While we love red wine, we’re less than fond of its tendency to take up residence on our clothes, tablecloths, and carpets. It seems that no matter how many precautions we take, if we host a party where red wine is served, we're going to have to figure out how to get it out of a surface or two.

Coffee, too, has a way of leaping out of your mug and onto surfaces where it’s not welcome. If you drive, you know the nose-wrinkling disappointment that comes with your coffee landing all over the passenger seat, and the knowledge that your day just got derailed; time to spend an hour trying to figure out how to get the stain out of your upholstery!

Juices and teas pose their own problems, especially those made with richly colored foods like like cranberry and hibiscus.

But while drinks can be the problem, they can also offer solutions. For instance, did you know that the best stain remover for an ink stain is cream? Whole milk or half-and-half will work too, but the higher the fat content, the better; the dairy fat actually helps lift the ink.

Some general tips for stain removal: always keep plain white vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, ammonia, a commercial stain remover, and regular laundry detergent on hand. Generally speaking, some of these in combination will be able to help you out of most stain-related situations, although occasionally you’ll want something more specific.

Read on for tips about getting the most common drink-related stains out of any number of surfaces.

1. How to Get Black Coffee Out of a Fabric Car Seat

Spilled Coffee

Spilled Coffee on White Desk (iStock)

Blot up as much of the coffee as possible with a towel or paper towel, then mix two cups of water, one cup of white vinegar, and a squirt of dish soap. Using a rag, dab the mixture onto the stain until fairly well-saturated. Allow to sit about 20 minutes, then dab with a fresh cloth and rinse with a little cold water.

2. How to Get Red Wine Out of Carpet



Blot the area without rubbing the stain further into the fabric. In a bowl, combine ½ teaspoon ammonia, 1 teaspoon vinegar, 4 teaspoons dish soap, and 1 cup of water. Stir until well combined, then dab onto the affected area. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes, then blot with a rag dipped in cold water.

3. How to Get Coffee out of White Pants


graceful woman figure (iStock)

Turn the garment inside out and run cold water over it immediately. Then rub in some laundry detergent; you can use an old toothbrush. In a bucket, combine 4 cups of water with 2 cups of vinegar and ½ capful of laundry detergent. Swish it around and let it soak for a few hours, then launder normally.

4. How to Get Tea Out of a Tablecloth



Weirdly, tea stains can be erased by light beer. Pour beer onto the stain and blot lightly, then rinse with cold water. Repeat twice, then clean with regular laundry detergent.

5. How to Get Cranberry Juice Out of a Carpet



Blot up as much of the juice as possible, then pour on a little hydrogen peroxide, and wait one minute. Then, pour a tiny bit of ammonia on the stain. Rinse with cool water.

Check out more must-know stain removal tips.

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