NOVEMBER 7, 2017

Around any holiday season, you’ll be busy planning, shopping, cooking and cleaning in preparation of having guests over. While you occupy yourself with getting organized, spot cleaning surfaces and creating your menu, have you considered all the spills and carpet stains your delicious meal could  cause once your family and friends arrive?

It always seems to happen in slow motion: You’re all gathered around the table when, out of nowhere, an errant elbow spills a glass of wine, the kids overturn over the punch bowl or the dog gets onto the dessert table and tracks a trail of chocolate across your freshly vacuumed carpets.

Accidents happen. Learn how to combat key holiday-specific stains before they occur so you can act quickly to save your carpets and rugs from permanent damage.

Cleaning Up Holiday Spills and Stains

According to the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification(IICRC), chocolate and fruit punch take the cake as the top two most common holiday stains in the U.S. The most frequent holiday stains include:

  • Chocolate (26 percent)
  • Fruit punch or other dye-based drinks (26 percent)
  • Grease (23 percent)
  • Wine (21 percent)
  • Candle wax (19 percent)
  • Vomit (18 percent)
  • Beer (16 percent)
  • Gravy (15 percent)
  • Butter (10 percent)

While the nature of these accidents may not surprise you, cleaning them up can be a challenge. As a general rule, we recommend using this 4-step cleaning process as soon as you notice a carpet stain or spill:

  1. Blot. Gently blot the stain (don’t rub) with a clean towel to remove excess liquid. Try working from the outside in so the stain doesn’t grow in size.
  2. Dilute. Pour a small amount of water over the stain to dilute it.
  3. Blot. Take another clean towel and blot the spot again to remove excess water.
  4. Repeat until stain is completely gone or shows no further improvement.

After the spot is initially treated, cover it up with another folded towel and place a heavy object over it to absorb any remaining liquid. If you move quickly, this process can help prevent fresh stains from permanently damaging your carpets.

While the simple process above can help keep many kinds of spills from setting, stubborn or older carpet stains may require a more extensive cleaning to remove. Get tips on how to remove coffee stains and how to remove wine stains from your carpet right here on the ServiceMaster Clean® blog, along with a range of other helpful ideas.

If you happen to find a particularly hard-to-clean spot, let ServiceMaster Clean do the dirty work. Learn more about our professional carpet and upholstery cleaning service and how our experienced team can customize an affordable cleaning program to make your home spotless ahead of every holiday event.

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