Pre-party; my home sparkles with magnificence. From the floor to the furniture, it gets a complete scrub down, and everything is put fabulously in its place. It’s at those times that I am most proud of the little sanctuary we have built for ourselves. Not too shabby!
Unfortunately, right after a party, our home is often in shambles. Our carpet is soiled with dirt that guests tracked in. The sofa has a brand new stain of indeterminate source. And of course, the dishes are piled high. So the cleaning begins, again!
First things first; getting rid of any stains before they set in. The sooner, the better. The first step is always removing as much of the stain as you can. If it’s a liquid, blot it up, and be careful not to smudge the stain, making it larger than it already is. For issues like dirt stains on the carpet, vacuum the entire area well.
Once the area is prepped, the next step is to identify what the stain is (or take your most educated guess), so that you can use the right eco-friendly cleaning treatment. Here are solutions for some common party stains:
Coffee and Tea Stains: These stains are caused by the tannin in the caffeine drinks, so clean it with vinegar. (You can also use vinegar to remove that gross ring that often forms in mugs!) If that fails, it may be the dairy products inside the drink causing the problem, so use an enzyme-based stain remover.
Red Wine Stains: For a tablecloth stain, pour boiling water over the stain. This works best for fresh stains and will actually work on other fruit-related stains (including tomatoes) as well. Another tip is to sprinkle salt over the stain to prevent it from setting in, then rinse it in cold water, and put it in the wash. For carpets, try club soda, which can lift the stain right out. Or blot up the stain with water, apply baking soda (it will form a sort of paste,) and vacuum it up. For older stains, use a mixture of vinegar and water, and give it a good old-fashioned scrubbing.
Beer (and Other Alcoholic) Stains: Try a mixture of vinegar and water. This gets up most stains, but if it’s stubborn, you can soak it in a borax solution.
Carpet Stains: A combination of equal parts white vinegar and water will do the trick! Load up your spray bottle with the mixture, and apply it to the stain. Let is soak for 5 to 15 minutes, and then scrub the area with a brush and water.
Grease Stains: Corn starch will soak it up. Sprinkle the stain and let it sit for 15 to 30 minutes. Then vacuum it up. If it’s not gone, you can repeat the process. You can speed it along by laying a paper towel over the area and running a hot steam iron over the paper towel. Then let it sit and vacuum. Keep trying until it’s all gone!
Hopefully, these tips will help you beat those post-party blues. Although, that just depends on what your recycling bin looks like...
Photo Credit: GromGull