>> Requested topic I have to admit, before I did this post I really didn't know that much about stain removal. But since it was a requested topic, I thought I should figure out the basics. My thought process here is: you're entertaining or at least eating or making holiday food and are bound to be wiping up spills. If you have a stain cleaning kit on the ready, you'll save yourself money in not having to re-buy the stained item and the time it will take to go buy it. Full props to these two books which are my favorite go-tos for all things natural, cleaning and awesome: Make Your Place: Affordable, Sustainable Nesting Skills by Raleigh Briggs and Clean House, Clean Planet by Karen Logan.
1 >> Act fast. Overall the best strategy is to get to the stain as soon as it happens. Scrap off solids, blot liquids with a white cloth (so you don't transfer the color of your blotting cloth onto the stained item). Work from the outside in, so you don't spread it.
2 >> Next steps. Put a white cloth under the backside of the fabric to help absorb liquids. Don't use warm water on a sugar stain (juice, soda, chocolate, candy, coffee, tea, BBQ sauce), rinse instead with cold water. Soak the garment in a mixture of dish soap and hydrogen peroxide for about 10 minutes. Then scrub the stain with an old toothbrush. Most of it should come out, but if needed, repeat. Then rinse after it is all gone with hot water and wash in a machine. Be sure the stain is totally gone before putting it in the hot dryer, as the stain will set.
3 >> Other paste options to try. If you prefer instead of the dish soap and hydrogen peroxide, you can try these other paste options:
baking soda and vinegar
salt and lemon juice followed by strong sun exposure
washing soda and a little water (washing soda is a white powder that is pretty strong, you can usually find it at Ace Hardware). Not a paid promotion.