Quick Cleaning & Stain Fighting Tips to Prepare for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is fast approaching and, if you are hosting dinner, you are probably getting ready for it. I know I am. We usually have around 45 people, so I have to start in early November.

This morning, I was on the Morning Living show on Martha Stewart Living Radio with hosts Kim Fernandez and Betsy Karetnick talking about stain fighting recipes from pantry staples in preparation for Thanksgiving. So, I thought I was share some of them with you.

Since we have dogs, one of my chores in preparation for Thanksgiving is to doggy deodorize the carpets, rugs and upholestered furnitue. What I do is just sprinkle some baking soda on the carpet and rugs, and on the couch cushions that aren’t removable. I let it sit at least 30 minutes – the longer the better – and then vacuum up. Deodorizing done!

To clean my wood floors, I just use a mixture of vinegar and water – at a one to one ratio. If I need some cleaning boost, I’ll squirt in some castile soap. Now, for those of you who don’t like the odor of vineger, I’ve got a  tip for you. Simmer some water on the stove or use an electric water pot, and add your favorite essential oils (pure essential oils, not synthetic) or add some cinnamon, cloves, orange peels, pine needles, whatever you like. Do this while you are cleaning and you won’t notice the vinegar. Plus, your whole house will smell amazing without phthalate-containing synthetic scents.

Okay, now what about fighting stains? For a fresh red wine stain (doesn’t somebody always spill red wine?), blot up what you can (don’t rub, you don’t want to force it into the carpet fiber) and then throw on some coarse salt. Be generous. The salt will absorb the color and keep it from setting while you figure out what to do. You can leave it on overnight and then vacuum in the morning. Then mix 1 cup cool water, 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide (3% solution) and a very small squirt of dishwashing soap. Spray this on the area, and gently blot up, working the stain out. Don’t saturate the carpet. Once done, put a clean white rag or towel over the area to wick up the moisture. Be careful with the soap – you don’t want soap residue on your carpet which can then attract dirt in the future. And, if you have a wool carpet, use hydrogen peroxide sparingly and skip the squirt of dishwashing soap.

Another option is to use white wine to neutralize the red wine and then blot up. Then follow with the salt and cleaning solution routine.

For coffee, you need to replace the acidic coffee (which gets into the carpet fiber) with a stronger acid. First, blot up what you can using a dry, clean towel. The blot with a mixture of water and distilled white vinegar, and let that sit for 15 minutes. Then blot up with a slighty damp rag.

For greasy food stains, take up what you can and then try a mixture of vinegar and water. Vinegar cuts grease, and usually will perform well.

For candle wax, freeze it by adding ice cubes in a ziploc bag or frozen veggies in a ziploc bag. Then gently lift what you can using a blunt knife. Then, use paper towels or a paper bag, placing these over the spot. The use a clean rag, and iron gently on the lowest setting. Be careful if your carpeting is synthetic – you do not want to melt the fibers. Check the paper towel or paper bag repeatedly, and switch out once you see a stain.

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  1. Thank you for sharing-this was so helpful. I can’t tell you the number of times red wine has spilled on our carpet. I thought it was a goner. The candle wax remedy-who knew?? Great tips!

  2. Stain Rx (a.k.a. Erado-Sol), is the best stain remover out there. I have been using it on red wine stains since 1969. Just touch it to red wine, iodine, berries (INCLUDING POMEGRANATE), fruit punch, cranberry juice, and the stains disappear in a second. Stains such as mascara, lipstick, blood, balsamic vinegar, vanilla extract and others come out with a little massaging and rinsing. Soak your diamond, gold and platinum jewelry in it for 20 minutes to overnight, you wonu2019t believe it! By the way, the University of California u2013 Davis did a study on red wine stain removal and the #1, ready to use winner was Stain Rx (a.k.a. Erado-Sol). It killed Wine Away which is available everywhere. Go to http://www.StainRx.com to see what else it does.rnAs far as carpeting and upholstery: I use Stain Rx on carpeting and upholstery all the time and have the method down. First, I vacuum the entire carpet or piece of upholstery being treated. Then I clean the entire carpet or upholstery with my Hoover Steam-Vac, a carpet shampooer is at least as good, plus, I ONLY use warm water – no detergent at all. The Hoover sprays in water and vacuums it out. For the carpet I use the Steam-Vac and on upholstery I use the Steam-Vac attachments to do this. While the carpet or upholstery is still wet from this step, do the following; Depending on the size of the stain, put a u201cdotu201d of Stain Rx on your fingertip and rub out one stain at a time. After treating a stain, remove all the soapy residue from that area using the instructions below and go on to the next stain. HERE IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART: You have to remove all the soapy residue using the attachments from the Steam-Vac, carpet shampooer or a wet/dry shop vacuum. RINSE OUT ALL OF THE SOAPY RESIDUE USING WATER AND THE VACUUM. If you leave Stain Rx in the area, dust will stick forming a gray spot in a few weeks. If this happens, just add water and remove all of the soapy residue.rnrn

  3. Great tips! We had no stains or spills thank goodness but I’ll keep this post bookmarked! I hope you and your family had a GREAT thanksgiving feast and day!

  4. trying to find the vinegar way to clean a toilet..can’t access anything on this site.. what gives?

  5. trying to find the vinegar way to clean a toilet..can’t access anything on this site.. what gives?

  6. trying to find the vinegar way to clean a toilet..can’t access anything on this site.. what gives?

  7. trying to find the vinegar way to clean a toilet..can’t access anything on this site.. what gives?

  8. Yeah, I’m trying to find that recipe too, Hedy. She talked about it on The Talk today.

  9. What was the formula to clean toilets with? Also, the soft scrub substitute formula? Thanks Arlene

  10. Catherine says:

    See this link, and after using the soft scrub, add some vinegar to the toilet bowl and it will foam up.nhttp://www.thesmartmama.com/ii-40/

  11. Thanks for sharing these design ideas. It definitely help me a lot.


  1. There is one company that has used hydrogen peroxide as a sterilizer to use in hospitals including patient rooms, surgical and other medical equipment.

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