The Most Difficult Christmas Stains (And How to Combat Them!)

Couple drinking red wine by a Christmas Tree.


Planning for Christmas already? It’s also time to start planning for Christmas stain prevention.


Christmas is in the air. People are just barely holding back from playing their Christmas music, stores already have the Christmas decorations lining shelves that just the other day held spiders and other Halloween goodies, the Internet is circulating the next best thing in trendy holiday recipes, and you’ve probably just about gotten ready to hit “send” on those Christmas party invites. There is one sure thing that all of this Christmas prep is going to leave your home vulnerable to, though: stains.

One thing is for sure: nothing will spoil your holiday spirit like finding those holiday stains. However, Christmas is also a time to get out the red wine and cranberry sauce for all of those visitors, and each guest represents yet another stain-wielding menace to that white area rug in your dining room.


You don’t have to resign yourself to having a living room that looks like it belongs on the set of a Stephen King film just yet—nor do you need to tape clear shower curtains over all your stainables. There are ways to guard against and remove those Christmas stains.


The most important thing is to know your enemy.


You need to know what you’re up against so you can properly prepare yourself for the inevitable spill. What are the most common—and difficult—holiday stains? Here’s the list, and the quick-fix solutions for dealing with them.


Cranberry sauce

Do people actually eat this stuff or do they just slop it all over the tablecloth and carpet? No matter. That red, sticky mess is no match for you this year. Remove the excess and treat the remaining spot with warm water and dishwashing liquid. Blot with an absorbent cloth or sponge, and repeat the process until you get it all.


Red wine

it just wouldn’t be Christmas if Uncle Frank didn’t have that glass too many and turn into the spilliest of talkers. Of course, he has to choose red wine, the greatest stain nemesis to all, seconded only by fruit and tomato juices. For such stains, flush with cold water and blot dry, then apply your warm water and detergent solution to get up the rest of the stain.



it isn’t Christmas without the dessert selection: Aunt May brought a cherry cheesecake and a blueberry cheesecake this year, Cousin Sue brought red velvet cupcakes with a chocolate ganache, and Uncle Jack came equipped with a blackberry pie. No need to guess which one is going to be your stain culprit; scrape up the excess wasted deliciousness, neutralize with an ammonia solution, and treat the remaining spot with a detergent solution. Just remember to attack the stain from the outside to avoid spreading it further, and DON’T BLOT your berry stains!


Christmas tree sap

Burn it with fire! Okay…it doesn’t have to be quite that drastic (please don’t light a fire in your home…) and you actually want the opposite. Freeze it with ice and pull up as much as you can, then treat the rest with your detergent solution. If it’s on laminate, ceramic, or hardwood floors, try using rubbing alcohol; it should dry the stain enough to get that stickiness to release (this works when you get those inevitable tree sap drops on your car, too).


Not working? Don’t resign your carpet to your Halloween décor just yet. There are dozens of products that can help you remove even the worst carpet stains—without damaging your carpet backing. Check out our list of stain removal procedures at AmSteam, and if your carpet really gets trod on this Christmas, treat it to a day at the spa with an AmSteam steam cleaning!