How to Get Red Wine Stains Out

The stars have aligned and your friends all have the same night off. You’re not one to pass up this rare occasion, so you bring out the red wine that you’ve been saving for awhile. Everyone’s having a great time, but then it happens. That friend who loves to talk almost entirely via gestures just took out a row of glasses. Red wine goes great with your dinner, but not so much with your carpet. You can’t stop it from happening, but you can learn how to get the stain out.

Don’t Cry Over Spilled Wine

It’s not the end of the world, and you don’t want to panic and potentially make the stain worse. The other thing you want to avoid is putting it off until later. The longer the liquid sets on the clothing, carpet, furniture or ceiling, the more damage it’s going to do. Of course, if you want to start your career as an artist who only uses wine as their medium, then sit back down for the Netflix marathon.

Stop Scrubbing

If you’re like most people, your first instinct is to scrub the stain. This is possibly the second worst thing you could do (the first is pouring more wine on it). Get paper towels and blot the area up like it’s your favorite greasy delivery pizza.

Head to the Pantry

Your best weapons in this battle are already in your house. Go to the kitchen and grab either salt or baking soda. Pour a pile of it on top of the stain and wait for 20 minutes or so. If you’re really not in the mood to deal with the cleanup, you can safely leave this overnight. Minor stains magically disappear with this approach, while more serious ones start to break down. Once the salt or baking soda has done as much as it can, sweep it up. Resist the urge to vacuum the spot, as the dry heat may help the stain set more. Baking soda and salt are effective for three reasons. The first is that they pull the wine out of the carpet, which reduces the risk that it gets scrubbed deep into the fibers. They’re also slightly abrasive, which help clean anything that’s left over, and they remove odors.

Dealing With the Tough Wine Stains

“Hi, Billy Mays here for Oxiclean” is a common refrain you might have heard after stumbling through the door in the wee hours of the morning. It’s time for that late-night infomercial to come in handy, because Oxiclean does a great job at getting rid of pretty much every type of stain, including wine.

If you haven’t given in to the gospel of Billy Mays, you have a few other options. Club soda and white distilled vinegar is another pantry powerhouse that’s capable of the necessary hard work. Boiling hot water is another alternative.

It’s a pain to deal with wine stains, but when you act quickly and appropriately, you can take care of it now rather than looking at it for the next 10 years. Now that you know these tricks, you’ll be ready to swoop in and look like a hero when someone has a party mishap.

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