If you’re hosting a Hanukkah celebration, this article is for you. The laundry experts at Heritage Park offer advice for prepping your home and table and treating spills and stains to ensure that hosting and clean-up are a breeze.
Hanukkah: Sweet Traditions, Simple Clean-Up
The Festival of Lights is upon us! The team at Heritage Park Laundry Essentials wishes a very Happy Hanukkah to all who celebrate. Along with our heartfelt wishes for a joyous holiday, we want to take a moment to appreciate the rich history and tradition of the Hanukkah story. This celebration commemorates the resilient spirit of the Maccabees who restored and rededicated the holy temple; they had only enough oil to last for one day, but the small supply miraculously lasted for eight days of dedication. The story of the oil miracle is told through Jewish families lighting candles on the menorah for eight nights, and also through the many delicious traditional Hanukkah foods made with oil, including latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiyot (jelly-filled doughnuts). You can learn more about Hanukkah traditions, including playing the dreidel and giving out Hanukkah gelt, here.
If you’re hosting Hanukkah this year, you know that the aftermath of the party can leave a stain or two on your linen or clothing. Not to worry: Heritage Park is here to help with tips for cleaning and stain removal to keep your holiday happy and stress-free.
Hanukkah Prep: Wash Your Table Linen
Along with preparing your home to host guests (read some tips about getting your home guest-ready here), you’re likely going to be setting your table with special seasonal linen. If you haven’t used these pieces since last year, pull them out of storage and give your linen a wash with Heritage Park All-Purpose Detergent (always follow care label guidelines). Our All-Purpose Detergent is a gentle, pH-neutral formula that is plant-based; it cleans using a proprietary blend of enzymes that are made to break down and remove stains while protecting fine fabric. Treat any leftover stains (see below) and never use bleach or fabric softener on luxury linen. If you have the room, set your table—including China, silver, crystal, and non-perishable centerpieces or holiday decorations—well before guests arrive. It looks festive and takes a task off your plate during the busy time.
Set Yourself Up for Stain-Fighting Success
It’s nearly certain that in the course of your Hanukkah celebration, something is going to spill. You can prepare ahead by setting up a stain-treatment station in your laundry room or kitchen. Purchase an enzyme-based stain treatment or make your own with a 1:1 ratio of Heritage Park All-Purpose Laundry Detergent and water in a spray bottle. You can also directly treat stained linen and clothing by submerging pieces in a concentrated pre-soak of Heritage Park detergent and water in your utility sink or bucket. Follow these guidelines:
- Treat stains as soon as possible. Fortunately, many require soaking so this is not going to take you away from the table or festivities. Just get them sprayed or submerged ASAP.
- Use our All-Purpose enzyme detergent to break down and remove food stains from cotton, linen, synthetics, and rayon. Learn more about laundry enzymes here. Enzyme detergents should not be used on protein-based fabric like washable wool or silk; for those fabrics, use an enzyme-free formula like our Silk and Wool Detergent.
- Read below for advice on removing specific stains and check out our stain-removal guide here for more info.
Pro-tip: Have a large mesh laundry bag ready to throw in all your fabric dinner napkins to keep them together and easy to manage.
How to Remove Common Hanukkah Party Stains
Below is our best advice for treating the most common stains you’re likely to encounter. Note: these guidelines are for washable fabric. If your clothing or table linen require dry cleaning, take those pieces to a professional cleaner.
Oil and Grease Stains (from frying latke or other treats):
- Blot excess oil with a paper towel.
- Apply a small amount of Heritage Park All-Purpose Detergent directly to the stain.
- Gently rub the fabric together to work in the detergent.
- For heavier stains, use dish soap and gently scrub with a toothbrush (taking care not to damage the fabric).
- Allow it to sit for at least 15 minutes before washing.
- Launder as usual.
Cheese Stains (from cheesy latkes or cheese platters):
- Scrape off excess cheese with a dull knife.
- Pre-treat the stain with an enzyme spray.
- Wash in the hottest water safe for the fabric.
- Scoop or scrape away excess applesauce.
- Rinse the stain with cold water.
- Apply an enzyme spray and let it sit for a few minutes.
- Wash as usual.
- Blot excess wine with a clean cloth.
- Pre-treat with stain remover OR cover stain with salt and pour club soda on top, let sit for an hour and brush off the salt before laundering.
- You can also soak in lukewarm water with a capful of detergent and a tablespoon of white vinegar before washing.
Chocolate Coin Stains:
- Scrape off excess chocolate.
- Rinse the stain with cold water.
- Pre-treat with stain remover. If needed, rub with heavy-duty laundry detergent.
- If stain persists, soak then launder in a solution of oxygen bleach (if allowed per care guidelines).
- Wash in warm water.
A Word About Candle Wax Stains on Fabric
Burning candles can be messy, but removing melted candle wax from a tablecloth need not be difficult. Start by allowing the melted wax to cool; you can actually put your linen in the freezer to speed up the process as hardened wax comes off easier. Once hardened, gently scrape off the excess wax using a dull plastic scraper so as not to damage the fabric. If you still see remaining wax residue, heat your iron to warm (not too hot) and place a clean brown paper bag over the fabric; a gentle ironing should cause the wax to absorb into the bag. Then treat with enzyme spray or detergent and launder as usual. Pro tip: if you have a metal menorah, you can also place it in the freezer to make wax easier to remove before rinsing with hot water.
Wishing you a Happy Hanukkah
We hope you enjoy spending time with loved ones in a meaningful way as you gather together this holiday season. As always, the Heritage Park Team is here to help answer any questions you have about caring for linen and clothing. We are here to make your laundry life easier, so feel free to reach out any time.