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Seven Types of Stains That Are Typical During The Holidays and How to Remove Them

by Carolyn Lee Dec 5, 2022

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Seven Types of Stains That Are Typical During The Holidays and How to Remove Them

The holidays are a festive time with friends and family, enjoying delicious meals. Although there is a lot of merrymaking, there are also chores like doing dishes, cleaning up, and tackling laundry. You might notice different stains on clothing, tablecloths, and carpets. We have suggestions to eliminate stains you might encounter during the holiday festivities.


We seldom hear about dairy stains, but milk has fat and protein that can stick to fabric and result in discolouration. Since many people use milk in their breakfast beverages, holiday eggnog, and other recipes, a milk stain might be difficult to avoid. It helps to tackle milk marks immediately by blotting with a white napkin, white cloth, or paper towel. Do not wipe, as this can cause the stain to go deeper into the fabric.

Put the item in a basin of cold water for approximately 10 minutes. Rub liquid laundry detergent on the stain and let it soak in room temperature water for half an hour. You can rub the stained area between your fingers every five minutes during the soaking stage to loosen up the fats and milk protein in the material. Wash thoroughly when the half-hour has expired. Always check the garment’s care label before attempting to treat the mark.

Coffee or tea stains

There is help for coffee and tea lovers when dealing with those pesky stains that occur from unexpected drips, spills, and accidents. Fortunately, the solution to tackle these dark stains might already be in your home. Apply a small amount of hydrogen peroxide to the area stained with tea or coffee and leave it for 15 to 20 minutes, allowing the solution to work. Then, lightly scrub with a soft-bristle brush. Repeat this process and then launder the item if the stain remains.

Another method to erase coffee stains involves soaking the item in detergent (1/2 teaspoon), lukewarm water (one quart), and distilled white vinegar (one tablespoon) for 15 minutes. Rinse the item and hang it to dry after 15 minutes. Avoid machine drying, especially if the stain is still visible. Machine drying can make it impossible to remove. Be sure to test this coffee stain removal method on a small inconspicuous area of the clothing if you are worried about damaging the fabric.


Chocolate stains can ruin a garment if you don’t quickly tackle the spot. The oil-based ingredients and dark tannins in chocolate can create an unattractive dark mark. First, gently remove the excess chocolate with a blunt knife. Next, run cold water on each side for approximately 30 seconds to help dislodge the chocolate. Avoid using hot water as it could cause the mark to set in the fabric. Then lightly rub liquid laundry detergent on each side of the stain and leave it for five minutes. Use your thumb and fingers to gently scrub each side of the fabric to loosen the oils and tannins. If the oil or dark marks remain on the garment, apply a small amount of baking soda to each side with your fingers and rub until the stain disappears. Wash the item once the process is complete. It is best to take wool, silk, delicates, and other fabrics that are typically dry-clean-only to a dry cleaner instead of using a DIY method.

Red wine

Getting rid of red wine stains can be challenging, but some options can help if you act quickly. Use sparkling or soda water on the affected area, allowing the bubbles in the water to push the stain out of the fabric. Another option is applying hair spray on the spot. Then, leave it for a few minutes before washing an enzyme-based detergent at high temperatures. You can dab sparkling water and use a white paper towel to blot the spot to remove excess moisture on your carpet. A white lint-free cloth can work for blotting but avoid using dyed napkins.


Noticing grease stains might be distressing as they are difficult to remove. Like red wine stains, the quicker you treat grease marks, the better your chances of eliminating them. Use paper towels to pull the grease out of the fabric. You can also apply dishwashing soap or approximately seven tablespoons (100ml) of distilled vinegar to the drawer inside your washing machine and wash. The dishwashing soap will help break up the stains. Please, check the care tag inside your clothing before treating wool and delicate fabrics, as these may require dry cleaning.


During the holidays, hugs and kisses are always welcome, but lipstick stains, not so much. You can remove excess lipstick by scraping it with a blunt knife. Then dilute approximately one tablespoon (15ml) of dishwashing liquid in three-quarters of a tablespoon (10ml) of water and apply it directly to the lipstick mark. Allow it to sit for around five minutes, then lightly scrub the stain with a soft-bristled brush. You can repeat the steps if the spot doesn’t go away the first time. To avoid damaging delicate fabric when treating a lipstick stain, check the care tag inside your clothing or test the method or product in a small, inconspicuous area first.

Candle wax

Candle wax stains might be unpleasant, but they are not challenging to remove. Ensure that the wax is hard before attempting to remove it. Start by covering the affected area with an ice pack to get wax off the carpet. Remove the remaining wax deposits by placing a sheet of absorbent kitchen paper over the area and iron on low heat. Prevent the iron from touching the carpet, causing it to melt or scorch. Repeatedly move the towel around for maximum absorption until it soaks up all the wax.

If the wax is on the fabric, put the item in the freezer for around an hour. When the candle wax becomes brittle, you can pick most off by hand or with a blunt knife. Use an absorbent white paper towel on each side of the stain. You can apply methylated spirits (denatured alcohol) to the area. Read the fabric care tag for the highest temperature the fabric allows and use that setting while machine washing.

Stains are common and often happen when we least expect them, but we know these tips will make cleaning up easier. Find the products and services you need using our Find Yello listings to locate supermarkets, laundromats, and related services. Good luck!

Sources: Apartment Therapy, Maytag, and Find Yello.