What to do about those nasty little gifts your guests left behind during the holidays

My holiday guests were very generous this year despite the ailing economy. But they also left me with a few little surprises I could have done without – stains on my linens. Unfortunately my mother forgot to tell me how to remove stains and I usually end up throwing away the offended item.

The two most obnoxious stains this year were of the chocolate and coffee variety. Fortunately, one of the websites I subscribe to sent along these tips. For other stains log onto www.about.com.

For chocolate stains

Stain Removal Step 1.

Remove as much chocolate as possible with a dull knife or spoon.

Stain Removal Step 2.

Rinse the stain from the back thoroughly with cold water.

Stain Removal Step 3.

Rub liquid detergent on the stain and allow it to stand for at least 5 minutes.

Stain Removal Step 4.

Soak the stain in cold water for 10-15 minutes or until the stain becomes more loosened. Every three to five minutes, rub the stained area.

Stain Removal Step 5.

Rinse thoroughly.

Stain Removal Step 6.

Repeat until no more chocolate stain can be removed.

Stain Removal Step 7.

If an oily stain remains, add a stain remover stick, gel, or spray. Wash normally.

Coffee Stain removal

Stain Removal Step 1.

Rinse the coffee stain thoroughly from the back of the clothing with cold water. Try to rinse out as much of the stain as you can.

Stain Removal Step 2.

Use a liquid detergent and rub gently into the coffee stain. Allow the detergent to stand on the coffee stain for at least 5 minutes. If the stain is old or dry, rub the coffee stain with detergent, and allow to soak in cold water for 30 minutes.

Stain Removal Step 3.

Rinse the stained area thoroughly.

Stain Removal Step 4.

If traces of the coffee stain remain, rub liquid laundry detergent into the coffee stain and soak in warm water for 10-15 minutes.

Stain Removal Step 5.

If traces of the coffee stain remain, apply a stain remover stick, gel, or spray and let stand for 5 minutes.

Stain Removal Step 6.

Wash according to clothing of linen directions.

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