We’ve all been there. Enjoying a nice glass of our favourite red or white wine, when… “OMG, quick grab something, I’ve just spilt my wine all over the carpet / couch / jeans / curtains.” If you have been there, or are there now, we know exactly what you are going through, and this post is just for you.
Actually, I think the WORSE wine experience we have ever had, was when the glass of red tipped over onto the laptop keyboard. With a fizzle, pop, and whiz, it said goodnight, never to work again!
Now that was a bad experience, and all the cleaning agents and good ideas in the world, wasn’t going to fix our spilt wine problem that night.
However, for most other situations, there are normally a number of ways to fix the problem, so let’s check out some just in case you find yourself in panic mode with red wine all over the place.
Did you know the average wine glass is made to hold around 9 to 12 ozs? Now that is not a lot of wine. But tip it all over your white wedding dress and you will be amazed just how much mess it can make, and how you would swear you just tipped a bucket-load down your dress!
The immediate reaction with spilt wine is to grab a cloth and try to wipe the wine away.
We have found from bitter experience that rubbing any stain just tends to rub it deeper into the material and smear it around a lot more. You end up causing a far bigger problem than what you started off with.
We find it best to get a clean cloth and gently dab at the liquid in an attempt to soak up as much excess wine as possible.
The next step taken by most people then depends upon which grandmother’s ‘guaranteed stain removal method’ has been passed down through the family. And there are some interesting ones. Some work. Many don’t.
And as we are not expert laundry specialists we will refrain from commenting on any of them, other than to say we always suggest testing out these things on a spare piece of material BEFORE using them in a real life situation, and risk ruining some expensive material.
So, some of the options we have heard include:
- pull the fabric taut, sprinkle salt over it and leave for 5 minutes, slowly pour boiling water over the stain, and then machine wash
- cover the stain with salt, let it soak into the wet stain and then dry, once it has soaked up the stain, vacuum everything up
- sponge the spot with cool water or soak for about 30 minutes in a basin of cool water, pretreat with a prewash stain remover, and then launder
- mix one part dishwashing detergent with two parts hydrogen peroxide, sponge on and blot off, and rinse very well
- completely cover the stain in white vinegar, immediately rub in your preferred liquid detergent, then launder in hot water.
Do they all work? In truth we don’t know, and once again we would caution you never to just pour some strong ingredient over a lovely pair of jeans or beautiful carpet, just in the hope it works. I have seen many damaged carpets over the years, and they all resulted from wiping up the stain and then putting another chemical onto the wet stain that just made the whole situation worse.
Our preferred options:
When it comes to getting wine stains out of clothing or carpet, especially red wine, we tend to stick with well-known brand stain removers. We have tried many ‘guaranteed’ options in the past, and generally came back to the same line of products that we know work, and which our family and friends are happy to recommend.
While we know that not all products available on the shelves do all that they promise, the good ones do, and you just need to search them out.
- For clothing, we prefer Vanish NapiSan OxiAction Crystal White Fabric Stain Remover. You can pretreat the stain by combining a little with water and rubbing it onto the stain, and then washing the material with your normal detergent and some more Vanish. Or for tough stains, you can soak it in a bucket for two hours or longer in a mixture of Vanish and water, before washing with your normal detergent and some more Vanish. For bad stains we have left it to soak overnight.
- For items that can’t easily be thrown into a bucket or washing machine, we have found that salt does do a great job with soaking up the excess wine out of carpets, couches and the like. Hot water then generally does a good job at wiping clean the item. If it is as an old stain, we have successfully applied some NapiSan paste and let it soak into the stain all night. Oftentimes we get some good results when it is wiped clean. We also use a carpet shampooer solution called ‘CleanUp‘ from International Cleaning Solutions in Victoria. This concentrated cleaning solution is great also, either in the carpet shampooer for larger cleaning, or for spot cleaning stains such as dry wine stains with a damp cloth and a bit of elbow grease.
Obviously the solution to all this is to never to spill wine, anywhere.
But as that is probably never going to happen, we recommend all wine drinkers spend a Saturday afternoon experimenting with different bits of materials and see what happens when they spill their favourite wine on it.
Try some home remedies as well as a few professional products. Above all else, talk to family and friends and listen to their recommendations. And if you have any other great remedies for removing wine stains, we would love to hear from you.
Check out the cotton tea towel below that we spilt the wine on, soaked and then washed – beautiful!
Just remember: never apply something onto any stain on any good material just because we or anyone else says so, without proper testing first!
We hope you found today’s post, ‘How To Remove Wine Stains‘ useful, or might in the future. If you love your red wine, check out our post titled: ‘Wine Review: Angove Long Row 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon‘. Priced at the lower end of the market, this pleasant red wine is sure to impress anyone shopping for a nice wine.
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Living each adventure,
Christine and Trevor
Empowering people to live a healthy, active, authentic and fulfilling life.
Adelaide, South Australia.
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DISCLAIMER: This article is written for informational purposes only and is based on Christine and Trevor’s own life experiences. No food featured on this site should ever be consumed or handled if known or suspected allergies exist. Nothing featured here should be taken as medical, professional or legal advice. It is always recommended that you consult the appropriate professional before changing any routine, adopting any new procedure or using any new product. We provide relevant links in each post to services or products of relevance to that topic. Many are unpaid links, while others may be affiliate links. They are included because of their relevance above all else.