DIY Cleaning Methods: Removing Food Stains

A glass of red wine spilled on carpet.
What You'll Need
Dish detergent
Non-butane lighter fluid
Liquid laundry detergent

With elbow grease and tricks of the trade, many food stains can be removed. Spilled food and drinks are the most common causes of stains in the household and getting these pesky problems cleaned up can often be frustrating. Here are a few tips to remove some of the toughest food stains quickly and easily.

1. Grease Stains

The faster you act in removing the grease stain, the better your results will be. Take a cup of cold water and add ¼-cup of liquid dish soap to it. Use a clean, dry towel to blot up any excess grease and then clean the area with the solution.

2. Oil Stains

gloved hands wiping stain off a couch

Besides grease, oil stains are some of the toughest to get up, so again acting fast is the key. If the stain is still liquid, pour salt directly on it and it will start to soak up any residual liquid. Then, use the solution mentioned for removing grease stains to remove the stain caused by oil. Non-butane lighter fluids can also help lift oil stains, although the odor of the lighter fluid isn’t pleasant.

3. Ketchup Stains

ketchup spilling out of a bottle

Ketchup in the carpet can be frustrating, but cleaning it up doesn’t have to be. Add a teaspoon of liquid laundry detergent to a cup of warm water and blot the stain. Then, add a tablespoon of ammonia to a half cup of warm water and blot the stain again. Mix a fresh batch of the laundry detergent solution and thoroughly clean the area, then sponge the area clean with a sponge and clean water. This cleaning method also works for salsa, egg, chocolate, and mustard stains.

4. Wine Stains

Wine stains, especially red wine stains, can cause anybody instant anxiety, but one of the quickest ways to get red wine out of garments is to pour white wine directly onto the red wine stain so it pulls the redness out as it flows through the fibers. If the stain is in the carpet, mix a teaspoon of liquid laundry detergent with a cup of warm water and use it to blot up the wine. Then, mix 1/3-cup of white vinegar with 2/3-cup of water and blot the stain some more. Next, make a fresh batch of the laundry detergent solution to further clean up the stain. Finally, sponge the area clean with clean water.