Your seasonal survival kit

PUBLISHED: 11:03 23 December 2013 | UPDATED: 11:04 23 December 2013

Oh no! Who did that?

Oh no! Who did that?


Christmas is coming and the goose is getting fat, but what if you get goose fat on your new kitchen floor? Or cranberry sauce on the carpet?

ServiceMaster Clean, experts in cleaning carpets, upholstery and curtains, say the best way to treat a stain is to have a soil resistant treatment professionally applied before Christmas, so that if the worst does happen and a relative ends up dripping gravy all over your dining chairs you won’t lose your Christmas spirit before the brandy butter.

Modern treatments such as Fabritec coat fabrics like curtains, sofas and carpets with a ‘non-stick’ surface. As long as you dash to get a cloth to absorb the spill immediately you should get away with a totally stain-free Christmas.

If you’ve just installed a new stone or wooden kitchen floor, ServiceMaster Clean offer finishes that ensure no matter how much goose fat ends up there, a wipe away with a hot cloth and your regular floor cleaner should solve it.

However, if you haven’t had your surfaces treated and do have a spillage, here’s a list of top Christmas stains and how to remove them. Add these items to the shopping basket: clean white cloth (cheap flannels are perfect) white vinegar, soap flakes, vodka, white spirit, blotting paper, talcum powder, and remember, test the treatment in an inconspicuous area first.

Cranberry sauce and Christmas pudding

Scrape away as much excess as possible, then with a dry cloth apply a little white vinegar in a sponging action. Apply soap flakes (a teaspoonful to mug of warm water), dab again with white vinegar followed by more of soap solution. Rinse with water, dry and the stain should be gone.

Red wine

Absorb as much as possible with kitchen towels, then dampen area with a light spray of water. Absorb again, then sprinkle with plenty of talcum powder and cover with kitchen paper, a piece of cling film and a heavy book on top. Leave for 12 hours. The talc will absorb red wine and can then be vacuumed away.

Turkey gravy, goose fat, brandy butter, chocolate

Scrape up as much as possible. Dab with soap flakes mixture (1tspn flakes to mug of warm water). Gently sponge this onto the stain and allow to sit for at least three minutes, DON’T RUB, then absorb flakes mixture with clean white cotton cloth, repeat until no transfer is visible. Rinse with clean water and absorb with clean white cloth. For all but turkey gravy, finish with a wipe over with vodka. Dry promptly with hair dryer or fan heater.

Christmas tree sap

Dab the sap with a spot of white spirit on a dry cloth, followed by soap flakes (a teaspoonful to mug of warm water.) Gently sponge onto the stain and allow to sit for at least three minutes. Sponge the residue out while keeping the stain as dry as possible.

Candle wax

Place blotting paper over the wax; using the point of an iron, warm the stain until it is absorbed by the paper. Keep moving the paper to a fresh spot until it is all absorbed. Finish by dabbing white spirit onto it with a clean cloth. If a colour stain remains, call in the professionals.


Water based glue responds well to a hot, wet cloth left on top of it for a few minutes; this loosens glue which can then be wiped away. Repeat if necessary. Solvent based glues may be removed with vodka or white spirit. Dab a little on and leave with a cloth on top dampened with your chosen liquid, for a few minutes. Scrape off glue; repeat if necessary.

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