Do you ever notice that people seem to be a little friendlier this time of year? The Christmas season brings out the best in everyone, it truly is the season to be jolly! It is a time for family and friends coming together and enjoying good food and good company. The cleanup is a reality of the holiday season that many people forget about after the celebrating is over. Not only do we have a mess to contend with but also many times we have spills and stains on the carpet; gravy, wine, beer, coffee and soda, to mention a few. I have learned that most people treat these spills wrong and cause the stain to set into the carpet, making the job of removing them much more difficult.

This article will provide a guide to cleaning the most common spills that you get after the holiday season. The most important thing to remember is that timing is everything when it comes to a spill, the faster you clean up after a spill the better chance you have of removing the stain completely. There is three important steps you must follow to clean any stain.

The first step is to immediately blot the spill with a dry white cloth, napkin or paper towel, try to remove as much liquid as possible before going on to the next step.

The second step is to clean the spot and in order to do that you should mix a solution of mild dish detergent (no bleach) and warm water. Once you have mixed the solution blot the stain.

The third step is to neutralize the stain with a solution. Each stain has a different mixture and a solution for a few of the most common stains is included. Put the mixture into a spray bottle, mist the spot after cleaning it, and blot with a paper towel to absorb excess liquid. You can also spray with plain water and blot after you are done to rinse the area and make sure there are no chemicals left on the carpet.

For coffee, tea, beer, or white wine, the neutralizing mixture is one third of a cup of white vinegar and two thirds of a cup of water. For cola, soda, or pop stains, the mixture is one tablespoon of household ammonia and half a cup of water. For gravy stains you do not put it into a spray bottle you blot the spot after cleaning with a small amount of dry cleaning solvent (you may substitute isopropyl alcohol), make sure to use very small amounts to avoid any damage to the carpet.

The trickiest spot of all to clean is red wine, it is very important to treat this spill properly or you risk setting it into the carpet. Simply follow step one, then instead of cleaning it with water and dish detergent you mix one teaspoon of neutral dish soap (dawn works great) with a cup of hydrogen peroxide. You can pour the mixture over the spill to pre-soak it. You should actually see the red wine disappear in front of your eyes. If there is still a residue left afterwards rinse it with water, blot, and then pour a mound of salt on, the spot (the salt will draw the moisture and residue out of the carpet) wait until morning and then simply vacuum up the stain.

These tips for stain removal will help you with any of your holiday spills. Just remember to test any of the chemicals you use on an inconspicuous section of carpet, you can do this by putting a small amount on a white cloth and hold it to the carpet for 30 - 60 seconds, if there is no color transfer on to the cloth you should be fine. Please remember as well, that when the instructions say to blot, do not rub at the carpet or you risk damaging the fibres and making the stain go deeper into the fabric. Good Luck with your stain removal and Happy Holidays!

About The Author:
Jim Thornton has been cleaning carpets for many years. In that time many methods of carpet cleaning have been used but the best carpet cleaning results have been achieved using dry foam extraction. For more information go to


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