunction, it's better that it involves the wax part instead of the fire part.
Also, it's a pretty easy fix. First, let the wax cool before attempting to remove it. (You could speed up the process by rubbing the wax with ice cubes, but do you really want to be the girl who spent half her party rubbing ice cubes into the shag rug? Me neither.)
Once the wax has hardened, take a dull knife and gently scrape away all the excess wax you can. Then, cover whatever remains with a paper bag and, with your iron on medium heat, gently press the bag. The remaining wax will be transferred off your carpet and on to the paper bag. Magic!
Broken Glass On Your Floor
- Paper bag
- Sliced bread
Is there an unwritten rule that at least one glass must be broken per party? I don't know, but I do know this: Unlike glass, plastic cups do not shatter into hundreds of little knives when knocked off the counter. If you're throwing anything beyond an intimate dinner party, use plastic instead — your guests will get over it.
But if there is a crash, clear the area immediately. Sweep up as best as you can, throwing away the shards in a paper bag. And resist the urge to use your vacuum with this mess because the glass can damage it.
Then, you know the saying that nothing is better than sliced bread? Normally I disagree (don't even try to tell me that Nutella isn't better than sliced bread), but when it comes to picking up glass, bread really is the best. A soft (not stale) piece of bread pressed onto the floor will effectively gather up all those tiny glass shards that eluded the dustpan. (You'll probably need four or five slices to clean it up completely.) Once a piece of bread becomes saturated with glass, throw it out immediately. You don't want any hungry guests taking a big bite of a glass-shard sandwich.
Parties are about fun, not cleaning, so take any messes that occur in stride. It's your party, so you're certainly entitled to cry if you want to, but save your tears for something more important than a spill or stain.
The Worst Party Spills and Stains (And How to Get Rid of Them) [The Daily Muse]
Laura Drucker grew up in Chicago, Illinois and currently lives in Miami, Florida. She is a proud law school dropout, and the editor of Tails Pet Media Group, Inc.
Image via travellight (Shutterstock).