Expert Shares How to Treat Common Christmas Stains

According to the Mumsnet housekeeping thread, these are three of the most common types of food stains at Christmas, found by analysing last year’s posts from December to January.

Sharon Shokar, M&S Kidswear technologist and insider, shares her top tips for treating these stains:  

1. Gravy 

“Whether you’re a family who eats your Christmas dinner in your partywear or nightwear, stains can happen to anyone. To remove gravy stains, first blot as much of the stain as possible with a clean, damp cloth. It’s important to try and clean the stain as soon as you notice it, so it doesn’t have a chance to set in and become stubborn. Then apply a mixture of one part dish soap and two parts water to the stain. Let this sit for around 15 minutes, then rinse thoroughly with cold water. For stubborn stains, you may need to use a stain remover and pre-treat the clothes before washing.” 

2. Cranberry sauce 

“To remove a sticky stain, first spray the affected area with some plain water to dissolve the sugars. After this, use a spoon to remove any of the remaining sticky stain, follow up with white wine vinegar, and work it into the fibres. Finish by washing as you normally would. Be especially careful when using vinegar, as it can lighten the treatment area, so always test in a hidden spot first. If you’re treating a party dress or special outfit, take extra care to read the care labels.” 

3. Chocolate 

“If your little one has gotten overly excited when consuming chocolate treats and got sticky fingers on their party dress, blot away any excess chocolate on their clothes with a clean cloth and make a paste of baking soda and water. Apply this to the stain and let it soak for 15 minutes. Rinse the paste off with cold water, then repeat the process until the stain has gone. Finish by washing the fabric with cold water and leaving it to air dry.”  

“When treating stains, always refer to washing instructions and be aware that using stain removers and DIY tricks can bleach or change the colour of the fabric, so it’s a good idea to test in a hidden spot before treating the stain.”