A festive gathering of food and drink, a houseful of guests, excited children and — if it’s like my home — a very keyed up dog means that a few mishaps are bound to happen. The lovely glass of Bordeaux somehow ends up on the carpet (especially if said carpet happens to be white), and what to do about the candle wax that dripped on the heirloom tablecloth?

Here are some tips from the experts at Consumer Reports for dealing with the usual holiday household goofs.

Spilled wine. If you spill wine on carpet or fabric, the first thing you need to do is to blot (not scrub) the affected area with water. Then use a detergent solution made of one teaspoon of a mild clear or white dishwashing liquid — no bleach — mixed in one cup of warm water. For red wine, you can then finish by dabbing with 3 per cent strength hydrogen peroxide.

Spilled soda. Blot with the detergent solution. After this, blot with a vinegar cleaning solution made of one-third cup of white vinegar mixed with two-thirds cup of water. Rinse with warm water, and if the area is still not entirely clean, dab with 3 per cent hydrogen peroxide.

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Cynthia Ross Cravit