Your tablecloth can take a beating from the drips, spills, and stains of the holidays.

Heloise tackles holiday stains

Sharing her holiday stain hints on ABC’s The View in a past segment hosted by Barbara Walters, Joy Behar and Meredith Viera, she showed how to remove some of the most common stains that always seem to happen when you are entertaining—candle wax drippings, gravy, cranberry, red wine, and coffee stains. Here are removal solutions for the most common party-related stains:


Heloise tackles holiday coffee stains

To remove coffee (or tea) stains, rinse area with cold water immediately. Rub in a couple of drops of a mild, white dishwashing liquid and rinse well. Then treat with a mixture of one-part white household vinegar and three-parts water. Rinse again and launder as you normally do. Note: If cream was used in the coffee, you may have to sponge the stain with dry-cleaning fluid.


Heloise tackles holiday cranberry stains

To eliminate cranberry stains, scoop up as much of the sauce as you can—as quickly as you can—and then rinse with cold water. Pretreat the stained area and then wash—as the care label for the fabric indicates.


Heloise tackles holiday candle wax stains

To get rid of candle wax from the tablecloth, let the wax harden—a quick way is to put it in the freezer. Then scrape it off the tablecloth with a dull knife. Place paper towels on both sides of the stain and set the iron on the warm setting, then iron (no steam) over the stained area. Change the towels often to absorb all of the wax. Launder as usual.


Heloise tackles holiday gravy stains

To clean up gravy, spoon it up as fast as you can. Sprinkle artificial sweetener or flour over the stained area to absorb the grease. Put the tablecloth into a sink and soak in a mixture of one teaspoon of a mild, colorless detergent with each cup of lukewarm water for at least 20 minutes. Then wash as usual and let air dry—don’t put in the dryer.


Heloise tackles holiday red wine stains

To remove red-wine stains, pour a big dose of salt on top of the stain to absorb the liquid. Put the tablecloth into cold water and try to rub out the stain. Use an enzyme detergent in the hottest water safe for the fabric, soak for 30 minutes and launder.