How To Treat Thanksgiving Spills On Your Carpeting

The Ultimate Guide to Eradicating Thanksgiving Stains from Your Carpet

Thanksgiving – a time for gratitude, family gatherings, and, unfortunately, the occasional spill on your cherished carpet. Fear not, for we have compiled the definitive guide to banishing those stubborn stains, ensuring your carpet remains as pristine as your holiday spirit.

Immediate Response to Spills: What To Do First

Act Swiftly, But Gently

Upon discovering a spill, time is of the essence. Prompt action can mean the difference between a temporary blemish and a permanent reminder of the holiday feast.

Step 1:  First, use a spoon to remove as much of the spill as possible.

Step 2:  Blot, Don’t Rub: Use a clean, white cloth or paper towel to blot the spill, absorbing as much as possible. Rubbing can work the stain deeper into the fibers.

Cold Water Rinse: After blotting, gently apply warm water (NOT HOT) to the area and blot again. Avoid hot water as it can set certain types of stains.

Specific Stain Removal Strategies

Tailoring your approach to the type of stain is crucial for you to remove it.

Conquering Cranberry Sauce Stains

Cranberry sauce, with its deep hue, can be daunting.

Initial Lift: Carefully scoop up any excess sauce with a spoon.

Mild Detergent Mix: Combine a few drops of mild detergent with a cup of cold water. Apply to the stain and blot.

Vinegar Rinse: Mix one-third cup of white vinegar with two-thirds cup of water. Apply this solution post-detergent treatment for additional cleaning power.

Blot with a white cloth or paper towel and remove as much moisture as possible.  You can allow it to air dry or use a hair dryer in a cool setting or a fan to speed dry.

Defeating Gravy Stains

Gravy’s oily nature requires a robust approach.

Remove Excess: Gently remove as much gravy as possible without spreading the stain.

Detergent Solution: Apply a mixture of a few drops of detergent with a cup of warm water, then blot to lift the grease.

Ammonia Rinse: A solution of one tablespoon of ammonia per half cup of water can help cut through the grease. Please use sparingly and cautiously, as ammonia can affect carpet dyes.

Blot with a white cloth or paper towel and remove as much moisture as possible.  You can allow it to air dry or use a hair dryer on a cool setting or a fan to speed dry.

Tackling Red Wine Spills

Red wine is notorious for its staining capability.

Salt Sprinkle: After blotting, sprinkle salt over the area to absorb the moisture.

Baking Soda and Water Paste: Apply a paste made from baking soda and water, let it dry, and vacuum it up.

Hydrogen Peroxide Application: For stubborn stains, a small amount of hydrogen peroxide can help lift the color. Test this on an inconspicuous area first.  Place hydrogen peroxide on a white cloth or paper towel, and test a dime-sized spot of carpeting in your closet or other out-of-way place.  If the dyes on your carpeting are stable, you can blot on the wine spill and look for color transfer.  If the red is being absorbed into the paper towel, continue to work.  When color transfer stops, rinse the area with cool water and allow it to dry.  If the stain persists, call Tru-Clean Surface Care.

Deep Cleaning for Stubborn Stains

Sometimes, a stain persists despite initial efforts.

Professional Steam Cleaning By Tru-Clean Surface Care

We recommend professional steam cleaning and spotting for stains that resist home remedies. The heat and robust cleaning solutions used by Tru-Clean Surface Care will ensure not only clean, fresh carpets but also the best chance of preventing a spot from turning into a permanent stain.

Preventative Measures for Future Spills

Stain-Resistant Carpet Treatments

Consider having your carpeting professionally cleaned and treated by Tru-Clean Surface Care with the industry-leading carpet protector Scotchgard. This treatment forms a protective barrier around your carpet fibers that makes future spills easier to clean and helps prevent permanent staining.  Scotchgard also offers other benefits such as making carpeting easier to vacuum (pollen, dirt, and many other contaminates can not stick to the carpet fibers, meaning you’ll receive a deeper clean each time you vacuum), and carpet fibers are protected from most of “life’s little oops.”

Regular Carpet Maintenance Can Double The Life and Looks of Your Carpeting

Regular vacuuming and immediate attention to spills can prolong the life and appearance of your carpet. An annual professional cleaning can maintain its condition, preserve the carpet’s useful lifespan, AND protect your manufacturer’s warranty.

Fact:  Did you know that most major carpet manufacturers, including Mohawk, Karastan, Shaw, and Stainmaster, require that you have your carpeting professionally cleaned every 12-18 months by a carpet cleaning company certified by the IICRC or the CRI to maintain your carpet’s warranty?  Check your warranty so that you don’t void it.

Tru-Clean Surface Care – Carpet Manufacturer Recommended Throughout SW Florida

Tru-Clean Surface Care is a Certified Partner with the prestigious Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC) and the International Carpet & Rug Institute (CRI).  We are an internationally approved WoolSafe Approved Certified Partner, A+ Rated by the Better Business Bureau, and an eight-year-in-a-row winner of the coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award.  Our cleaning solutions and spotting agents are allergen-free and safe for pets and infants.

Tru-Clean Surface Care’s certifications are endorsed by the world’s most respected certification bodies and all major carpeting manufacturers in the United States.

If you experience an “oop’s moment” during the holidays on your carpeting, follow the home remedies in this blog post, and if they do not work, give Tru-Clean Surface Care a call.

For more information about Tru-Clean Surface Care’s carpet cleaning services, please visit us online at or give us a call at 239-541-4888 – Cape Coral and Lee County, 239-206-1935 – Bonita Springs, Naples, and Marco Island, or 941-621-2198 – Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte.

We’re also on Facebook at and Instagram at

By following this detailed guide, you can ensure the longevity and beauty of your carpets, even in the face of the holiday’s most challenging stains. Remember, diligence at the moment can save a world of effort down the line. Enjoy your Thanksgiving and Christmas festivities with the peace of mind that comes from being prepared for any mishap.