Don't let food stains and beverage spills ruin your Super Bowl experience this weekend. Whether you're attending or hosting, smashed cheesy puffs and barbecue sauce-stained couches can be the distraction that causes you to miss the game-winning play. Instead, peek at our defensive strategies to prevent messy moments with the pre- and post-Super Bowl cleaning tips below.
Flickr photo by Christopher Paulin
Cheesy puffs, chips and bread. The crumbly residue of these appetizer staples can get everywhere, especially when accidentally stepped on. First, to prevent any stains coming from "cheese fingers", leave wet naps or moist towelettes next to the snacks so guests can clean their fingers. Also, serve these snacks in bowls or cups rather than plates, so the snacks can't roll or fall off the plate. If it's a lost cause and cheese dust has made its way on the carpet, pick up any large pieces by hand and vacuum the smaller bits immediately. Then, treat any stained area with a stain remover solution and water. Put a cloth or towel over the moist area until it dries, so others don't step on it and re-soil the area.
Barbecue, buffalo and hot sauce. If any sauce does come in contact with the carpet or furniture, do not wipe or rub, as this will spread the stain. Instead, cover the stain with corn starch or baby powder to absorb the sauce. Then, rinse the area with cold water and blot to dry with a paper towel. Then, use a degreasing agent like dishwasher to remove any stubborn stains.
Beer, soda and other beverages. Not enough coasters to go around for all the beverage cans, bottles and cups? Use cheap shelf liners instead. This will help prevent any water rings and will be easier to clean if something is spilled. Plus, rubberized shelf liner has "grip" that will additionally keep cups secure. If any liquid gets spilled on the carpet or upholstery during an amazing play, just dap up excess liquid with a paper towel. Then, blot the affected area with one-tablespoon white vinegar and 2/3-cup rubbing alcohol. Rinse with cold water and blot to dry.
Flickr photo by Triple Tri
Pizza grease. Super Bowl main course staples like pizza and pulled pork have a tendency to be on the greasier side. To clean up greasy fingerprints and spills: Blot up excess grease, apply dishwasher detergent to the grease, and let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse with warm water and blot to dry. If your clothes are grease stained, be sure to treat the stain with this technique before laundering, as the stain will become permanent after drying.
Desserts. Chocolate and frosting (and even worse, colored icing) often have a buttery quality to them, which needs more than a quick wipe with a wet towel to clean. Gently, scoop up as much as possible with a knife or spoon. Treat the stain with a water and laundry detergent solution, and rinse with water. If the stain persists, use an oxygen-based bleach with warm water, and let it soak overnight.
Salsa. Clean up salsa spills with 3% hydrogen peroxide, the kind you use to disinfect injuries. First, scrape up any chunks of salsa and treat the stain with a mixture of one-tablespoon hydrogen peroxide and three tablespoons water. Use a thick towel to cover the affected area, and let it sit for 30 minutes. The color should absorb into the towel. Dab with water to rinse, and let it dry. For more tomato-based stains, check out our easy removal tips.
Cigarette and cigar smoke. While not a visible stain, smoking smells can definitely linger and easily soak into clothing and furniture. The surprising solution? Using white vinegar as a deodorizer. Simply pour it into dishes and place in the corners of your room (out of reach of hands and elbows).
Do you have any spill prevention or removal tips? Let us know in the comments below.