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2X4: Four Stain Removal Secrets (Holiday Edition)




What do you love most about the holidays? Whether it’s nights by the fire, a big spruce in the living room or delicious food, your favorite traditions probably come with some cleanup. Don’t let the holidays leave behind nasty blemishes! Tackle these common stains as they happen with these tricks:

Candy Canes. Red and white striped candy canes are classic holiday treats, but they can get really messy. If your cane winds up on some cloth, soak it for 30 minutes in a small basin of cold water mixed with one tablespoon of white vinegar. Hang it out to dry and then wash as you normally would. If your sugary treat has fallen onto the carpet, pour one cup of tepid water onto it and let it sit for an hour. Then use a butter knife to carefully pull away the candy. Once it’s gone, dab the area with a soft towel. If you’re left with a red stain, mix a few drops of dish detergent with a few ounces of warm water, and apply this to the stain. Blot it gently, and then soak the detergent up with a paper towel.

Eggnog. There are two kinds of people in this world: eggnog lovers and eggnog haters. If you’re a hater, you probably aren’t staining things with the classic holiday drink. If you’re a lover, you’ll need this stain removal tip! First, blot your stain with a soft cloth. If your stained item is washable, soak it for 30 minutes in cold water with a tablespoon of white vinegar or enzyme detergent. Then, wash your garment per usual. If your eggnog hit the carpet, dab the area with a very small amount of nail polish remover until it’s clean. The nail polish remover will evaporate, so you don’t need to rinse. If you don’t have any remover handy, you can use mild dish soap and warm water to blot the stain. Just be sure to thoroughly rinse away your dish soap!

Candle Wax. They line your windows and light up your holiday dinners, but candles are not the cleanest addition to your holiday décor. Wax is unavoidable, but fortunately it’s easy to clean! Fill a plastic bag with ice and lay it on top of the wax stain (shirt, table runner, carpet, doesn’t matter). Let the bag sit until you’re sure the wax is frozen. Then, scrape it off with a dull knife (a butter knife works best). If there is residue leftover, cover the wax stain with brown paper or a newspaper. Then, run a warm iron over the paper. Once the wax melts, it will be absorbed by the paper.

Tree Sap. Sap is the dark side of the otherwise lovely tree in your living room – it’s sticky, gooey and frustratingly tough to clean. If sap gets on any pieces of cloth or carpet, you can tackle the mess with rubbing alcohol and a clean, white rag. Test a small area of your sap-covered material to make sure it isn’t discolored by the alcohol. Once you’re sure your red tree skirt won’t turn pink, moisten your rag with the alcohol and use it to blot the gooey sap. Blot until all of the sap is removed, remoistening the cloth as necessary. Rubbing alcohol evaporates, so rinsing afterwards isn’t necessary.

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