The Cosy Home Guide to Stain Removal

Tips and tricks for home stain removal from Cosy Home

We all love Christmas and New Year parties – but we’re not so keen on the aftermath!

With lots of people crammed into limited spaces and lots of food and drink circulating, accidents are bound to happen – and we all know that the darkest, stickiest liquids will end up getting split on the palest surfaces. Here’s our handy guide to cleaning up after the party.

Stain removal essentials

Be prepared for all eventualities by stocking up on these stain removal essentials:

  • Vanish carpet and upholstery spray
  • Vanish Oxi Action wash-in powder
  • Table salt
  • White vinegar
  • Corn flour
  • Washing up liquid
  • A pack of soft cloths

1. Red wine stains

To remove red wine stains, act as quickly as possible.

Red wine is one of the most persistent stains, and if possible it’s best tackled while still fresh.


On a non-wool, pale-coloured ┬ácarpet, start by throwing handfuls of salt over the area. This will soak up any excess liquid. Once the salt’s turned pale pink, vacuum it up or blot it with a dry cloth, taking care to work from the outside of the stain inwards so you don’t spread it.

Then, spray the area with Vanish cleaner, leave it for five minutes and carefully blot with a clean cloth. If you only discover the stain the next morning, skip the salt stage and go straight to trying the Vanish.

If your carpet is wool, then Vanish cleaners aren’t advised. Instead, cover the stain with salt then carefully pour white wine vinegar over the salt until the mixture turns sludgy. Leave for around 20 minutes, then blot the mixture up with a clean cloth, taking care not to rub. If this doesn’t work, you’ll need to consult a specialist cleaning company.

If your casualty is a tablecloth rather than a carpet, use the salt immediately if possible. Then, wash the cloth on the usual setting with a measure of Vanish Oxi Action wash in powder. If the stain is an old, dried in one, you can soak it in the powder first before washing it.

2. Grease stains

Butter, cooking oil and cream can all leave grease marks on fabrics.

If someone’s been a bit over-enthusiastic with the brandy butter or cream, your nice shirt or tablecloth may end up splattered. Start by sprinkling the stain with cornflour, which will soak up excess grease. Leave for five minutes, then carefully shake off the excess flour into the bin. Next, put a few drops of washing up liquid onto the stain (if you’re using dark-coloured detergent, dilute it first with some warm water) and rub it well into the stain.

Finally, run it through the wash cycle with a measure of Vanish Oxi Action. This method should work on cotton and synthetics, but for silk and delicate fabrics the best bet is to have the item dry cleaned.

3. Candle wax marks

Put candles on plates or holders to minimise the chances of dripping wax staining.

We all love a meal eaten by candlelight – but if you’re having a good time and some absorbing conversation, you may not notice candles overflowing onto the white tablecloth. The good news is that that candle wax stains are relatively easy to remove unless you’re using very dark coloured candles.

Start by carefully scraping off any excess wax with the back of a knife. The wax needs to be set before you do this, or you’ll end up spreading the mark – putting the cloth in the freezer for 10 minutes is the best way to be sure. Then, spread your ironing board liberally with kitchen roll, and lay the stained area of the cloth on top. Cover the stain with more kitchen roll, and iron over it using your iron on a warm setting. Change the kitchen roll frequently as it absorbs the wax.

When no more wax comes out, rub a few drops of washing up liquid into the remaining stain, and wash the tablecloth with a measure of Vanish Oxi Action, on as high a setting as you can for the fabric.

(Top image credit: Shutterstock)

(Disclosure: This post is not in association with Vanish, we just like their stain removal products!!)

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