Hosting your family at Easter provides plenty of cause for celebration: wearing your Sunday best; cooking for people you love; and giggling as you hide eggs from the little ones (often in plain sight). What’s not cause for celebration is the mess and stains that result from all that fun. Read: wine spills, egg-dye stains, and sticky countertops. The good news, though, is htat cleaning these up can be done quickly, and often using pantry staples you’ve already got in your cupboard. From baking soda to table salt, here’s how to use everyday items for quicktime cleanup, according to cleaning industry experts.
To Make Mud Disappear: Baby Shampoo
There’s a reason they call this time of year “mud season,” but it doesn’t have to ruin your day. To remove a muddy mess from clothes, Juliana Rocha, owner of Amazing Maids, suggests letting the stain dry, and using a toothbrush to scrub off as much as possible. Then rub a few drops of baby shampoo on the stain and toss in the wash. The shampoo breaks up the proteins in the mud while being extra gentle on clothes.
To Banish Egg-Dye Oopsies: Baking Soda
The pastels of spring look gorgeous on hard-boiled eggs, but less so when they get on your counter or seat cushions. Thankfully, all you need to remove the stains is baking soda and vinegar. Start by sprinkling some baking soda over the spot, then combine one part white vinegar and one part water, and spray the solution on the stain — it will fizz, and the chemical reaction will lift the dye right out. Even better: This mixture is gentle enough to use on your hands, clothes and carpets.
To Nix Chocolate Stains: Soapy Water
If a chocolate bunny has left its mark on your sofa or carpet, just blot the spot with cold water. Let it sit for 10 minutes, then squirt a bit of dish soap on the mark and gently rub until the suds turn brown; dab it with a cloth to dry, and you’re done!
To Remove Grass Stains: DIY Spritz
Your picnic was a blast — too bad the grass left green streaks on your clothes. The fix: Steven Ip of Cleanzen Cleaning Services says soak the fabric in a mix of four parts water to one part hydrogen peroxide (if the stain is on a delicate fabric, like silk, use white vinegar instead) and a squeeze of dish soap. Let sit for a half hour, then scrub with a soft brush. Problem solved!
To Outsmart Red Wine Spills: Table Salt
When Easter dinner results in spilled wine on your tablecloth, simply grab your saltshaker to prevent it from leaving a mark. To do: Sprinkle the salt from the outside edges of the stain to the center — this will prevent it from spreading. Let sit for 10 to 15 minutes, then brush off the salt and blot the stain with a damp cloth.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.