5 All-Natural Holiday Stain Removers
By Matt Hickman
A: I’m not sure what kind of products you’ve been using, but I’m glad to hear you’re willing to retire your arsenal of chemical stain removers. In addition to giving both the environment and your health a break, you’ll also be saving a few bucks (more money for the boxed wine fund!) since some of the most effective, simple and sworn-by stain-busters are things already found in your home. And if you don’t have them already in your pantry or cleaning cupboard, these items are inexpensive, versatile and easy to find.
Below you’ll find a rundown of five stain-lifting items you should have on hand during the holiday hosting season. And when I say “on hand,” I do mean it since quickness of application is key here. I wouldn’t recommend wearing a tool belt filled with DIY red wine removers at your New Year’s Eve blow-out (unless you think it really goes with your outfit), but do have them at the ready for the best results.
1. A liberal sprinkle of regular table salt is effective at absorbing grease, wine and blood stains from household fabrics like table linens.
2. In addition to being a key ingredient in many holiday libations, straight club soda is effective in treating carpets that have been stained with red wine, tea, coffee and other spillables.
3. Versatile and full of acidic, stain-fighting goodness, lemon juice acts as nature’s bleach. Great for linen napkins stained with blueberry cobbler or kitchen countertops that have doubled as a pour-your-own wine station.
4. White vinegar rules supreme when it comes to DIY household cleaning tasks, and that includes stain removal. Key for treating upholstery and carpets that have been involved in tomato-based sauce mishaps.
5. A paste made from baking soda and water is also invaluable when it comes to erasing unsightly post-party messes. Great when applied to washable fabrics (if a guest spills on him or herself, send ’em home with a little box of B.S.), but I’m a fan of using it on cups stained by coffee and tea.
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