There are such things as mystery stains. If you’ve ever had a party wild enough that you can’t remember what happened during it, then you’ve seen them before.
A mystery stain is one where you cannot determine where it came from or identify what caused it. These things can be pretty frustrating since if you don’t know what it is, you can’t be sure what you do to it won’t just make things worse.
The first step you take to figure out how to get rid of a mystery stain after a party is the location. For instance, you’ll find food stains on the floor and flat surfaces, or on clothing. Black grease will usually be on the ground almost exclusively.
The next thing to do is check on the colour. Brown usually means it is protein-based, like a food stain. If it’s grey, the most likely culprit is something that came from oil or grease. A lack of colour is tied to bleaching. However, this is not absolute. Coffee is usually rust-colored, for instance.
As usual, your fundamental concept to removing stains should be not to make things worse.
Always go with the treatment that seems less destructive. Don’t jump right into something that will destroy the stain, but will take a chunk of the area around it too. If something can be washed, use cold water to see if you can break the stain down first.
Liquid detergents and spray-on cleaners might also work. Work them into the stained area little by little, and let them sit a while. Fifteen minutes is minimum, especially on something like a carpet or rug.
If the least-potent option doesn’t work, then you can consider using something stronger. Don’t escalate right away, but rely on going tier by tier. Always remember to let the cleanser sink and linger for some time, particularly for dry stains.
Depending on the surface, you might want to use specific products. For example, stains on a carpet would call for carpet shampoo. You don’t use that industrial-strength stain remover that you keep in reserve for when you get something persistent on your granite kitchen countertop.