A lot of foods stain, but most come up easily with a little soap and warm water, so they aren’t a problem. Those other foods, the ones that would like to become a permanent part of your decor, are a problem. The worst staining foods are:

Grease: Whether from pizza, fried chicken, or a drop of olive oil, grease stains resemble wet spots that never dry. The best way to tackle those grease soaked wet spots is to sprinkle baking soda onto the stain. Make sure the stain is completely covered. Let the grease soak into the baking soda for about 15 to 20 minutes, and then vacuum the baking soda up with the brush attachment. The next step is to use a dry-cleaning solvent (such as Afta) and dampen a cloth with it. Press the cloth onto the grease stain. If the stain is still visible, repeat steps 1 through 5 until the stain disappears.

Chocolate: Chocolate tastes good, smells good, and looks good, until it gets dripped onto the furniture.The best way to get rid of that melted chocolate mess is to mix dish washing liquid with a dab of ammonia and water. Blot, not rub on the stain, being careful not to push into the stain. Rinse by wiping the spot with a clean, damp cloth and then pat with a dry towel to remove any moisture. Let dry. If the stain remains, you can use a dry-cleaning solvent. Put a few drops onto the stain, then blot until the stain has disappeared.

Red wine: Nothing stains on contact like red wine. The quicker you can work on a red wine stain the better chance of removing it. Dab the spill with a dry paper towel to absorb as much as possible. Make a paste of baking soda and water. Apply paste to cover the entire spot, and let it sit on the stain for several minutes before rinsing with ice cold water mixed with white vinegar.

Tomato sauce: Tomato-based sauces are the toughest stains. Never wash tomato-based stains with hot water. Soak the stain in cold water mixed with white vinegar and dish washing liquid for at least 30 minutes. Scrub the stain. If this doesn’t work, try an aggressive commercial stain remover.

Coffee: There is nothing like a cup of coffee in the morning to get us jump started. But spilled coffee makes us want to crawl back in bed. Do not scrub a coffee stain. This will make the coffee stain soak into the upholstery even faster. First, pat the stain with a dry paper towel to absorb as much of the coffee as possible. Use a mild liquid soap and a damp sponge. Gently rub the stain in a circular motion until the stain disappears. If the stain remains, use a mixture of vinegar and warm water and dab onto the stain and rub with a sponge.None of these techniques are a guarantee, but they are the best procedures to try.