How to Tackle Party Stains
By: Bluma Gordon, Lubicom Marketing Staff
While hosting a party or event, you try not to think about the messy aftermath. But when the fun’s over, it’s impossible not to notice the mud stains on the new carpet and fingerprint smudges on the wall. If you own a basic collection of cleaning products and you’re not a house-cleaning guru, you’ll find these tips about cleaning common post-party stains helpful.
The Three Golden Rules
Tackling stains on a sofa, upholstery, and furniture is a lot trickier than washing a load of laundry. Before we dive in to discuss particulars, here are some basic rules to keep in mind:
1. Blot, don’t rub
Rubbing aggressively at a stain causes it to become embedded into the fibers. Gently blot or dab the stain instead.
2. Don’t wait till it’s too late
To prevent the stain from setting, tend to it as soon as possible.
3. Get it right
Using the wrong cleaning method or material can destroy the color of the fabric or create watermark stains. Using the right product, the right method, and a minimal amount of water are key.
Now that you’ve got the basics down pat, let’s discuss some common stains you might find and what you can do about it.
TACKLE BBQ SAUCE, JUICE, OR COFFEE ON UPHOLSTERY
- Liquid hand soap
- A clean, white cloth
- Wet sponge
- Towel and/or blow-dryer
- Vinegar and eyedropper (optional, to remove color residue)
When handling stains on your upholstery, say “no” to Ajax and other all-purpose cleaners.
For better and safer results, do this instead:
Step 1: Create a simple solution of one tablespoon of liquid hand soap mixed with one cup of cold water.
Step 2: Pour it onto a clean white cloth and gently dab at the stain.
Step 3: Blot until the liquid is absorbed.
Step 4: Be persistent! Repeat steps B and C until the stain disappears.
Step 5: Once the stain is gone, remove the cleaning-solution residue with a wet sponge and then blot it dry. Use a towel to absorb excess water or blow-dry the wet area on low heat.
Step 6: Still seeing traces of unwanted color? Mix water with vinegar, place the solution into an eyedropper and apply it to help remove the color stains.
Word to the wise: Leather is more fragile than standard fabric. To treat a stain on a leather couch, create a solution of 1/4 cup olive oil with 1/2 cup of vinegar. Clean using the steps above.
GET RID OF GRIME
- Cornmeal or talcum powder
- Dry cloth
- Cleaning material for sofa and upholstery stains (see above)
Remove stubborn gunk from your favorite sofa with this neat, little trick: Sprinkle cornmeal or talcum powder on the spot and let it sit a few minutes so it can absorb the excess oil. Brush the powder off with a dry cloth, and continue to clean using the directions in section 1.
BANISH MUD FROM THE CARPET
- Stainless steel knife
- Vacuum cleaner
- Sano's Spark Dishwashing Liquid
- Lukewarm water
- Clean, white cloth
- Towel or blow-dryer
Are the muddy boot prints on your beautiful carpet making you scream? Getting rid of mud stains is really simple; Here’s how!
Step 1: First, wait for the mud to dry.
Step 2: Next, scrape off the excess mud with a knife and vacuum as much dirt as possible.
Step 3: Mix one tablespoon of Sano's Spark Dishwashing Liquid with one cup of lukewarm water.
Step 4: Using a clean white cloth, sponge, and towel or blow-dryer, dab, blot and dry the stain as mentioned in section 1.
REMOVE FINGERPRINTS FROM THE WALL
- Ammonia, water, and a cloth
- A stick of white chalk
- Microfiber cloth
- Mild detergent or all-purpose cleaner
One easy way to get rid of stains on the wall is by mixing one cup of ammonia and a half-gallon of water, dipping a cloth into the solution, and then rubbing gently at the stains.
Not into ammonia? Here’s another option:
Step 1: The secret trick to leaving white walls grease-free: A piece of chalk. First, take a white piece of chalk and round the edges to ensure it doesn’t scratch the paint. Gently color over the fingerprint marks with chalk.
Step 2: Let the chalk sit as it soaks up the excess grease from the stains.
Step 3: Next, gently wipe the fingerprints with a microfiber cloth that’s dampened with a small amount of mild detergent or all-purpose cleaner. Scrub gently to avoid rubbing away at the paint.
(If you’re using a cleaner you’ve never used on the wall before, test it first on an inconspicuous spot to be sure it doesn’t damage the color.)
ELIMINATE GLASS RINGS
- A blow-dryer
- A soft rag
Thought those glass rings on your wood table were here to stay? Think again! Here’s an easy way to remove them:
Step 1: If the ring marks are fresh stains, a blow-dryer might be all you need. Just run the blow-dryer on low heat and move it in a circular motion above the stain until it disappears.
Step 2: If the stain is still there, place some mayonnaise on a soft rag. Going in the direction of the wood grain, rub at the stain until it’s gone.
Note: These methods should only be used on newer wooden tables with an oil or lacquer finish, and not on antique wood or wood without a finish.
There’s no need to agonize over your new carpet or favorite sofa the next time the guests start pouring in. With a little education and enough persistence, almost any stain can be tackled.