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Holiday Entertaining: How to Clean Food & Wine Stains from Carpeting

With the holidays comes the opportunity to spend time with family and friends. Whether you throw big parties or small get-togethers, the holiday season means there will be lots of food and drink, tons of fun, and big messes to clean up.

No one really likes to think about it, but festive season partying ultimately leads to spills. Some are quick and easy to wipe up, but others leave their mark long after the merriment ends. Carpeting especially takes a beating during holiday parties.

If you’re planning some holiday parties of your own, read on to discover the best ways to rescue your carpet from the inevitable splatters and splotches.

Red Wine

This is everybody’s party stain nightmare. Red wine is ultra pigmented and tends to linger when it gets on carpet. If the dreaded red wine stain hits your carpet, here’s what to do. First, blot the area thoroughly. Next, use plain water or mix one tablespoon of liquid hand dishwashing detergent and one tablespoon of white vinegar with two cups of warm water. Using a clean white cloth, sponge the stain with plain water or the detergent/vinegar solution. Apply a little bit at a time, blotting frequently with a dry cloth until the stain goes away. If using a detergent/vinegar solution, sponge with cold water and then blot dry.

Many experts also recommend a hydrogen peroxide and dishwashing liquid solution to take red wine out of carpet. If home remedies fail, there are products on the market specifically made to remove these kinds of stains. No matter the stain solution you choose, it’s always a good idea to test it on an inconspicuous area of carpet before applying it to the stain to be sure that it’s not going to damage your flooring.

Grease and Oil

Rich, high fat foods are a holiday staple. These too, have a tendency to get dropped on the floor during parties. If you end up with one or more of these greasy messes on your carpet, don’t panic.

As explained by Jennifer Brite, “Place a paper towel over the carpet and iron on warm setting. The wax, fat, or oil should come up off the carpet and stick to the paper towel.”

Coffee and Tea

Hot, dark colored beverages are not a carpet’s best friend, but if you end up with coffee or tea on your carpet it’s not the end of the world. You only need to combine equal parts white vinegar and water and blot the stain.


If kids are on the guest list, you can be fairly certain that gum will be on your carpet in reasonably short order. Your first instinct may be to grab the scissors, but there’s a better way to clean up this sticky situation.

When you notice gum on your carpet grab some ice. Put the ice on the gum and leave it there until the gum becomes hard and brittle. You can then break it apart and vacuum up the fragments.

Holiday stains happen. The best thing you can do is to have your arsenal of carpet rescue products at the ready. That way, you can take care of accidents as they happen and then get back to enjoying time with your guests.

Author: lacarpet

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