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The Aftermath of Thanksgiving Dinner

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2019

You did it; you made it through Thanksgiving. You survived the family drama, the screaming children, the countless bowls of food that needed to be cooked, the mountain of dishes to wash, and the memories that were made. But now that life has seemingly gone back to normal, you may not feel too grateful for the spills and stains that have now adorned your home. Here are some typical stains of Thanksgiving that you may find on your carpets, rugs or upholstery:

  1. Gravy- Although gravy is the perfect sauce on any Thanksgiving dinner, it’s not something you want on your carpets. Gravy’s threat to your floors can be twofold: the oily residue from fat drippings, and the coloring often added by gravy packets.
  2. Cranberry Sauce- It often seems that cranberry sauce ends up on the carpet more often than on the turkey. Cranberries produce a tannin stain which results in the red color you’ll often find left by cranberry spills.
  3. Pumpkin PiePumpkin Pie- Raw pumpkin is an easy to remove vegetable stain until you combine it with eggs, milk or cream to make pumpkin pies. And if there are young children around, it is almost certain that one piece of pie has ended up on the floor.
  4. Red Wine- Red wine on your carpet does not get better with age. Wine, like cranberries, contains tannins which create tough stains to deal with on your own.
  5. Coffee- With a little less sleep and a lot more caffeine over the holidays, it’s hard to keep it all in the mug. These stains are especially difficult to remove completely from light-colored carpet.
  6. Lipstick- The holidays present many opportunities (or obligations) to get dressed up. If you happened to have any small children around this year, you may have found your makeup products leaving a trail through the house.
  7. Grease- Whether it’s cooking oil or grease from the Thanksgiving turkey, water can spread the stain making it even worse. Grease also leave behind dirt attracting residues as well as stains that can become breeding grounds for bacteria.
  8. Soda- With so many family members together, it’s hard not to socialize without bumping elbows. Unfortunately that can lead to spilling soda on carpets or upholstery which can create sticky, sugary spots that will attract dirt like a magnet.
  9. Hot Chocolate- Hot Chocolate is the “perfect storm” of different stains: fat, sugar, brown dye, and protein. And when you’re shivering from the freezing cold, it can be hard to keep it all in your mug.
  10. Sweet Potatoes- Vegetable stains, such as raw potatoes, are an easy fix until you combine them with butter, maple syrup or brown sugar to make a traditional sweet potato dish. The sticky, dirt-attracting stains that can result are anything but sweet.

Serving Thanksgiving DinnerMany of these stains can be removed through DIY tips and tricks. However, stay away from bleach, rubbing alcohol & detergents as they can either change the colors of your beloved carpets, upholstery or rugs, or they can leave behind a dirt-attracting residue. For any stain or spill, we recommend keeping it simple. Start by using the backside of a butter knife or spoon to remove any solids from food spills. For liquids use clean, dry white cloth or paper towels to gently blot up as much of the stain as you can. Avoid rubbing as that would push the stain deeper into the carpet.

If your stains or spills prove too difficult to safely remove yourself, we recommend contacting us here at Chem-Dry. If we can’t get it out, no one can! We will remove all traces of these stains as well as any bacteria that may have settled into the fibers and even down to the carpet’s backing. Chem-Dry also offers carpet protectant services that will seal and protect your carpet from future spills and messes, such as upcoming Christmas parties. Even if there were some stains left behind, we hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful! We wish you an accident-free holiday season!


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