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How to Clean Five of the Biggest Holiday Messes

Dec. 28, 2016 at midnight


The holidays are a very busy time of year in any home. The festivities bring laughter and cheer, but there's an unfortunate downside—they also tend to leave a mess in their wake.

Floors, in particular, take a beating during the winter season. So, here are some tips for cleaning up those common holiday culprits that are inclined to stain and damage your flooring.

1. Red Wine

For hardwood floors, quickly mop up a red wine spill with kitchen towels before a stain forms. However, if it has already stained, make a paste of baking soda and mineral oil. Cover the affected area with a layer of the paste for 30 to 40 minutes and wipe off with a dry towel.

If the spill is on a carpet, blot the wine with towels as soon as you can. Then, pour a generous amount of club soda on the stain. Sprinkle a thick layer of salt on the area and wait until it has dried completely. The salt should soak up the red pigment and can be removed with a vacuum.

2. Gravy

Gravy will usually not stain tile or wood floors as long as it is wiped off quickly. If a stain has already formed, use a towel dipped in a mixture of liquid dishwashing soap and warm water to scrub it off.

This method can also be used on carpets. Also, sprinkling talcum powder on the area will absorb the grease. Then, remove the powder with a vacuum.

3. Glitter

A huge glitter spill on a hard floor surface can be swept into a pile with a moistened paper towel or a dryer sheet. Next, use the crevice attachment on a vacuum to clean up the pile and any pieces that have become stuck in the gaps between planks or tiles.

For carpets, use an upholstery brush attachment on the vacuum instead. Any remaining pieces can be removed with a lint roller or pieces of Scotch tape.

4. Snow and Salt

Snow boots will not only track in dirt and snow but also the salt that is used as a road de-icer. Melted snow turns into saltwater that stains hardwood floors and carpets. Use a mop with a microfiber cloth attachment to remove droplets before stains or salt crystals form as the water dries up.

Salt that has dried should not be mopped or swept as it can badly scratch hardwood floors. Instead, spray the floor with a mixture of water and distilled white vinegar. Leave the liquid on the affected area for a minute before mopping it up. For stubborn saltwater stains on carpets, wipe clean with a towel moistened in the vinegar mixture.

5. Pine Needles

While pine needles are easy to sweep or vacuum off hard surfaces, they do leave sap residue behind. This can be cleaned using a damp towel.

Removing pine needles from carpet is trickier. The upholstery attachment on a vacuum will work best along with a lint roller. A towel moistened with rubbing alcohol will loosen the sticky sap residue from carpet fibers.

When to Call a Professional Floor Cleaner

Sometimes, no amount of scrubbing and vacuuming can miraculously remove a nasty stain or a major spill. DIY cleaning methods could prove to not only be ineffective but also harmful, especially to flooring types that require specialized care. The fact remains that only pro-grade solutions and tools can save floors with seemingly irreparable damage. Experienced floor cleaning service companies like Floor Medic from Longview, Texas can competently address any household messes. Thus, homemakers can focus more on holiday merrymaking and less on seasonal cleaning problems.

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