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22 December 2015

How to clean up office Christmas party spillages

Here’s a few tips on rescuing a potential carpet stain disaster

If like most businesses, you’ve probably just had your annual Christmas office party and the drinks will have started to flow long before the evening had drawn in.

Like every year, one or two people (or perhaps more) may have a few too many and that’s when a potential disaster might be about to happen. Glasses get overfilled, people start to lose their balance and before you know it, there’s drink all over the carpets.

Alcohol spillages, especially red wine can cause havoc on office carpets and although there’s no fail safe way of preventing stains or doing a perfect clean up job, you can help to prevent the damage from being long term with some useful tips, so that a professional carpet cleaner can come in and finish the job and restore the area back to it’s original state.

What to do if you have a spillage

Believe it or not but the best weapon in your stain removal arsenal is in actual fact… more alcohol!

Red wine for example, is red because of pigments known as anthocyanin and this is alcohol soluble. So when higher concentrations of clear alcohol is poured onto a red wine stain for example, the colours dissolves into the liquid and waters down the pigmentation. These can then be cleaned up far more easily.

So if you plan to have red wine at your Christmas party, make sure you also have the following drinks around to help clean up spillages:

1. Gin, Vodka or White Rum

If red wine has been spilled for example, you should act fast and grab a bottle of the nearest high proof clear liquor! This can be vodka, gin or white rum, but the important part is that whichever drink is chosen, it must be a higher proof of alcohol than the wine that has been spilled.

Continue applying it to the stain while soaking the liquid up with a rag or paper towel until it’s all gone. You should find that after a few applications, most of the red wine will have been soaked up and can be completely cleaned later on by a professional.

Unfortunately, you’ll also find that you have far less liquor than when you first started so you and the spiller won’t be very popular with the herd!

2. White Wine

If there’s absolutely no clear liquor to hand, then you second best option is white wine. This is not as effective as clear spirits but like above, it will help to water down the red pigmentation of the red wine. Pour plenty of white wine over the area and then cover liberally with salt. The sodium in the salt will act as a sponge, extracting the moisture out of the carpet.

It will look very unsightly for a while but it will help to prevent longer term staining and give you a fighting chance of having the carpet restored back to it’s original state once a professional carpet cleaner has been in to finish up.

What you must not do!

If you do not have anything to clean up the stain, avoid rubbing the area with sponges or cloths as this will simply spread the stain and increase it’s size as the pigmented area will simply grow larger.

If no clear alcohol is available to hand, then you’re only hope is to use a white wine vinegar or spirit that can help to break down the alcohol and pigmentation. And if all else fails, it looks like someone may have an unfortunate carpet cleaning bill to settle in the new year!

In each of these scenarios, a final professional clean is always advised as alcohol will start to smell as it dries. These tips will help to prevent you from having a permanent stain but with any alcoholic spillage, the smell is what is left behind if not completely cleaned up fully.


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