Christmas is a time for family gatherings and whether you’ve got a big family or not, there’s nothing like eating all the festive food together, until it’s spilt everywhere that is.

Have you ever dropped a glass of red wine on the sofa or has chocolate melted into it as you’ve got cosy with a festive film? Fear not.

If you’re known for dropping food or drink or know someone who is, there’s a 65p hack that might help you out this Christmas.

Jeannette Hudson, a furniture expert at Online Sofa Shop, has offered advice to anyone who might find themselves cleaning up some Christmas stains.

The Bolton News: Salt can be used to remove a variety of stains from a sofaSalt can be used to remove a variety of stains from a sofa (Image: Getty Images)

She said: “Salt is a surprisingly effective cleaning agent that can get rid of common stains on your sofa thanks to its absorbent and dehydrating properties that can soak up the liquid and lift it from the fabric. 

“Salt is also abrasive, meaning it can scrub away stains easily. This is a perfect, affordable cleaning solution to use on your upholstery as it comes into contact with all types of stains this Christmas.”

How to use salt to clean Christmas stains such as red wine, candle wax and more

Red wine

Use a paper towel to blot the red wine stain and then dab the stain using a towel and cold water.

Spread plenty of salt over the stain and leave it to sit for 10-15 minutes. Then you’ll need to rinse it thoroughly with cold water.

Jeannette says to repeat the process and gently blot the stain if it persists.

Gravy stains

Use a paper towel to blot the gravy stain and generously cover it with table salt – this will help to absorb the grease and oil.

Leave the salt on the stain for at least 30 minutes and then gently brush away the salt using a clean cloth.

Use another cloth with washing up liquid to pre-treat any remainder of the gravy and work the soap into the stain.

Don’t scrub too hard and use a vacuum to remove any remaining dirt from the sofa.

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Chocolate stains

With Christmas comes chocolate and lots of it so it’s good to know how to get stains out of the sofa ahead of time.

Jeannette recommends removing any solidified chocolate from the sofa by gently scraping it off the fabric with a dull knife.

If you can see melted chocolate, blot it to lift off as much of the stain as possible.

Add salt to the stain to absorb the oils in the chocolate and then let it sit for 5-10 minutes.

Gently brush off the salt with a thin bristle brush or a cloth.

Finally, soak a cloth in cold water and rinse the stain before leaving it to dry.

Coffee and hot chocolate stains

It’s cosy season so you might experience some spillages of hot drinks – here’s how you can get the stains off your sofa.

Blot the coffee or hot chocolate stain to remove as much liquid from your sofa as you can.

Pour a generous amount of salt onto the stain – this will deeply penetrate the fabric and absorb as much of the liquid as possible.

Let the salt sit for 5-10 minutes and then rub it away gently with a clean paper towel to remove any excess liquid.

Soak a cloth in cold water, rinse the stain and then let it air dry.

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Candle wax stains

Put some ice on the candle wax stain to speed up the process – this will make the wax harden and easier to remove.

When the wax has hardened, use a dull butter knife to carefully scrape it off the fabric without damaging the sofa.

Use a large amount of salt to cover the remaining wax residue to absorb the oil from the wax. Allow the salt to sit for 30 minutes.

Either use a vacuum or thin bristle brush to remove the remaining salt and put a clean cloth over the remaining residue.

Iron the cloth over the wax on the low setting which will melt the wax, allowing it to stick to the cloth instead of the sofa.

If you don’t have an iron, a hairdryer can be used instead.

Pre-treat the stain by using a cloth with cold water and washing up liquid to remove the remaining stain and let the fabric dry.

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Greasy food stains

Gently blot the excess grease with a clean paper towel and make sure you don’t spread the stain while doing this.

Apply a liberal amount of salt to the stain and allow it to sit for 15-20 minutes – this will absorb the grease.

Use a soft brush or clean cloth to brush away the salt.

Wipe the salt using a clean cloth with cold water and wait for the sofa to dry.