The holidays are insanely messy! I know that because I’m a person who has lived through many holidays and also because I do a job in which people ask me questions about how to clean up the messes they’ve made, and things go OFF THE RAILS during the last few months of the year. So I have a pretty good idea about what you’re most likely to spill on your carpet, on your furniture, and on yourself during the holiday season and therefore can say, with no small amount of authority, that these are the stain removers you should think about stocking up on right now, before the holidays — and their attendant messes — get fully underway.
Stop everything you’re doing and order these Shout Wipes right now! Then, when the box of Shout Wipes arrives, stop everything you’re doing, get your box cutter — oh God, you don’t have a box cutter? There are so so so many more great, must-own products that we have to talk about, aren’t there? — open the box (RECYCLE IT) and immediately stash a Shout Wipe in your wallet or handbag or fanny pack or whatever thing you most often carry with you.
You’ll thank me (and feel free to take that literally: firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter.com/joliekerr) when you drop a canapé down the front of your shirt at your best friend’s tree trimming, or spill the much-better-than-Manischewitz you’re drinking at your cool Uncle Joshua’s third-night-of Hanukkah party on your pants, or wind up wearing half the sushi platter due to a mishap involving Carole from HR and the electric slide at the office holiday party. The reason you’ll thank me is that Shout Wipes are actually incredible at on-the-fly stain removal, so when you spill on yourself in a social setting, you’ll be able to clean yourself up and get back to being the party animal that you are.
Red wine, cranberry sauce and pomegranate anything are probably the worst of all the holiday stains, but Wine Away, which sounds too gimmicky to be actually good but that is actually good, works on all three. A good thing to know about Wine Away, other than the fact that it works, is that it comes in different sizes, so you can grab a 2 ounce travel sized bottle to tote around during red wine-drinking season, and a full sized 12 ounce bottle to give to a red wine-loving friend, and even a 12-pack to keep in the house for when your friends and family are careless and douse your white couch with this year’s Beaujolais nouveau.
Let’s say you’re hosting Thanksgiving at your house this year. And let’s say you’re planning to use your Great Aunt’s fancy vintage tablecloth that you’ve never had the guts to use before because you’re so worried about a big blob of sweet potatoes landing on it, staining it irrevocably and forever. Worry no more! Engleside Restoration is a specialty product that can be safely used to remove stains from delicate, old, or just really precious items like vintage table linens.
Grease stains are super common during the holidays—think of all the delicious, especially greasy stuff we get to eat during this time … gravy, latkes, latkes with gravy, etc.— and so now is the time for me to tell you about my go-to grease stain treatment product, Lestoil. Lestoil’s primary purpose is as a heavy-duty multi-use cleaner, i.e. the kind of stuff you dilute with water in a bucket and use to mop dirty floors, but it also doubles as an incredible stain remover. To use it, dab a grease stain with a small amount that you’ve applied to a sponge or rag, then launder the stained garment as usual. When it comes to grease stains, it’s best to let the garment air dry, in the event it didn’t come fully out in the wash and the lingering stain is obscured by the fact that the fibers are damp, post-washing, to ensure that the heat of a dryer doesn’t set the stain in.
It is my firmly held belief that, unless you’re the cleanest person in the world — which you’re not, because I currently hold that title, sorry! — you ought to own a carpet and upholstery cleaning machine. It’s just really so much better at cleaning up spills caused by food or drink or, um, the aftermath of too much food or drink than trying to perform the job manually. The reason is that these types of machines work by forcing cleaning solution into carpet or upholstered furniture, getting past the surface and down into the fibers, and then suck the solution back out, so that it’s not totally saturated with liquid. This holiday season, if you’re hosting a big party or a big meal or just planning to lie alone on the couch with bowls of gravy for the duration, think about investing in one of these bad boys.