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Don't Let These Stains Ruin Your Thanksgiving Feast

With Thanksgiving food comes Thanksgiving responsibility.


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Unless you're a vegetarian, Thanksgiving is arguably the greatest food holiday in all of existence. From the delicious main course to all the mouth-watering sides, you'll be struggling to stay in your jeans after the first course.

Unnatural stretching isn't the only harm that this most indulgent of holidays can cause to your attire, though. While your eating options are numerous, so are the risks of staining your clothes. Here are five of the worst stains you can get, and how to quickly treat them if you should fall victim.


[Credit: Flickr user

[Credit: Flickr user "Glory Foods"]

Nothing says "tempting" like a boat of hot gravy. Wouldn't you like to just slather your entire Thanksgiving dinner with ounce after ounce of this brown gold? We would.

Try putting a tiny bit of dishwasher detergent on the stain.

But before you start pouring, know this: Gravy boats pose the inherent risk of spillage because it's just so easy to get carried away. One shaky move and your white dress shirt will be looking all sorts of wrong.

Solution: According to this stain-removal blog, the first thing to do is scrape away any excess gravy. Next, apply some stain-removing detergent to the embarrassing gravy smudge. Don't have any? Try putting a tiny bit of liquid dish soap on the stain and rinsing it thoroughly. Whatever you do, try not to rub the stain out—that'll only make it set. Put your treated garment in the washing machine on the hottest setting available as soon as you get a chance.

Cranberry Sauce

[Credit: Flickr user

[Credit: Flickr user "Dinner Series"]

Scientists recently discovered that fresh-roasted turkey and cranberry sauce is the greatest taste combination ever. Okay, so maybe that didn't happen, but there are few things that we love more. And if you get it in canned form like nature intended, it's a deliciously cheap treat.

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Immediately rinse the stain with cool water.

Except, that is, when it becomes a cheap disaster. A misplaced bite of cranberry sauce can be lethal to your pants and/or tablecloth. Now that $2 can of delicious sauce is beginning to seem like a nightmare investment.

Solution: According to Good Housekeeping, you should immediately rinse the stain with cool water. Mix a solution with one tablespoon of white vinegar and 1/2 tablespoon of liquid laundry detergent. Proceed to soak in this solution for 15 minutes and then rinse. If your stain is still unsightly, dab it with rubbing alcohol.

Sweet Potatoes / Pumpkin Pie

[Credit: Flickr user

[Credit: Flickr user "Dinner Series"]

Golden, soft, and sweet—these are my kind of potatoes. Whether in a pie or served hot and steaming out of a casserole dish, sweet potatoes are a delightful addition to any Thanksgiving feast.

Flush out the stain with cold water.

In your haste to consume as much of this treat as possible, though, you might find a dollop of sweet potato on your shirt sleeve. Don't fret—the sweetest of vegetables doesn't have to sour your mood.

Solution: Good Housekeeping recommends scraping away any excess sweet potato. Proceed to flush out the stain with cold water. If you have a prewash stain remover, apply it to the affected area and wash your garment on the hottest setting available.

If you aren't near a washing machine, you can try the upholstery method: Mix a tablespoon of liquid dishwashing detergent with 2 cups of cold water. Blot out the stain with a sponge until it disappears.

Red Wine

[Credit: Flickr user

[Credit: Flickr user "akash.mehra"]

How do you properly wash down a Thanksgiving dinner that would make the Pilgrims proud? By drinking copious amounts of wine, of course!

If you accidentally spill some chardonnay or riesling, no biggie—grab a moist towel and start dabbing. With red wine, though, you're in the danger zone if you spill so much as a drop on anything.

Shake an unhealthy amount of salt on the stain.

Solution: Perhaps the easiest way to clean up a red wine spill is with seltzer. Personally, I can't believe anyone actually drinks this tasteless soda, but it seems like everyone always has plenty around, so you might as well get some use out of it. According to Apartment Therapy, you should first blot the stain to soak up as much liquid as possible. Then shake an unhealthy amount of salt on the stain. Finally, pour some "club soda" over the mess of wine and salt. Leave it for at least a few hours and clean up the aftermath—your stain should be gone.

Deep-fried Turkey Grease

[Credit: Flickr user

[Credit: Flickr user "nukeit1"]

You finally did it: You decided to deep fry your turkey, saving hours of time and impressing every single member of your extended family. And you didn't even burn the house down. Bravo!

Dump baby powder on your grease stain and let it sit.

In your haste to savor this deep-fried delicacy, a hot piece fell on your beloved slacks skin-side down. You were once the king of Thanksgiving—now you're struggling to hang on to your dignity.

Solution: Found over on the Thrifty Fun blog, our favorite remedy for grease stains involves an abundant amount of baby powder. Dump it on your hideous grease stain and let it sit for as long as a few days. Simply shake the baby powder out and repeat the process if the stain is still visible.

[Hero image: Flickr user "Dinner Series"]

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