Gravy stains top of the Christmas cleaning gripes

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Good old-fashioned gravy may be a festive favourite but the meaty treat could be best left in the boat, as it tops a list of hard to remove stains.

The table, compiled by carpet and upholstery cleaning specialists ServiceMaster Clean, details the worst Christmas cuisine for causing nightmare marks. With its combination of fatty meat juices and thickeners, the great British condiment can be a household horror if spilt on carpets.

Other yuletide yummies making the dirt directory include mulled wine, brandy butter and goose fat.

Despite its bright red colouring, Christmas must-have cranberry sauce only came in at number seven.

Ian McCormack, ServiceMaster Clean’s resident stain removal expert, said: “With everyone enjoying themselves and the Christmas tipple flowing, it’s easy to have the odd accident. Gravy is a firm favourite in many British households but when made properly it’s one of the worst things to spill on carpets and upholstery. Luckily, although it’s tough our technicians can get it out.”

The top ten Christmas carpet stains are gravy, goose fat, mulled wine, chocolate, brandy butter, cream, cranberry sauce, red cabbage, mustard and brandy

Professional equipment and treatments can remove these stains in most cases, but prompt action could help. ServiceMaster Clean offers some advice on what to do when the inevitable happens:-

Scoop up any solids, broken glass etc

Absorb excess liquid from the outside in to prevent spreading the stain

Spray with water or carpet shampoo

Absorb the excess liquid

Leave a damp (preferably white) towel on top

Place a weight such as a telephone directory / store catalogue wrapped in cling film on the towel to soak up excess – repeat if necessary

Acting quickly will minimise the stain but professional help may still be needed. As Ian explains: “Most people make the mistake of mopping up with a cloth and rubbing the stain, which often makes things worse. It then gets left for a while before an attempt is made to clean it up with ‘off the shelf’ products, and there is nearly always a residual mark left.

“The difference with a professional cleaning company is that we have products specifically designed to gently remove the stain whilst protecting the material that the stain is on – things that you can’t do with a single product. Not only that but we have the training and expertise to use them correctly, and more importantly, we are insured to carry out the work.”