It’s likely that your holiday table may look different this year because of the pandemic. But even with fewer guests to entertain, it’s possible your tablecloth will still end up with a few stains. Consumer Reports experts have the best way to treat a gamut of holiday stains, including gravy and chocolate.
For spilled gravy or cranberry sauce, use a spoon or scraper to pick up any excess. Next, spray the area thoroughly with a good stain remover like Resolve. Then wash the item and check to see if the stain is gone before putting it in the clothes dryer.
The heat of a dryer can set in a stain permanently. If after washing you still see the stain, dab it with hydrogen peroxide (3 percent strength) and line-dry the item in the sun. The sun can bleach the remainder out.
Blot up red wine as soon as possible. Mix warm water and liquid dish detergent, and work it into the stain. Then apply hydrogen peroxide liberally, and set the fabric in the sun for several hours.
The sugars in white wine will cause an ugly brown stain over time. So blot out the liquid, then blot it again with liquid detergent and warm water. Blot once more with a dry towel.
Another stain that responds to a mixture of detergent and warm water is chocolate. If it’s on your tablecloth or napkins, blot it to get out as much as you can. Then put the item in your washing machine and use the soak cycle before laundering.
And you might have to deal with candle wax on your tablecloth. Scrape off as much as you can, then sandwich the spot between two pieces of brown paper. Press the area with a warm iron, and the paper will soak up the wax.