The Psychology of Spilling

December 3, 2018

Happy first Monday of December!     Here we go, right?    I have been thinking for some time about doing a blog about how fearful we all are about spilling and staining.  And nothing punctuated this fear than when it happened to me a couple of weeks ago.    Egads!


In my own home, I could care less about spilling, staining and accidents because I have total confidence it can be cleaned.    You don't live in a mostly white home with a big dog and a love of entertaining if you don't.    

But this time, I happened to be in the home of a community leader with a group of about 20 others.     As the hostess of the event was addressing the entire group, I (sitting on her beautiful white sofa) uncrossed my leg to adjust my position and inadvertently kicked my red wine glass in the process.  Cue the slow-motion horror!


Not only was it a total clutz move but all eyes were on me and the spill I had created.  As calm as possible, I got to work cleaning it up and the hostess was as gracious as a human could be assuring me and everyone else in the room that there was nothing in the room that could not be cleaned right up and that accidents happen.   "No big deal."    (PS.   If you happen to be reading this...Thank you so much for your kindness.   It meant the world.)   



No matter how you slice it, it was a big deal to me and it gave me a better understanding of the deeply embedded desire in all of us to not spill or get things dirty...because somehow we believe it will cause permanent damage.  So today, I want to give you some additional confidence about not being hostage to the psychology of spilling.     It really doesn't have to be a big deal and you can freely pick out the upholstery of your dreams without worry.


Whether that be white, cream, grey, tan or any other color in the spectrum.    For my purposes, I used the fabric from the beautiful sectional above!  


Ooops.   My first spill.    Many of our fabrics are stain and pet resistant.   These fabrics are especially helpful when you are choosing lighter upholstery.     Liquid should sit on top of the fabric for a few minutes before it settles into the fabric giving you ample time to simply soak it up using a paper towel or hand towel.    Easy.   




But what about those times when a spill goes unseen and dries on your upholstery?    So, I spilled again and let it seep into the fabric.   Not only did I let it seep in, but waited until evening to clean.   




As most of you know, yesterday was a mucky day outside and I battled "Buoy" the Pointer all day long with his muddy paws.    There are many times that I don't catch him before he settles into one of my light colored chairs.     So I decided to add his paw muk to my test fabric to make it a little more challenging.   










Now, I have dried red wine and outdoor dirt from the paws of my lovely but spoiled dog.   


The tools I need to clean a dried stain is simple:   Detergent, water, spray bottle, soft brush, and a white cloth to pick up the stain.    I have a complete video on the subject at on our website:  how-to-clean-upholstery that gives you the science and more details that I encourage you to reference when you are fighting a stain of your own.     



So, here I go.    I combine a couple of drops of detergent with mostly water in my spray bottle and then gently soak the stain.      This is the scary part because it seems as if the stain is expanding.   Instead, it releases especially after I use my soft brush to bring up the dirt and wine.    I simply used my white cloth to blot the stain.    I repeated the process just twice before I was satisfied that I had completely erased the stain and the sugars that might be left by the wine.   Yeah!





Well, that was too easy, right?    So, I thought to myself what would be really scary to have on the sofa?    And I came up with the dreaded ballpoint pen!!   Oh no, I didn't.


Here we go again.    Using the detergent and water, I sprayed my handy work.     And it spread which is again the part where your heart beats fast and fear sets in.    But I confidently spray, brush and blot.    Repeat.    Spray, brush and blot.       I think this time it took me three times to be completely assured that I had erased my handy work.      And I even impressed myself with this one.   



So the moral of my story?    Go get yourself some simple ammunition for spot cleaning your upholstery.        And more importantly, when purchasing new furnishings for your home...get what you want and dream about.     You don't have to be held hostage to kids, pets, grandkids and clumsy people like me.   


Serve that bright red wine or holiday-inspired cocktail and enjoy every opportunity that you have to be around those that you love and cherish!




Cheers to a great week,