(Originally published Nov. 20, 2004)

Stains are as common a Thanksgiving leftover as turkey and cranberries. Hereís how to handle them, courtesy of the Soap and Detergent Association:

+ Candle wax: Scrape off surface wax with a dull knife. Place the stain between white paper towels and press with a warm iron to transfer the wax to the towels. Continue, using clean towels, until the wax no longer transfers.

Then place the stain face down on another clean paper towel and sponge with a prewash stain remover. Blot with paper towels, let dry and then launder.

+ Turkey, gravy, butter and salad dressing: Pretreat with a prewash stain remover. Launder in the hottest water thatís safe for the fabric.

+ Cranberry sauce, apple cider and pumpkin pie: Treat promptly by removing excess fruit and running under cold water. Wash the item as soon as possible using the warmest water and bleach that are safe for the fabric.

+ Coffee, tea, wine and soft drinks: Soak or sponge stain in cool water. Pretreat with a prewash stain remover or liquid laundry detergent. Launder using oxygen bleach or chlorine bleach, if safe for the fabric.

+ Desserts colored with food coloring: Sponge the stain promptly with cool water. If this doesnít remove the stain, soak in cool water at least 30 minutes. Then pretreat with a prewash stain remover or liquid laundry detergent, and launder.