Christmas without stains
Advent is already here. A reflective time, when guests are often invited to a cosy get-together. Little accidents can easily happen while nibbling with enjoyment: the wine bottle tips over, the soup gets spilled or the candle wax drops onto the carpet. The stains that result are often difficult to remove. Here are some tips to help:
Take preventative measures
- Use white candles instead of coloured ones. The white wax does not create as bad a stain.
- You can place paper, e.g. from a banquet roll, under the Christmas tree. This means that when the candles drip, you can avoid awkward wax stains.
Different stains, different ways of removing them
- Red wine stains: Cover immediately with mineral water, then sprinkle salt and lemon juice on top, allow them to absorb and machine wash. Alternatively: instead of salt and lemon juice pour some white wine over the red wine stain.
- Wax stains: First scrape off as much wax as possible with a knife (use the back of the knife), then cover with blotting paper or kitchen roll and dissolve the wax slowly with an iron. Make sure to keep moving the paper around so that it does not get too hot.
- Chocolate stains: Dab with carbonated mineral water and rub in well. If the stain does not disappear completely by these means, try using ox gall soap.
- Grease and oil stains on carpets and furniture: Make a pulp out of china clay and surgical spirits (or, if not available, with water). Spread the pulp generously on the stain and allow to dry. Then brush off with a soft brush. China clay and surgical spirits are available in the drugstore.
- Fruit stains: Fruit stains can be rubbed with half a lemon. Lemon juice is a natural bleaching agent and is therefore very suitable as an environmentally friendly cleaning agent.
General tips for removing stains
- The quicker stains are removed, the better they disappear.
- Stains should always be treated prior to washing, since the wash programme in the washing machine sets the stain.
- When using stain removers, test them first on an invisible section to see whether any residues are left by the remover.
- If possible, treat the stain from the reverse side, as this will cause fewer “friction traces”.
- Dab stains in a circular movement from the exterior to the interior. Always begin with a harmless agent such as ox gall soap or lemon juice before using chemical agents that might damage the environment. Once the stain has been removed, dry the area quickly, to avoid the formation of a ring.
- Mineral water is better suited than tap water in removing stains, as it does not leave any residue.
Armed with these tips you can be ready for the next Christmas party at home. If you have any questions or comments on the topic, please use the comment box below.
(DE)Helene Rudolf-Flück hat eine Ausbildung zur Hauswirtschafts- und Handarbeitslehrerin gemacht. Zurzeit unterrichtet sie an der GIBS Olten und der bäuerlich hauswirtschaftlichen Schule Wallierhof in Riedholz in den Fächern Wohnen/Reinigen, Wäscheversorgung, Gästebetreuung und Ernährung. Ganz aktuell bietet sie den Crash-Kurs «Fit für die eigene Wohnung» an. Helene wohnt mit ihrer Familie auf einem Bauernhof in Neuendorf (SO).
(FR) Helene Rudolf-Flück a acquis une formation d’enseignante en économie ménagère et en travaux manuels. Actuellement, elle enseigne à la GIBS Olten et à l’Ecole agricole de gestion ménagère Wallierhof à Riedholz; elle y traite les matières Habiter/Nettoyer, Linge et lessive, Suivi des invités et Alimentation. Sa spécialité la plus récente est un cours accéléré intitulé «En forme pour son propre logement». Helene et sa famille habitent une ferme à Neuendorf (SO).
(EN) Helene Rudolf-Flück is a qualified home economics and craft teacher. She now teaches at the GIBS Olten and at Wallierhof agricultural and catering college in Riedholz in the subjects of home management/cleaning, laundry, hospitality and nutrition. As a very topical offering, she is currently running the crash course “Fit to run your own home”. Helene and her family live on a farm in Neuendorf (SO).