How to clean stains after New Year's Eve parties - - Columbia, South Carolina

How to clean stains after New Year's Eve parties

The party sure was fun... but now it's time to clean up. (©iStockphoto/Thinkstock) The party sure was fun... but now it's time to clean up. (©iStockphoto/Thinkstock)

By Sabina Dana Plasse

The joyous occasion of celebrating the New Year with friends and family can sometimes be a messy affair. If having a New Year's Eve party, you can avoid a woeful cleanup with a few helpful tips for cleaning stains and messes that will not cost a fortune and damper memories of a fun time.

When cleaning up, discovering spills and messes can sometimes be alarming because they went unnoticed for several hours. In order to find all the damaging party evidence, straighten up and throw away as much trash as possible.

It's also a good idea to stock up on cleaning products for all types of surfaces in your home including carpets, rugs, upholstery, silks and other fine fabrics that adorn your furniture and home.

If chemical laden cleaning products and other items are not your regular choice, make sure you have all the necessary ingredients for natural household cleaning products.

Some great party clean-up products include WineAway, especially for red wine, and lots of soda water mixed with baking soda to break-up stains or spills that have set into carpet or upholstered furniture.

If you can get to a stain or sticky mess when it happens, that will increase your chances of removal. Immediate attention will render good results. If stains such as wine, blood, sauces or other permanent liquids occur, treat them accordingly. Have a stain removal product ready for pre-treating, which can be a stick, spray, gel or soak. For really tough stains, a bleach for whites and a color safe bleach for colors as well as a heavy detergent may be necessary to use. Apply these items with gloves and cotton rags or clean sponges.

Protein Stains

Read all labels before you use products to make sure they work with the type of stain that needs removal. An oil-based or dye stain will require hot water but a label may read "wash cold only," which will not work. The same applies to "dry clean only."

When cleaning protein stains, which include urine, blood, vomit, mucus, ice cream, milk or baby food, no heat is needed.

Heat on a protein stain will make it permanent.

Try and get rid of any excess liquid through blotting or squeezing and soak the stain in cold water, rubbing the fabric between your fingers. Follow the soaking with a cold wash in detergent with enzymes. Repeat if the stain does not come out. In addition, dry the stained material in a cool, dark place.

Tannin Stains

Champagne, coffee, tea, sodas, juices, wine, beer, alcohol and tomato juice are considered tannin stains.

Do not use soap on these stains because they become permanent.

Blot these stains with a cotton rag or sponge to get rid of excess liquid and rinse with cold water. Use hot water and detergent or a stain removal product to wash stain and follow care label.

Bleach can be used for tough tannin stains.

For champagne stains, do not dry clean or chemically treat because it will leave a permanent stain. Treat with warm water and detergent. In addition, sprayed champagne will also stain walls and should be treated accordingly with warm water and detergent. If you use a cleaner, read the label.

Oil-Based Stains

Stains resulting from cosmetics, lotions, salad dressings or mayonnaise are oil-based.

Blot these stains with a cotton rag or sponge to soak up excess. Baking soda will also absorb the stain and help remove it from fabrics. A petroleum-based solvent will remove an oil-based stain but may not be favored by "green" standards. Use hot water to wash and repeat if the stain does not disappear.

Dye Stains

Dye stains such as food coloring, jams, cherries, grass or ink can be removed with cleaning products and concoctions with alcohol. Often hair spray is a good pretreatment for these stains and rubbing alcohol works well too. These stains can also be removed with hot water and bleach for tougher damage.

Another cleaning method that will help find stains is to vacuum. If a carpet is heavily damaged, it might be worthwhile to use a steam-cleaning vacuum product or treat carpet with a cleaner that will react to vacuuming. Remember to always check the product label before adding any temperature or chemical change to the damaged area. In addition, cleaning out garbage first will help reduce odors as does vacuuming when finished. Most odors hide in materials and carpet, make sure you clean those items appropriately. If all else fails, you can call a professional.

Cleaning up tricky New Year's Eve messes is simpler than you think. When you discover a set in stain from your evening's festivities, use one of these easy stain removal tips to get your carpet and upholstery back to looking good as new.

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