As beautiful as it looks on a dinner plate, Thanksgiving dinner can end up as stubborn spots on clothes and table linens. What’s the best way to remove Thanksgiving stains? A quick spot treatment with cool water and dish soap can keep most from setting before machine washing. Learn how to remove Thanksgiving food stains to make even the toughest spots disappear.

How to Remove Thanksgiving Food Stains Quickly and Effectively

Adding stain removal tips to your Thanksgiving planner can leave you ready to attack as soon as a spot surfaces. Here’s how to remove Thanksgiving food stains from gravy to red wine with a little quick action and the right arsenal of supplies.

remove gravy stains


While the butter and grease in gravy require a little extra effort, spots can be effectively removed with proper pre-treatment.

Follow these steps to remove gravy stains:

  • Scrape away excess gravy.
  • Rub a small amount of dish soap into the stain. Allow it to sit for several minutes before rinsing in cold water.
  • Pretreat with a laundry stain remover. Alternatively, pre-soak clothing or table linens in water and an enzyme-based detergent for several hours or overnight.
  • Machine wash in the hottest water the fabric allows, using color-safe bleach for colored fabrics and chlorine bleach for whites.
  • Repeat, if necessary, before drying.

Cranberry Sauce

Though cranberry sauce and turkey are made for each other, this red berry doesn’t have as good a relationship with fabric. Quick action is required to prevent permanent staining.

Get cranberry sauce stains out with these simple steps:

  • Flush the stain with cool water.
  • Mix a solution of ½  tsp laundry detergent, 1 Tbsp white vinegar, and 1 qt cool water. Soak the material in the solution for 15 minutes.
  • Rinse the fabric in cool water.
  • If the stain remains, apply a small amount of rubbing alcohol to the spot.
  • Rinse again with cool water.
  • Machine wash in the hottest water the fabric can tolerate with the appropriate bleach.


While pumpkin is the star in Thanksgiving dessert recipes, it’s a villain when it comes to stains. Whether it’s pie, cheesecake, or mousse, these orange spots can disappear with the right combination of steps.

Here’s how to remove pumpkin stains:

  • Scrape off excess pumpkin from fabric.
  • Turn the fabric inside out and run under cold water.
  • Pre-treat with a laundry stain remover.
  • Machine wash with hot water and chlorine or color-safe bleach.

Sweet Potatoes

Similar to pumpkin, stains from sweet potatoes can be removed with just a few simple steps.

These tips remove sweet potato stains quickly and easily:

  • Remove excess sweet potato from the fabric.
  • Turn the stained item inside out and run under cold water.
  • Pre-treat with laundry stain remover.
  • Machine wash in hot water and the appropriate bleach for colored or white fabrics.


Long known as a lethal stain maker, knowing how to remove Thanksgiving stains has to include beets. However, some quick action and a little hydrogen peroxide can”beet” these veggies and save your fabric.

Remove beet stains with these key tips:

  • Blot away as much liquid as possible with a clean towel.
  • Mix 1 Tbsp of dish soap with 1-2 cups of cool water. Blot the mixture into the stain with a clean cloth, being careful not to rub.
  • If the stain remains, apply a small amount of hydrogen peroxide to the spot and allow it to sit for 1 minute.
  • Blot with a damp cloth.
  • Machine wash per the instructions on the fabric care tag.

Red Wine

A splash of red wine on the tablecloth is as ubiquitous as the turkey at a Thanksgiving table. Fortunately, this common stain can be quickly removed with rapid pretreatment.

remove red wine stains

Here’s how to remove red wine stains:

  • Soak the stain in cool water for 30 minutes.
  • Pretreat with laundry stain remover.
  • Machine wash according to fabric care instructions, using chlorine or color-safe bleach.

From how to remove Thanksgiving food stains to a rapid oven repair before the big day, our team has all your holiday answers. Call Sloan Appliance Service for all your cooking appliance needs!