5 Household Remedies to Remove Stubborn Holiday Stains

Luckily, those pesky stains are much easier to remove than you may have thought

Holiday Stain remedies

If you have kids or pets, you know how hard it can be to avoid the inevitable messes and spills all over the carpet and furniture. In fact, a sofa will see an average of 1,663 spills over the course of its lifetime.

During the holidays, it's possible that the number of stains we see may increase. With company coming over for dinner, you may find yourself trying to nix stubborn stains more often.

Luckily, those pesky stains are much easier to remove than you may have thought. Here are some tips for getting rid of holiday stains:

Red Wine

During the holiday season, it's common for many people to warm their bones with some red wine. But as the night goes on and a couple of toasts have even made, it's also common to find some red wine splashes on couches and carpets.

The remedy is simple enough. First, dry and dab up the liquid so the stain doesn't penetrate even further. Mix one tablespoon of household dish soap with one cup of hydrogen peroxide. Add warm water and use a sponge to dab the stain with the mixture. Once the spot is thoroughly soaked, you can dry the area and watch the wine spot disappear.

Lipstick on Napkins

Holiday dinner celebrations give us an excuse to break out the fine china and cloth dinner napkins. The problem with using these napkins is that they stain easily. Lipstick stains can be especially tough to remove, but not to worry. You may not have known, but nail polish remover can do much more than remove your manicure.

For cloth napkin stains, soak a paper towel with nail polish remover and blot the stain. Once you think the job has been done, wash the napkin with regular detergent and rinse. Continue this process until the lipstick stain is gone.


When it comes to oil stains, timing is everything. Since water and oil don't mix, you won't have any luck simply rinsing the stain out. Instead, immediately cover the stain with cornstarch and let it sit for about an hour, until the oil has been absorbed. Shake the cornstarch off and then soak the fabric in a mixture of dish soap and hot water. Run the fabric through a normal wash cycle after that, and the stain should no longer be visible.

Rings on Your Tabletop

Guests who don't use coasters can leave unsightly rings on your tabletop from various beverages. You can dissolve these rings by wiping them with a damp paper towel or cloth and then using a non-gel toothpaste to rub the ring. Wipe it down again, and the stain should be gone.

For really stubborn stains, mix together toothpaste and baking soda instead.

Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry sauce is a delicious, but messy, dinner addition. If you happen to drop some off your spoon and into your lap or onto your shirt, you may think that your garment is done for. Instead of losing hope, rinse the stain off with cold water and pre-treat it with your go-to stain removing solution. Pop it into the washing machine and check on it regularly to see if the stain has lifted. Do not put it into the dryer until the stain has been completely removed; otherwise you may not be able to lift it at all.

Note that these remedies aren't foolproof. For example, leather sofas do not always react well to water for cleaning purposes. For leather, use an oil or wax-based cleanser to lift the stain and moisturize the fabric. However, these solutions can be a good guide to consult when the party’s over.

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LouAnn is pursuing a Master's Degree in creative writing while she works on a graphic novel. When she has a rare moment of free time, she loves to write about social issues like body positivity, parenting, and mental health.