Easy tips for removing wine stains

Nothing puts the damper on a celebration as quickly as red wine spilled on a light sofa, carpet or table cloth, but quick action and knowing what to do can quickly restore the party mood.

Easy tips for removing wine stains

1. Blot it up

  • Blot up as much of the wine as you can with paper towels.
  • For large spills, work from the outside in, so as to contain the spill.
  • Next, lightly apply a solution of 2 ml (1/2 tsp) of mild dishwashing liquid and 1 litre (1 quart) of water.
  • Work the solution into the affected area.
  • Blot the stain with clean paper towels to remove.
  • Rinse by lightly spraying with water then blot to remove excess water until the suds are gone.
  • Then spray lightly with water and don't blot. Instead, lay a pad of paper towels down, put a weight on the pad and let the towels dry.
  • If the stain persists, moisten the tufts of the carpet fibre with 3 per cent hydrogen peroxide. Let that stand for about an hour, and then blot with clean paper towels.

2. Wine on table linens

  • Regardless of the type of wine, if the fabric is washable, soak it for half an hour in a solution of 5 ml (1 tsp) of liquid laundry detergent (preferably one containing enzymes) for every 2 litres (2 quarts) of warm water.
  • Then launder in your washing machine using the hottest water that's safe for the fabric and laundry detergent, not soap. Natural soap — including soap flakes, bar soap and detergent containing soap — makes tannin stains harder to remove.
  • To remove stubborn stains, you may need to wash with bleach.
  • If all the sugars from one of these stains are not removed, they could turn brown in a tumble-dryer, as the sugar is caramelized.
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