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How to Remove Wine Stains

We’ve all been there.  Its starts something like this: a hot night, a white dress, a bottle of great red.  And it ends with a big red stain and an unhappy guest.  But don’t cry over spilled wine!  Here are a few tricks that will help you remove the stain and get your night back on track.  They are all tried-and-true methods that use common household items.

Method 1: The Salt

  • As soon as you can, dump a generous amount of salt (large-grained salt like Kosher salt works best) all over the stain.  Let it sit for several hours or overnight.  Vacuum up the salt (and a lot, or even all, of the stain).
  • Check the washing instructions, and machine wash if applicable.  Use COOL water to avoid setting the stain, and air-dry so that if some of the stain remains, you don’t set it with the heat from the dryer and can re-wash.
  • If you can’t machine wash, hand wash in cool water, and air dry.

Method 2: The Science Experiment

  • As quickly as you can, blot the stain with paper towels to soak up as much excess moisture as you can.  Do NOT scrub or rub the stain, as this can cause it to set further.
  • If the stain is on something like a garment or a comforter (something with a back that the stain can leak through to), place a washcloth or something similar behind the stained fabric to prevent the stain from spreading.
  • In a small bowl, combine one teaspoon laundry soap, dish soap, or laundry pretreatment with one cup hydrogen peroxide.
  • Check the washing instructions, and machine wash if applicable.  Use COOL water to avoid setting the stain, and air-dry so that if some of the stain remains, you don’t set it with the heat from the dryer and can re-wash.
  • If you can’t machine wash, hand wash in cool water, and air dry.

Method 3: The Club Soda

  • This is a great method to use for carpet stains because the carbonation in the club soda helps pull the stain up and out of the fibers.  Pour the club soda on the stain and blot the carpet to remove the wine.  Keep pouring and blotting until the stain is removed.
  • If you’re using this method on something other than carpet, then follow the washing instructions.

Method 4: The White Wine

  • White wine will neutralize red wine and stop the stain from spreading.  Pour white wine on the stain and then as soon as you can, wash the stained item according to its washing instructions.
  • This is a great method to use at a party when you or a guest is wearing something you can’t remove and wash right away, because with the stain neutralized, you can wait until you get home to worry about getting it out.  Plus, white wine is usually readily available at parties.

Tip: The key to removing any stain successfully is to take care of the problem as soon as possible.  The longer you wait, the more chance the stain has to set.

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