Well now you’ve really gone and done it: you’ve spilled wine. Most people will agree that red wine stains are among the worst to endure. Why does something that tastes so good have to be such a pain to clean?
Technically the pigment of grape skins contains a chemical called anthocyanin (which belongs to the family of food coloring). This chemical acts like the fabric dyes and easily attaches to rugs, clothes, etc.
The end result is that every wine enthusiast will, at some point or another, encounter a red wine spill. It doesn’t matter how coordinated or tidy you are; it will happen to you. Instead of shaking your fist to the sky of the varietal gods, best to prepare for this eventuality with some tips on what your cleaning options are when the time finally comes.
General Stain Removal Tips
Act Fast — The longer the stain sits, the harder it will be to remove. It may not be all that convenient to stop what you are doing (perhaps this is a house party) but putting whatever it is on hold will serve dividends in the long run. Tend to the stain as quickly as possible.
Do Not Rub the Stain — This can and usually does make it worse. Instead blot the area.
Keep The Stained Area Wet — Cover the affected portion of material with a cloth dampened with water or club soda, or otherwise keep the area moist. If is allowed to dry it will make removal of the stain much more difficult.
How to Remove a Wet Red Wine Stain
We’ll now go over some specific cleaning supplies that excel when it comes to removing red wine. If you are planning on having a party then it’s suggested you at least have some of these on-hand, just in case.
Hydrogen peroxide and soap (eg. Laundry detergent) — Mix equal parts together and pour the resulting solution on the stain. Let it sit and then continue to blot until the stain disappears.
Water, Vinegar, and Soap — Mix one tablespoon of vinegar with one tablespoon of soap (dish soap or detergent) and then add 2 cups of warm water. Blot the stain and then apply the mixture, then continue blotting until the stain disappears.
White wine — This may seem counter-intuitive at first, but pour white wine over the stained area and blot. This will help remove the red coloration. Once color fades use carpet cleaning method of your choice to fully remove the damage.
Salt — Pour thick layer of salt over stain. This will help prevent stain from spreading and setting. You can vacuum the salt up once you have products to finish treating the stain.
How to Remove a Set Red Wine Stain
White Wine and Baking Soda — Pour white wine over the area, and then pour a hefty amount of baking soda on top, enough to make a past-type consistency. Spread it out all over the stain being sure not to let the paste dry out. Let it sit for a few hours and then remove the area and clean the area. Hopefully the stain is gone.
Commercial Red Wine Stain Removers — Try OxiClean, Resolve, and Wine Away. These products are designed to remove stains, and they certain live up to that claim for wine. It is probably a good idea to have one of these products on hand.
I hope these cleaning tips help when the time arrives. Who knows, maybe you’ll be lucky soul who walks through a life of red wine unscathed. That would be nice, but here’s to being realistic. Also, if you have any other tricks you’ve tried that work with red wine stains, but all means, I’ve love to hear them.