How to Tackle the Most Common Holiday Food Stains

How to Tackle the Most Common Holiday Food Stains
Photo: Jose Luis Stephens, Shutterstock

All the excitement of opening presents, spending time with friends and family, and getting to eat special foods that might only be available once a year is a lot all at once. There are countless things around the house that could spill, drip, or smear this time of year, but even if a little mess turns into a big stain, there are ways to handle it. Here’s how to get rid of a few of the most common holiday food stains.

How to remove chocolate stains

There are all sorts of ways chocolate, in its various forms, can end up as a stain somewhere in your home. When it’s on soft surfaces like tablecloths, clothing, carpets, or upholstery, start by mixing a solution of one tablespoon dish soap and two cups of water. Then dab or blot (not rub) the stain with a microfiber cloth dipped in the solution until the stain is gone. Finally, soak up any remaining solution on the material with a clean towel.

How to remove stains from greasy and/or oil-based foods

There are opportunities for grease from food to end up on your clothing while you’re cooking, transferring, or eating it. Getting rid of the stains left behind is a job for dishwashing liquid. Rub some of the soap onto the stain, and then rinse with cold water, repeating if necessary. If you don’t find a grease stain until it has dried, cover it with talcum powder or cornstarch, let it sit for 12-24 hours, and then wipe the residue away using a damp cloth.

How to remove red wine stains

If red wine spills on carpet or upholstery, immediately cover the spot with a thick layer of salt to help absorb the stain. For stains where the wine has already dried, blot the area with club soda or hydrogen peroxide using a clean cloth, until you can’t see it anymore. Soak red-wine-stained linens in cold water for a half hour, then put some white vinegar on the spot.

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