If you act quickly, you'll be able to salvage your party outfit.

By Erica Sloan
November 20, 2019
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Seasonal spills don't have to bring a celebration to a screeching halt. If you act quickly, you can lift common holiday stains from washable clothes. All you need is our homemade cleaning solution—made from one tablespoon of liquid dish soap mixed with nine-and-a-half ounces water—and a spray bottle. When an accident strikes, wield them as described below, then launder your clothing as usual. In the event that the stained item isn't machine-washable your best bet is to dab off any excess from the spill, then get your clothing to the dry cleaner as soon as possible.

Getty / Werayuth Tessrimuang / EyeEm

Related: 12 Things You Should Do Before Tossing Your Laundry in the Washing Machine

Red Wine

Here's your first line of defense against red wine spills: Douse the stain in the soap solution, blot with a white cotton cloth, and flush with hot water. Repeat with a bit of white vinegar. Next, slide a bowl under the fabric and secure it with a rubber band. Coat the spot in salt, then pour boiling water directly over it from several inches above.

Gravy

If the gravy has dried, you'll first want to lift off as much as possible with a dull knife, then spray with your solution and soak the piece in warm water for a few minutes. Follow this up with some white vinegar to lighten the spot—and then break up grease with an enzyme-based spray treatment, such as Zout Triple Action Enzyme Formula ($2.98, walmart.com).

Chocolate

A dull knife will come in handy here, too: Scrape off what you can without spreading the cocoa and then spritz liberally with the solution. Enlist an enzyme-based product (Zout is our go-to for chocolate stains, as well) to remove any residue from the fats in the sweet.

Coffee

Squeeze lemon juice or white vinegar onto the area and follow with a color-safe bleach-based pretreatment spray. To clear discoloration left over from milk or sugar, go back in with your trusty soap solution.

Lipstick

Cover the mark in isopropyl or rubbing alcohol, dabbing (not rubbing!) with a clean cloth to gently lift the color. After, spritz with soap solution. If the stain persists, try an enzyme-based product to break down the makeup's oils.

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