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Holiday Memories: Ridding Your Home Of Holiday Spills

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By mia bolaris-forget

For many, holiday time, (though it may be over), means more time at home and more time eating, drinking, and trying to make merry with the family. And, between the cooking, entertaining and having the kiddies at home (can you say projects anyone?), it’s likely there were lots of thrills, and lots of spills and stains as well. Fortunately all’s well that ends well, and we’ve got the answer on how to remove some otherwise obstinate stains.

Wine: Not need to whine; not even over a red wine stain on one of your favourite shirts. Instead, if the item is washable, cover the stain with salt, and stretch the fabric over a bowl pouring boiling water on it from a height of about one foot. For items that need to be dry cleaned, blot the area with a sponge that you’ve moistened slightly with a mild detergent but do NOT rub, then flush the area carefully with cool water and rince. Remove any remaining stains by using an eyedropper filled with one part white vinegar and two parts water and rinsing thoroughly with cold water. If the stain seems to be stubborn mix one part ammonia and two parts water (a solution NOT for silk or wool) and rinse carefully with cool water and allow to dry. To remove a remaining ring, feather the edge with a cloth slightly moistened with a combination solvent such as Shout.

Coffee:<>/b> No need to get all hot under the collar. Instead, bring water to a boil and after stretching fabric over a bowl, pour over stain from a height of about one foot (this method only applies to items that are machine wasable). Follow up by applying an oil solvent, available in most drug stores, or, if it contained milk and sugar treat it with glycerin or a combination solvent, such as Shout and allow to sit for about 30 minutes. Finally wash in a regular wash cycle.

For dry-clean only items, add a mild, gentle detergent and a little water rubbing gently to form suds before rinsing. Using and eyedropper apply some diluted vinegar to rid the garment of any remaining stain. For coffee containing milk, add an oil solvent and rinse with cold water

Tea: Not a total disaster. For machine-washable items you’ll want to stretch the garment over a bowl and drizzle hot water over it from a height of about a foot. Follow by applying diluted lemon juice (from and eyedropper) to dilute and bleach out the remaining stain. Last, but not least rinse with cool water.

For items that need dry cleaning, dilute stain using and eyedropper containing diluted lemon juice them completely flushing with cool water.

Chocolate: This stain certainly doesn’t have to be the “death” of you. Instead treat washable items with a solution made of a tablespoon of enzyme laundry detergent and two cups water and allowing to sit for 20 minutes before rinsing completely and thoroughly.

For dry-clean-only garments apply some rubbing alcohol and allow to stand for 10 minutes before carefully rinsing. Then using a mixture of water and a gentle detergent clean up the remaining residue.

Juice: A fruit juice stain is anything but fruit juicy good. Bring your garment back to life by flushing the stained section with cool water and then applying a mixture of one part white vinegar and two parts water (using an eyedropper) and allowing it to sit for 10 minutes. Follow by adding a combination solvent such as Shout then wash in a regular wash cycle.

For non-washables simple blot the area with cold water and then using and eyedropper adding the aforementioned diluted white vinegar solution. Next apply to the area a mild detergent, and add water to remove any remaining residue before rinsing with cold water.

Ice Cream: No need to scream, but simple apply cool water to the area immediately. Next use a pretreatment product prior to soaking the item in an enzyme detergent and machine washing.

For dry-clean only items simply add some rubbing alcohol and let stand for about 10 minutes then rinsing the spot with cold water. Follow by using a combination of a gentle detergent and some cool water to clean the remaining stain before rinsing with cold water.

Lipstick: No longer the “kiss of death”. For machine washable items, simple apply an oil solvent and allow to dry before removing excess. Next apply a gentle and mild liquid soap and just a hint of water rubbing gently to form suds, then rinsing. Follow by applying a diluted ammonia solution (via eyedropper) to remove the remaining stain, then rinse with cool water.

For non-washable items, follow the same steps as you would for washable garments but instead of diluted ammonia use a diluted vinegar or bleach solution.

Crayon: Not a total write-off nor a permanent memory of this year’s holiday project. Simple place the item stain-side down on a pile of paper towels and spry with WD-40 allowing to stand for five minutes before flipping it over and giving the garment another spray. Rinse well and rub stain with a liquid dish soap and rinse again. For remaining stain, apply a stick or spray on stain remover and machine wash.

For dry-clean only items, your best bet is the dry cleaner. You can also try using a little WD-40 but keeping it situated to a small area and using mild dish soap and a hint of water, rubbed in with a cotton swab and blotted with a napkin to lift the stain.

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