How to Get Rid of Holiday Stains
There is no one magic way to get rid of stains that are generated over the holiday season. You will find different stain remedies for the same kind of problem, all of which may work. Mostly it takes a little extra work and a lot of patience. My favorite resource is the Stain Removal Guide from Mississippi State University Extension Service. It is practical, easy to follow, and produces good results, especially if your laundry room is stocked ahead of time.
Red Wine, Coffee, Tea, Soft Drinks, Alcoholic Drinks – Soak the stain in cool water until no more color is coming out. Pretreat with prewash stain remover, liquid laundry detergent, or a paste of powder detergent and water, and wash. If this doesn’t get the stain out, launder again with the bleach safe for that fabric. Older stains might respond to treatment with an enzyme product, then laundering.
Chocolate – If the stain is dry, scrape off or brush off as much of the residue as possible before treating. Treat the stain with a prewash spray or pretreat with a product containing enzymes.
Candle Wax – Harden with ice, then remove surface wax with a dull knife. Place wax stain between clean paper towels and press with a slightly warm iron. Replace paper towels regularly to absorb more wax and to prevent transferring the stain. Place stain face down on clean paper towels. Sponge remaining stain with a prewash stain remover or dry-cleaning fluid; blot with paper towels. Let dry, then launder.
Ketchup/Tomato Sauce – Rinse in cold water, then soak in cool water with ¼ cup detergent per gallon of water. Spray with prewash product and wash. If this doesn’t get the stain out re-treat and then launder with a bleach that is safe for that fabric.
Cosmetics – Pretreat with a stain stick, prewash stain remover, liquid detergent, or a paste of granular detergent or laundry additive and water or rub with bar soap. Work into the dampened stain until the outline of stain is gone, then rinse. If greasy stain remains, soak in an enzyme product. Rinse and launder.
Lipstick – Place face down on paper towels. Sponge area with dry cleaning solvent or uses a prewash soil and stain remover. Replace towels frequently and rinse. Rub light duty liquid detergent into the stain until the outline is removed and wash. Repeat treatment if needed.
Animal Fat, Mayonnaise, Salad Dressing, Butter, Cooking Oil, Car Grease and Motor Oil – Light stains can be pretreated with a spray stain remover, liquid laundry detergent, or a detergent booster. Launder in hottest water safe for fabric. Place heavy stains face down on clean paper towels. Apply cleaning fluid to the back of stain. Replace towels frequently. Let air dry; rinse. Launder in hottest water safe for that fabric.
Blood – Soak freshly stained garment in cold water for 30 minutes. Rub detergent into any remaining stain. Rinse, then launder. Dried stains should be pretreated or soaked in tepid water with a product containing enzymes, then laundered. If stain remains, rewash using a bleach that is safe for that fabric.
Urine, Vomit, Mucous, or Feces – Treat with a prewash spray or pretreat with a product containing enzymes. Launder with chlorine bleach that is safe for fabric or use an all-fabric bleach.