Thanksgiving is just barely in the rearview mirror, and we are already gearing up for a surge of holiday get-togethers. This means family, friends, drinks, and lots of food. It also means drips, drops, and spills on your carpet and upholstery.

I am not sure you can go to a holiday party in Cincinnati and not find Skyline Chili dip. Unfortunately, it seems it’s always served on small, flimsy paper plates. Add in people trying to eat it with fragile tortilla chips while standing, and it’s a recipe for a mess.

And then there’s soda, punch, fruit juice, gravy, and red wine as possible spills. It’s almost enough to make you want to cover your floors and furniture with tarps. However, instead of making your house look like you are getting ready to paint your ceiling (or, worse, have it look like a potential crime scene!), make sure you have the supplies on hand to easily treat accidents. This helps them from becoming permanent stains.

As discussed last year, a carpet cleaning toolkit only requires a few items, but each is important. The good news is that you probably already have some or all of this on hand. The printable PDF to the right describes what you need and I have created this Amazon list to illustrate them.

It’s essential to have plenty of either cotton towels or plain white paper towels. If you opt for paper towels, be absolutely sure they are plain white. The last thing you want is for dye in the paper towel to bleed onto your carpet or upholstery as you are trying to clean it. If you are using old cotton towels, you should test those to make sure they don’t bleed.

However, my preference is to have a dedicated supply of white cotton towels that are stored in a kit with small bottles of the cleaning supplies listed on the toolkit. The obvious reason for a dedicated kit is that it makes it easy to grab quickly when there is a spill. The last thing you want to do is be hunting up supplies while a stain is sitting.

I like white cotton towels as they are reusable and can be bleached. A clean white towel makes it easier to see how much of a stain is being removed as you are blotting it. You don’t want to be in a situation where you are trying to soak up red wine with a red towel, and therefore can’t see what progress you are making. In that situation, you can actually cause the stain to spread by blotting with a section of towel that already has wine on it.

Outside of the towels, make sure you have a gentle dishwashing liquid. You want the type you use to handwash dishes in your sink, not the type you add to a dishwashing machine. You also do not want to use a fabric detergent like you would put into a washing machine for clothes. Lastly, make sure you have plain white vinegar. You don’t want balsamic or red wine vinegar for obvious reasons.

The rest of the items in the kit are good to have for general vacuum maintenance and regular home cleaning. You may not need them in the case of a holiday party spill, but you may find them handy for party preparation.

My final tip is to make sure you print out the PDF above and keep it in the kit. That way, when there is a spill, you can hand the kit to someone else and tell them to just follow the directions while you find a quiet corner to relax!

Hopefully, your holiday parties will go off without a hitch, but if not, you will be prepared. And, as always, if you have a spill that doesn’t come out completely, call us at (513) 777-8770 to schedule a free, no-obligation estimate.

From our family to yours, we wish you a happy and healthy New Year!

Questions? I am always available to answer your stain removal questions and concerns. Call us today at (513) 777-8770 to learn more about our carpet and upholstery cleaning services. Or email us at to learn about this month’s cleaning special.


Elliott S. Fishman, Co-Owner
Extra Effort Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning, Inc.


About Elliott S. Fishman

Elliott Fishman, along with his son Brian, is the owner and operator of Extra Effort Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning, Inc.   We serve the residents and businesses of Greater Cincinnati to include West Chester, Mason, Maineville, Loveland, Wyoming, Fairfield, Indian Hill, Montgomery, Hyde Park and Anderson Township. Elliott started this company in 1984, based on the belief that it takes Extra Effort to make each job a success. The father/son team puts the extra time, extra care, and extra effort into every task they undertake – no matter how large or small the job. Extra Effort’s quality equipment, trained technicians and safe products have made the company a top choice for residential and commercial carpet cleaning, upholstery cleaning, water damage / water extraction, fabric protection, odor control and spot removal.

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Extra Effort Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning

8303 Darlene Dr

West Chester, OH 45069

(513) 777-8770

IICRC Certified
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