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How to Clean Stains After the Party

Party Stains

After the party is over and everyone has gone home, that’s when you look around and assess the damage. Is that stain in the tablecloth going to come out? And even worse, is the one on the brand new carpet going to come clean? We have compiled several common party stains and their remedies to help you clean up from the “party of the year”.

Keep in mind, there are two elements to take into account when cleaning a stain. First, what caused the stain, coffee, red wine, chocolate, etc.? And, what is the stain on, the carpet, your new dress, the countertop, etc. For any remedy, test a small, inconspicuous area first before trying to remove the stain itself. Unfortunately, there are some stains that will never come out but, they will certainly be a reminder of the epic party you threw.

For any stain, try not to let it set in. The best time to clean up a spill is when it is still wet. Below are some tips for removing common party stains!


Coffee & Tea

The tannins in coffee and tea can make for a difficult stain to get out, particularly because these drinks are often drank hot. Hot substances often set stains faster and deeper as well.

How to prevent a coffee or tea stain from setting:

If the stain is still wet, blot with cool water and sprinkle a liberal amount of salt or baking soda on the stain. This should prevent the stain from setting.

How to remove a dried coffee or tea stain:

Mix 1 Tbsp. Dish Detergent, 1 Tbsp. White Vinegar, and 2 cups cool water and blot with a cloth. As high heat can set a stain, we recommend air-drying your shirt first to make sure that the stain doesn’t come back through. Repeat as necessary.



The coloring in wine is caused by pigments from the anthocyanin family, chemicals produced by plants that give them their color. These pigments are also used in fabric dyes, so it’s no surprise why these stains can be so problematic.

How to prevent a wine stain from setting:

If still wet, try blotting with with a cloth to remove any excess, and then apply some club soda to the stain area.

If the stain doesn’t seem to lighten, or wine was spilled on carpet (for instance), applying a liberal amount of salt to the stain area should work to prevent the stain from setting and, ideally, lift the stain. After allowing the salt to dry, you can clean or vacuum it up.

How to remove a dried wine stain:

For white clothing, mix together equal parts of Dawn dishwashing detergent and hydrogen peroxide. Pour this mixture over the stain and allow it to soak in. After allowing this to soak, launder as you normally would. As heat will set stains, we recommend air drying and reapplying as necessary.

For colored clothing, pour white vinegar over the entire stain and immediately rub in liquid detergent. Launder as you normally would, but air dry the garment instead of putting it in the dryer. Reapply the vinegar and liquid detergent as necessary.



Because chocolate is often mixed into fats like butter and shortening, these stains can be harder to get out than we often expect.

How to remove chocolate stains:

Begin by scraping dried chocolate off the fabric with the edge of a butter knife, being careful not to damage the weave. Blot with a mixture of one part dish detergent and two parts 3% hydrogen peroxide (for white clothing) or white vinegar (for colors). Let it stand for 15 minutes and then rinse well. If the stain is still noticeable, apply some liquid detergent and rub gently to lift the stain. Launder as you normally would, air-dry, and reapply as necessary.


Greasy Foods

Grease stains can be extremely difficult to get out of fabric. This doesn’t mean that you have to replace your clothes though!

How to prevent a grease stain from setting:

Immediately blot the stain with a paper towel to remove remaining grease, then apply a liberal amount of baking soda or baby powder to the stain to absorb as much of the oil from within the fabric as possible. Apply cool water to the fabric and try to prevent it from drying prior to being cleaned.

How to remove grease stains:

Begin by soaking up any remaining grease with a liberal amount of baby powder or baking soda. Once you’ve removed as much of the oil as you can, apply some liquid dishwashing detergent with a cloth, careful to blot instead of rub. Now, before laundering, apply a liberal amount of laundry detergent to the stain, rubbing gently to work the detergent into the fabric, and launder as you normally would. Air-dry the garment to see if the stain still remains. If the stain is still visible, reapply the dishwashing detergent, soak the garment, and reapply the laundry detergent to the stain before laundering again as necessary. Once the stain is removed, you can dry as you normally would.

While these are methods for addressing the most common party spills, these methods can be used with any number of stains. The key is to catch the stain early and determine the type of stain it is before attempting to treat it. Dish Detergent is designed to pull grease away from a surface so, remember this when dealing with greasy or high-fat food stains. With the right type of clean up, your party memories can be kept to looking at photographs instead of a stubborn stain.

We hope you found this information helpful! If there’s something that YOU want to hear about, please contact your local Disaster Blaster office!

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