1. Hot chocolate. There are few things better than a nice cup of hot chocolate, but things can get nasty if your son or daughter (or husband or wife) happens to upend that mug. Again, haste is important: fill a bowl with water and mix in water softener, then submerge the stain garment in the water s and dab with a wet cloth. Afterwards, wash as normal in the laundry, and the stain should be gone.
2. Salt stains. When there’s snow and ice on the ground, the salt used to melt precipitation gets everywhere, and it can be nasty if it makes contact with your clothes. The first step to take in the case of salt stains—which are usually white and form ring patterns—is to blot (not rub) out the salt with some warm water. Then, make sure to wash the clothes within 24 hours of the stain, and if it doesn’t come out in the laundry, take the clothes to your dry cleaners and point it out to them. Salt stains can also be a big problem when it comes to leather shoes: the best way to deal with them is to mix white vinegar with water and, after dipping a rag in the mixture, wiping away the salt.
3. Coffee. You probably drink coffee year-round, but sometimes when it’s cold out, a hot cup of joe seems even more important. Any coffee spills should be immediately submerged in water and, a little later, sponged with a mixture of one part dishwashing liquid and two parts water. Then rinse and blot until dry. If milk or cream was involved, though, it might need a dry cleaning.
4. Cranberry sauce. Pretty much the only time anyone eats cranberry sauce is with the Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey; there aren’t many foods more seasonal than cranberries! Scrape up any excess spill and use a mixture of laundry detergent, white vinegar, and cool water to soak the stain, and then launder.
5. Red wine. The problem with red wine is that the more wine that is consumed, the more likely someone is to spill. Blot the excess wine out of the garment immediately, and if it’s a dry clean only piece, just get it to the Corinium cleaners ASAP. If not, combine one teaspoon laundry or dish soap and one cup hydrogen peroxide. Using a sponge, absorb some of the liquid, and then blot the stain again. Put a dry towel or washcloth inside the garment, between one side and the other, to keep the stain from seeping through onto another part of the fabric, and then wash in cool water, either in the machine or sink depending on the garment.
Follow these instructions and you can deal with some of the worst stains the season has to offer.