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Holiday dinners and lavish parties mean loved ones will gather from far and near. Along with the food, drinks and merriment is the possibility of carpet and upholstery stains. Acting quickly can remove the unwanted stains from valuable home furnishings. Following are tips to make spot cleaning a breeze.

Spot cleaning is done carefully by treating only the stained area of a carpet or a piece of furniture. A beaded section of an upholstered chair that becomes stained with a few drops of wine, for example, can be successfully spot cleaned—while avoiding causing damage to the beadwork.

Even if a stained pillow can be laundered, spot cleaning is usually required to completely rid the stain from the fabric. Sponging is an effective spot cleaning method that is used to keep the stain contained and to prevent it from spreading. Here are more helpful tips:

Tip 1: Keep a spot cleaning first-aid kit

Ideally, during the holidays, party hosts and hostesses will have on hand a first-aid kit specifically for spot cleaning carpets. The first-aid kit should consist of liquid and dry laundry detergent, oxygen bleach, a grease solvent (like a spot remover), nail polish remover, turpentine, and rubbing alcohol.

Baby wipes should also be included in the first-aid kit. Wipes contain a gentle mix of water and soap, making them perfect for spot cleaning leather, cotton, and polyester. Rugs can be effectively spot cleaned with baby wipes. Test a small area with the wipes to ensure damage doesn’t occur.

Tip 2: Spot clean gently

Aggressively attempting to rub out a stain from upholstery or carpets only pushes the stain deeper into the fabric or fibers. Rather, apply a stain remover, allow it to sink in, and then gently blot out the stain using a soft microfiber cloth—not coarse fabric.


Great spot cleaning uses a minimal amount of water

Tip 3: Limit the amount of water

Successful spot cleaning requires using a minimal amount of water. Although many people believe more moisture leads to better results, the opposite is true. Water-free spot removers, like specially formulated solvents, should be used first. If water is necessary, use it sparingly on the stain.

Tip 4: Work quickly to lift the stain

When spot cleaning, it’s important to work fast. Waiting too long allows the stain to set into the carpet or upholstery and cause permanent damage. Work from the edges of the stain toward the center to prevent spreading the stain. Use proper spot cleaning methods to avoid worsening the stain.

Tip 5: Pre-treat the upholstery

Some furniture items come pre-treated with fabric protectors. But when they don’t, it’s important to apply one to repel the stains that are expected during the boisterous holiday gatherings. Cleaning services are also available to handle the task of pre-treating upholstery; just ask how long it will last.

Now on to the specifics. During the holidays, a range of foods, drinks, and products can stain the upholstery and carpeting. Candles can leave melted wax behind; small children may spill berry juice; and guests may accidentally stain the upholstery with lipstick.

Tip 6: Spot clean candle wax

Lighting candles during the holidays is a tradition in many households. After the holidays, cleaning candle wax may be done by first scraping off the wax with a dull knife, then spot cleaning with a grease solvent. If the stain remains, spot clean using oxygen bleach. Sponge with clear water.

Can I Use Bleach to Kill Mold

Use oxygen bleach for persistent stains

Tip 7: Spot clean coffee and tea

Spot cleaning with grease solvents is also effective for eliminating stains caused by coffee and tea. Upon applying the grease solvent, sponge with detergent suds. If the stains persist, use oxygen bleach, and then completely rinse it away with water.

Tip 8: Spot clean household glue

It’s a given that household glue may have been used to assemble holiday ornaments or décor. When glue stains the carpets or upholstery, first blot them with warm water. Then sponge using detergent suds. Epoxies can be treated with solvents or thinners. Blot and rinse well.

Tip 9: Spot clean berry juice or liquor

After the holidays, hosts may discover juice or wine stains on the carpeting or upholstery. Ideally, take action as soon as the stains are discovered. First, sponge with cool water. Stubborn wine or juice stains require an application of oxygen bleach. Then rinse well by blotting with water.

Tip 10: Spot clean lipstick

Spot cleaning lipstick stains after the holidays can be accomplished by gently rubbing liquid or dry detergent into the stain, which has first been dampened. Repeat the process until the lipstick stain disappears. If necessary, treat the stain with oxygen bleach and rinse thoroughly.

Reacting swiftly to stains on carpets or upholstery is the best defense against permanent damage. In such cases, blotting with a microfiber cloth may be all that’s necessary to remove the stains. However, tough stains can require the cleaning professionals from ServiceMaster S&R Systems.

Our top-notch residential cleaning services help homeowners keep their homes clean. We offer a range of cleaning services, such as carpet cleaning, upholstery cleaning, tile and grout cleaning, and wood floor cleaning. Your carpets, furniture, and floors will endure with regular deep cleanings.

Additionally, ServiceMaster S&R Systems provides whole house cleaning. Our cleaning specialists address the entire home from top to bottom, cleaning light fixtures, trim and molding, shelving, doors, windows, and glass as well as less-noticeable parts of the home, like light switches.

Technicians from our cleaning service are also experienced in air duct cleaning. An essential part of home cleaning, this service removes dirt and debris from inside the ducts and parts. As a result, the efficiency of your home’s cooling and heating systems improves, and air quality is enhanced.

Whether your home would benefit from a deep clean after the holidays or at any time of the year, choose ServiceMaster S&R. Our dedicated cleaning crews are available to clean homes in Naperville, Illinois, and the surrounding areas. Call us today to schedule your next residential cleaning.

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