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how to remove gravy stains

How to Remove Food Stains from Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving dinner is a meal you look forward to all year long. It’s so delicious that it can be easy to get carried away and spill your food though. Many classic holiday recipes like sweet potatoes or gravy leave behind some of the toughest stains, but fear not. We’ll show you how to remove food stains after a fulfilling Thanksgiving feast.

Thanksgiving Tips: How to Remove Food Stains

Stains from foods and beverages require their own special techniques and cleaning products. Let’s go over some of the most common holiday dishes and what to do if they wind up on your clothes.

How to Remove Gravy Stains

Gravy is a staple of the Thanksgiving dinner table because it goes great with everything. Smothering your turkey, mashed potatoes, and more in gravy goodness can be messy though. Greasy food stains set quickly once they hit fabric, so acting quickly is a big help. Follow these steps to learn how to remove food stains from gravy:

  1. Wipe away excess gravy from the fabric
  2. Rub a few drops of liquid dishwasher detergent into the stain
  3. Rinse by hand and wash out as much grease as you can
  4. Pretreat the stain again using laundry stain remover
  5. Wash in the hottest temperature setting using color-safe bleach

Make sure to verify that the stain is gone before drying to avoid letting it set. If necessary, repeat the process until you can dry your garment safely.

*Bonus: These steps can be used to remove butter & other greasy stains as well!

how to remove food stains
Image from Food Network

Cleaning Cranberry Sauce Stains

One look at cranberry sauce is enough to guess that it can create some serious stains. If it manages to wobble off of your fork and onto your lap during Thanksgiving dinner, addressing the problem fast will help to make cleaning easier. Here’s how to get cranberry stains out of your clothes:

  1. Rinse away the are using cool water and avoid letting it spread
  2. Make a solution of ½ tsp. liquid laundry detergent, 1 tbsp. white vinegar, and 1 qt. cool water
  3. Let stained garment soak in the solution for 15 minutes
  4. Rinse the item off using clean, cool water
  5. If any spots remain, apply a bit of rubbing alcohol to them and rinse again thoroughly
  6. Wash in the hottest temperature setting using color-safe bleach

Again, make sure that the stain is completely gone before drying your items. Simply follow these steps again if you still see any leftover cranberry stains.

get cranberry sauce stains out
Image from epicurious

Removing Pumpkin & Sweet Potato Stains

Pumpkin pie and sweet potatoes are a must when it comes to Thanksgiving dinner. Unfortunately, the bright orange stains they can leave behind are no fun to clean once they’ve set into fabrics. Get a jump on the problem with these steps for how to remove food stains caused by pumpkin or sweet potatoes:

  1. Wipe away as much excess material from the fabric as you can
  2. Turn your garment inside-out and run the stained area under cold water
  3. Use a laundry stain remover to pre-treat the affected areas
  4. Wash in the hottest temperature setting using color-safe bleach
  5. Inspect garments & repeat if necessary before drying

This process is quick, easy, and should be able to handle any starchy Thanksgiving stain in just one or two washes.

stains from sweet potatoes
Image from What’s Gabby Cooking


Now that you know how to remove food stains from clothes after your Thanksgiving dinner, you can prepare for the meal itself. Check out Cody’s Complete Guide to Thanksgiving for appliance tips, recipes, and more. And as always, be sure to call Cody’s for all of your appliance repair service needs this holiday season.

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