Handyman: Best methods to clean up those party spills
Being the host of any party means you are the one person focused more on getting the food and drinks ready for the guests. But in all the years I have hosted or attended holiday or football parties, I can’t remember a single one where there was nothing spilled. From dropped dip to wayward wine, you need to be ready to clean up all the food and drink spills that will inevitably land on carpets and furniture.
This time of year, you especially need the Handyman Emergency Stain Removal Kit. It consists of a bottle of club soda, foam-style shaving cream and facial tissue. When a spill happens, first blot it with a facial tissue but don’t rub it. Then pour a small amount of club soda on the stain, let it fizz, and use more tissue to blot it dry. If it’s a food spill, pick up the excess food with tissue and apply a little foam-style shaving cream. Work the foam with your fingers, using a plucking motion. Then blot with more tissue, sprinkle with club soda and blot it dry.
For spot stains on carpet or upholstery, you should always have a bottle of Rosenthal’s Multipurpose Rug and Upholstery Cleaner, available at Ace Hardware and other stores. This mild soap-based cleaning product is a Detroit original and has been around for more than 85 years. To prepare for a really bad stain from red wine or cranberry juice, get a bottle of Motsenbocker’s Lift Off Stain Remover for Drinks, Pets & Food, liftoffinc.com, or Spot Shot, spotshot.com.
With all the beverages that are consumed during holiday and football-viewing parties, chances are someone will forget to use a coaster and you will end up having those annoying white-water rings on your wood tables. To get rid of them, you can use Meguiar’s Mirror Glaze Number 9 Swirl Remover 2.0, meguiars.com, to first clean the surface and then follow up with Doozy Polish, doozy.com.
After the parties are over, you may have some odors from cooking or even cigar smoke that you would like to get rid of. One spray product that absorbs odors without the use of perfumes or masking agents is Fresh Wave, fresh-wave.com, available at Ace Hardware. Fresh Wave is nontoxic and made with natural ingredients, so it’s safe around pets and kids.
If you are hosting football-watching parties, you should also do a little cleaning of your high-tech TVs before guests arrive so they can see every detail of the game. Using common window or glass cleaner on today’s TV displays is not recommended. Instead, use cleaners made exclusively for display devices or plain water.
Most manufacturers recommend that you first use a dry microfiber cloth to dust the screen. While you’re at it, clean the ventilation holes on the back of the screen.
For fingerprints, dampen the microfiber cloth with water or screen cleaner to remove smudges and then dry with a separate microfiber cloth. Do not use a paper towel or any other type of cloth, because it could scratch the screen. Also, make sure you don’t push on the screen while cleaning it, because it can permanently damage the display.
So do some prior planning to have the proper cleaning products on hand so you can clean any spill easily when it does happen. And it will happen, mark my word!
For more home improvement advice, call “The Handyman Show With Glenn Haege” on WJR-AM (760) at (866) ASK GLENN, (866) 275-4536 between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday. “The Handyman Show” can also be heard on more than 135 radio stations nationwide.