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updated: 12/6/2012 5:32 PM

Don't Let Holiday Stains Ruin the Spirit of the Season!

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John Coxon

Northbrook, IL, December 4, 2012: It starts with Thanksgiving dinner and continues throughout the winter holiday season. After all, what would holiday fun be without something delicious (and messy!) for special dinners, office parties and religious celebrations? Everyone seems to love the great food at these gatherings . . . until, that is, the first messy spill. It's just inevitable: whenever you bring good times, good cheer and good company together, there's a chance you'll end up with stains from food and drinks on your favorite clothes, holiday tablecloths and yes, even on the carpet.

"Apple cider, cranberry sauce, gravy and eggnog stains are the most common culprits this time of year," said Tom Zengeler, President of Zengeler Cleaners. "Next on the list: stains from beverages such as wine, tea, coffee and soft drinks. Add them together and you have a daunting challenge. Fortunately, there are some easy and practical ideas to help you remove the stains and enjoy the gathering!"

Don't let those inevitable stains put a damper on your holiday spirit! There are a few simple things YOU can do, right at home, to remove stains and save the day. In that spirit, Zengeler Cleaners has assembled some easy-to-use tips and tricks to ensure stains don't spoil your joyous occasion.

 Tips for stains of any kind

• Always test the color-fastness of the fabric before attempting any type of stain removal.

• Treat stains as soon as possible to avoid having them "set."

• If the garment is dry-cleanable, it should be handled professionally.

 Tips for liquid stains (wine, tea, coffee, soda, cranberry sauce and apple cider)

• Rinse the stain with cold water.

• "Blot" it with mild dishwashing liquid or a mild detergent and rinse.

• If the stain is still present, blot with white vinegar, then rinse thoroughly.

• When all else fails, try 3% hydrogen peroxide (available at most stores) -- but first test it in an unexposed area such as a seam or shoulder pad to be sure it's safe for the fabric and color.

 Eggnog and gravy stains

• Blot the stain with cold water and mild detergent, then rinse.

• If the stain persists, take a small amount of powdered detergent and mix with one ounce of "non-sudsing" household ammonia to form a paste. Apply to the stained area for 5 to 10 minutes, then launder as usual.

• Caution: DO NOT USE this procedure on silk or wool garments. For these fabrics, use a mild detergent and rinse thoroughly.

"If none of these tips remove the stains, bring your soiled garments to Zengeler Cleaners because we have a few additional stain removal tricks you can't really try at home," continued Zengeler. "And when you do bring in clothes with stains, be sure to let us know where the stain is and what you've already tried at home. That will help us find the best solution to remove the stain without damaging the fabric."

For more cleaning tips, visit Zengeler Cleaners' website at Zengeler Cleaners has stores in Deerfield, Hubbard Woods, Northfield, Winnetka, Long Grove, two stores in Libertyville and its headquarters in Northbrook. Zengeler Cleaners . . . America's First Family of Dry Cleaning™.