Holiday Stain Removal: Pine Sap, Candle Wax & Wine

wine and candle
Lingering stains are not the stuff of happy holiday memories. Try these techniques to clean up common yuletide mishaps:

• Pine Sap: Rubbing mayonnaise on your hands will remove pine sap from them easily. Mayonnaise is also the easiest way to remove pine sap from animal fur or hair. Wash with shampoo after pine sap is gone. Baby oil gently rubbed onto painted surfaces will take off pine sap without damaging the surface, including cars. For pine sap stains on fabric or carpet, some people swear by a dab of hand sanitizer or a light spraying of “OFF” bug repellent, followed by a clean, damp sponge.

• Candle Wax: Candle wax can be removed from most surfaces with patience and this simple technique. First, carefully pick off whatever small pieces of wax you can. Applying an ice cube first will harden the wax and may make this first step easier. (If the wax is on carpet, take care not to pull fibers from the backing).
Lay a plain brown paper bag on the wax. Place an iron set on its lowest setting onto the paper bag; you can also use white paper towels for this. Run the warm iron over the wax and it will begin to absorb into the paper bag/towels. Move the bag around to a fresh place and keep ironing until the wax is gone. If colored dye from the candle remains, dab at it with a bit of rubbing alcohol, then a sponge dampened with water.

• Wine: Fresh spills are easier to clean than old ones, but the following solution
will often yield good results. Mix a teaspoon of dish soap with a cup of hydrogen peroxide. Soak a sponge in it, then squeeze it half dry. Gently blot at wine stain until it lifts, then sponge with warm water. The product Oxyclean is also good on wine stains. Vinegar can remove wine from fabric, as well.

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