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Choose Your Own Super Bowl Stain-Removal Adventure

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The Super Bowl is about many things: Commercials, the Halftime Show, snacks. (Has something been left off that list? Ah right, football. The Super Bowl is also about football, sure). It's those snacks that bring us together today, to address the mess they can make of your clothes and your living room. We've identified five of the most common Super Bowl comestibles, the stains they can leave, and how to remove them, all in a handy flowchart.

Beer

Beer is a water-based stain, which means it's not as hard to get out as, say, a bloody mary or pomegranate martini. That's not to say that you can just chuck a beer-stained item in the wash — you need to do a little more than that, especially if it's a dark beer like a stout, porter, or malt.

Nacho Cheese Dust

The dust part of nacho cheese dust is what makes removing a stain caused by the stuff so tricky: Instinct guides us to brush the dust away using our hands. The problem with doing so is that the dust can end up either spread over a larger area or ground into the fabric. Or both. So skip the brushing off and instead opt to follow these tips.

Pizza

Pizza will cause a dastardly stain because it falls into the "combination stain" category — in the case of pizza, we're talking about a tomato-grease one-two punch. (Pizza is so delicious that we'll forgive it for its transgressions.) Whenever you're dealing with a combination stain, you'll need to treat both stain types, which can mean using two separate products. (Pizza is worth it.)

Wings

Wings, like pizza, will cause a combination stain — in the case of wings, the one-two punch is caused by the combination of hot sauce and grease.

Dip

Dip comes in many forms — salsa, ranch, black bean, tzatziki, queso, the list goes on and on and deliciously on — and while there are differences, with some being more oily than others, for example, there are enough similarities that we can treat them as a monolithic category when it comes to talking about dealing with the stains they cause.

Now that you've got the basics, here's how to clean that beer-soaked carpet or pizza-coated jersey: