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Now that the Chanukah parties are over, it’s time to assess the mess and clean it up. The easy part is tossing out the cups, bottles, cans, plates and decorations. The hard part is removing the wine stains and degreasing the stove from all the latke and jelly donut preparation.
A spill or two of red wine is highly likely. By now, it has dried, and therefore, the cleanup becomes more difficult.
If you Google instructions on removing red wine stains, your search will yield an overwhelming amount of results. How do you know which one is effective? We suggest the following do-it-yourself steps to remove a wine stain.
Saturate the stain with straight club soda. Use enough to see the carbonation bring the color to the surface.
Blot with a clean white towel until you can’t pick up any more color.
Pour a layer of salt on the stain.
Let it dry completely.
Brush up the salt with a spoon or ladle.
Vacuum the area.
This method is safe for all types of carpets. If you do not achieve the desired results, don’t bother to try again. Call a professional carpet cleaner.
Phoenix Carpet Repair & Cleaning, a Rosie certified partner, suggests a product it uses to professionally clean carpets: Pro’s Choice Red Relief. This product can be purchased online at most hardware and janitorial stores. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the bottle. You may have to buy a few carpet cleaning tools to get the job done.
Note that every time you add a remedy to the carpet, it will create more stains. The key is rinsing. A professional carpet cleaner will do a proper rinse that will restore the pH balance and remove residue. Hot water extraction (steam cleaning) is the most effective way to remove wine stains.
If you go the DIY route, test carpet stain removal techniques or new products in a hidden area to see the results. Sometimes a brighter surrounding area will form, which can make the formerly stained area stand out.
If the stain does not come out, you can replace the carpet. If that’s not an option, hire a professional to cut out the damaged piece and replace it with a new matching section. As a last resort, rearrange the furniture to hide the stain.
You have to be very careful about upholstery. There are many variants of fabric, color and stain protection. If the furniture is covered with a machine-washable slipcover, remove it and wash per the instructions on the tag. Otherwise, call a professional upholstery cleaning service.
Cleaning stone surfaces
To remove wine stains from tile and grout, liberally sprinkle baking soda on the stain. If the tile and grout are not sealed, it should draw out the moisture and color. Sprinkle, set, sweep up, repeat until you can’t pick up any more color.
When granite and stone countertops are properly installed, they are carefully sealed so that regular cleaning can be done with mild, warm or soapy water. After washing and drying, polish the surface with a microfiber cloth. Engineered stone is tougher and more scratch resistant, but the same daily regimen of soap and water works best on these counters, too.
Cleaning the oven and range
Between the brisket, latkes and jelly donuts, your oven and stovetop may be a greasy mess. You have a few options to clean them:
The oven’s self-cleaning cycle. The process generates a lot of heat, so run it on a cool day. First, wipe up loose soil in the oven and remove the racks and pans. Follow instructions in your appliance’s manual. Newer ovens may let you set a shorter cleaning time. Don’t leave the house while cleaning is going on.
Store-bought oven cleaner. Read instructions carefully and wear rubber gloves, goggles and old clothes for this messy job.
Baking soda and vinegar. Some homeowners complain it’s difficult to get the baking soda off the oven afterward. At any rate, mix a couple spoonfuls of baking soda with water to create a paste to spread over the walls of your empty oven. Let the oven sit for 12 hours (the paste may turn brown). With a wet rag or sponge, wipe out the paste. Use vinegar to sponge surfaces where the baking soda gets stuck. Use the baking soda on the oven’s window and let it sit for 30 minutes before removing it.
Straight ammonia. Try this only on electric ovens. Warm up the oven to 150 degrees F. Turn it off and put a half cup of colorless ammonia in a bowl on the top shelf and a pan of boiling water on the bottom shelf. Close the door and let the oven sit overnight. The next morning, wipe the oven clean with a mixture of ammonia and a little dish soap.
For the stovetop, follow the guidelines as outlined in the appliance’s manual if you plan to use a store-bought item. Some products are too harsh and can scratch the surface. A steam cleaner works well and does not use any chemicals. Exercise caution when using a steamer as you can easily burn yourself from the steam.
Cleaning the dishwasher
Over time, grease, soap scum and food debris build-up in dishwashers. The appliance becomes less efficient and can get a little too aromatic.
Remove the bottom dish rack and clear the drain of any debris. Then run a hot water cycle in the dishwasher with a cup of white vinegar sitting in a sturdy container on the top rack. This will wash away odors and grime. After the cycle finishes, sprinkle a handful of baking soda around the dishwasher’s bottom and run a short cycle using hot water. It’s also possible to buy a bottle of dishwasher cleaning fluid at the grocery store. Just put the bottle on the top rack and run a hot-water cycle in the empty dishwasher.
After a cleaning cycle, wipe the inside of the dishwasher with a clean towel to remove residue left behind.
Polishing stainless-steel appliances
Fingerprints get everywhere. Slightly dampen a microfiber cloth or regular towel with water and then apply stainless steel cleaner to the cloth. Polish the surface and wipe it dry with another dry cloth or towel. Don’t apply a heavy coat of cleaner onto the appliance surface even though directions on the
cleaner may say so. This toweling method works faster, is less messy and will save on costs of the cleaning compound.
Once you get your kitchen back to its pristine condition, you can mess it up again with a New Year’s Eve party! JN
Rosie on the House is an Arizona-based, home improvement, syndicated radio program that airs every Saturday morning from 8 a.m.-11 a.m. on KTAR News 92.3.