How to remove red wine stains

By WeDoLaundry

You’re having a nice shindig with a few friends over at your place. It’s a special occasion so you decide to bring out the Cabernet. While reaching for the bread, you accidentally knock the entire bottle over! Luckily (or not so luckily), there was only a quarter of wine left in the bottle so you only had to sacrifice your table cloth and your brand new white trousers. Also luckily, we’re here to help you with a guide to get you out of any red-wine-related mess while impressing your dinner guests with some stain-busting talents!

Things to know about removing red wine stains

Before you whip out the hydrogen peroxide, keep in mind that the first line of defense is to act immediately! The longer the stain is allowed to set in, the more difficult it will be to remove.

Next time you have a spill, follow these guidelines:

  • Reach for whichever absorbent item that is in the vicinity such as a clean napkin, cloth, or paper towels, and begin blotting the spill area from the outside in to absorb as much wine as possible.
  • Use any clean cloth you can find, but a white or light-colored one can help you attain how much wine is being absorbed.
  • Remember, blot, don’t scrub! Scrubbing will only cause the red wine stains to stick to the fabric, even more, making the stain even harder to remove. You will also be spreading the stain to other unaffected areas when you should be keeping the mess isolated.
  • Once you’ve absorbed as much of the liquid as possible, moisten the area swiftly.
  • Identify if your fabric is washable and color-safe before proceeding with our red wine stain removal tips below.
  • If your fabric is dry-clean-only, skip the next steps and have them picked up or send them to your trusty laundry service as soon as possible.

Red wine stain removers that work

Salt or Baking soda

For this method, first flush the affected area with cold water while blotting with a cloth. Next, evenly sprinkle salt OR baking soda on the stain and wait several minutes before rinsing the fabric stain again with cold water. Blot it dry and repeat the entire process until you’ve lifted as much of the stain off the fabric.

Hydrogen peroxide or dishwasher detergent

Before you proceed with using hydrogen peroxide, test out a part of the fabric to see whether it reacts appropriately. As a mild bleach, certain fabrics might be too sensitive to be treated with it.

If it doesn’t damage the fabric, apply a mixture of dishwasher detergent and hydrogen peroxide to the stain so that it slowly fades.

Laundry detergent

Begin by wiping the stained area with liquid laundry detergent. Thereafter, soak the clothing for 30 minutes in a bowl or pail of cold water. Apply a stain remover to the stain and wash the item on a regular cycle. Keep doing this until the stain is gone or until there is no change.

Boiling water

This method for removing red wine stains is only suitable for durable, colorfast garments or other materials that can be held in your hand and stretched.

To begin, bring a few cups of water to a boil. Tip: adding some salt will give your mixture an added boost! Drape the stained fabric over a basin or across your kitchen sink, or any safe surface where you can pour hot water.

Pour the hot water slowly over the affected region to dilute and release the red coloration. If the stain is still visible, use one of the other procedures on this list until it is entirely removed.

Rubbing alcohol

After rinsing the stain with cold water and blotting it, use some rubbing alcohol in a dabbing motion to remove the stain.

Commercial stain removers

For commercial suggestions, Wine Away is effective on a wide range of stains. It's also non-toxic because it's made up entirely of fruit and vegetable extracts. In addition to Wine Away, Good Housekeeping Institute suggests Wine B' Gone and Gonzo Wine Out for stains fabric and carpets. Chateau Spill, a chlorine-free, biodegradable stain spray, is also effective if you prefer something more environmentally friendly.

Lastly, after using any of the stain removing methods above, the very last step is to send your item(s) to be professionally cleaned at your laundry service for maximum effectiveness.

As you can see, red wine stains are nothing to worry about as you can easily mediate the splotchy situation with some common household items, while using our red wine stain removal tips above!

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