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How to clean up after hosting a sports party

Gathering friends and family to watch sports means lots of thrills and a few spills. This survival guide makes it easy to clean up the mess and leave more time to enjoy the action.


Football on grass

Key steps when you’ve only got 10 minutes:

  1. Dilute laundry detergent with water to make a cleaning solution

  2. Apply solution to stains and spills

  3. Use a clean cloth to rinse the area with fresh water and blot dry with paper towels

People love to gather to watch sports. This is a time for friends and family to gather for drinks, snacks and fun. Spills are inevitable but taking care of common stains is simple with our guide. If you want to be prepared, keep a solution of liquid laundry detergent and water at hand to deal with urgent stains.

Blot beer stains with paper towels, then sponge with a solution made from 1 tablespoon of laundry detergent mixed with 2 cups of water. Rinse by dabbing with a cloth dipped in fresh water then blot dry with paper towels.

How to remove beer stains and smells

During a sports party, it is almost inevitable that beer will be spilt on carpets or furniture.


  • Blot up as much of the beer with paper towels or a tea towel.

  • Mix 1 tablespoon of liquid laundry detergent with 2 cups of tepid water to make a cleaning solution. Adding a tablespoon of white vinegar can give this some added power.

  • Use a clean cloth and gently dab at the affected area using the cleaning solution. Then blot up the moisture with a paper towel or another cloth.

  • Repeat these steps until the beer is gone.

  • Finally, sponge with cool water to remove all traces of the cleaning solution.

  • Blot dry with paper towels or a clean dry cloth.

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  • Soak the garment for up to 5 minutes in a bucket containing a gallon of water and 1.5 tablespoons of laundry detergent.

  • Wash in the machine as usual.

If the fabric is not delicate, bleach can help to remove beer stains. Some laundry detergent contains oxygen bleach that is safe and effective for coloured garments. Always check the care label.

How to clean up face paint smudges and stains

Showing your support for your team is a great reason to apply some face paint in team colours. Face paint should be water-based, non-toxic and safe for skin.

Removing face paint from soft furnishings:

  • Use paper towels to blot up any paint on the surface.

  • Dilute 1 tablespoon of liquid detergent with 2 cups of tepid water for a cleaning solution. Sponge the stain gently.

  • Soak up the solution with a clean cloth.

  • Apply solution and blot up until the stain disappears.

  • Finish by sponging gently with plain water and blot dry.

Oil-based: Some face paint may be oil based and more like make-up. If so, then:

  • Spray the stain with a solution of 1 tablespoon laundry detergent in 1 cup of water

  • Dab with a clean cloth or paper towel to remove the stain.

  • Apply fresh water to rinse.

  • Blot up moisture with a dry cloth or paper towel.

Resistant stains: Apply makeup remover, then rinse and blot.

On clothing: Pre-treat stains with stain remover or a small amount of liquid laundry detergent then wash as normal.

How to remove food stains

Snacks for watching the game are a must, but they can stain when crushed into floors or furniture. When this happens:

  • Gently remove any crumbs.

  • Make a cleaning solution as before.

  • Using a spray bottle, spray cleaning solution onto the stain.

  • Wait a moment, then blot the stain with a clean cloth.

  • The stain should transfer to the cloth, so use a new area of cloth to dab on the stain again.

  • Repeat until the stain is gone

  • Finish by rinsing the area by sponging with a clean wet cloth.

  • Blot with a dry cloth or paper towels.

Make it easy to be tidy

Another tip to help entertaining go smoothly is to have a ready supply of bin liners for guests to stash empty beer cans, crisp packets and shredded football guides as you go.

Originally published