Carpets are bound to attract stains over a period of time. The stain left by red wine is probably one of the most obstinate. Not only is it hard to remove, if not dealt with immediately, it is also very prominently visible because of the colour.
Sometimes it seems like every other week I’m hunched over the carpet, trying to remove a red stain off it. This is primarily because I’m quite a clumsy person, but I also host a lot of get-togethers at home and inevitably someone slips a bit of wine on the carpet.
If you have a wool carpet at home, then you have a little more time in hand in comparison to other carpets. This is so because wool doesn’t absorb liquid as easily as certain other materials. However, you can’t afford to neglect a wool carpet for too long either.
I’ve learnt the hard way that the key to removing red wine from the carpet is to be prepared beforehand. What I mean is that you need to keep a few essential items handy in the kitchen to deal with spilt red wine. This will allow you to deal with the situation immediately, which in turn will ensure that the red wine doesn’t embed itself too deep in the carpet.
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What You Will Need
- Paper towels.
- Wool detergent or fabric softener.
- White vinegar.
- Baking soda.
- Cold water.
- Pieces of clean soft cloth.
Blot up the Wine
This is the first step and in some ways the most important step. The quicker you can begin acting out the following steps, the more likely it is that you will be able to effectively deal with the spilt red wine at home.
- Get a bunch of paper towels from the kitchen and a bottle of cold water.
- Blot up as much of the wine as possible.
- Begin from the outer edges of the spill and work towards the centre.
- The reason for this is that it prevents the spill from spreading any further.
- Remember to not rub, as that will embed the wine deeper into the carpet fibre. It will also spread the spill further and in case of certain materials, it could lead to discolouration of the carpet.
- When you have blotted up as much as possible, pour a little bit of the cold water on the spill area and resume blotting.
- Repeat this a couple of times till no more of the red wine is getting absorbed.
Use a Mixture of Wool Detergent and Vinegar
Now that you’ve tried blotting up as much of the red wine as possible, it’s time to try another homemade solution to remove the remaining stain.
- Mix one teaspoon of wool detergent (a must if you have a wool carpet) or one teaspoon of fabric softener (in case of any other type of carpet) and a teaspoon of vinegar (use white vinegar only) in a large bowl of lukewarm water.
- If you have an empty spray bottle (or even one of those toy spray guns), you can pour this mixture into it and spray it on the stain. Or, you could leave it in the bowl.
- Soak a soft cloth in this mixture and then gently apply it on the stain or spray the mixture on the stain.
- Next, use a dry absorbent cloth or paper towel to remove the wine that’s been loosened by the mixture.
- Once again use an up-and-down motion with the cloth and never rub it.
- Alternate between applying the mixture on the stain and then removing the wine with a dry cloth till the stain is removed.
- Now you need a spray or you can pour a little bit cold water on the stain and use a dry cloth to soak it up.
- Ideally, the stain should be completely removed after you’ve repeated the process a few times. However, don’t do it more than about half a dozen times. Try another method or seek professional help.
This is another product readily available at home and is effective in removing red wine stain. It’s better if you have rock salt, but regular salt will do as well.
- Salt absorbs moisture very well. So, if the stain has become dry, you need to sprinkle a little bit of cold water on it to moisten it.
- Pour salt all over the stain and then let it be till it’s completely dry. You should let it be for at least a few hours or preferably overnight.
- The salt will absorb the wine and turn pale pink.
- Carefully remove as much of the salt as possible and then vacuum to remove any remaining salt.
- The stain should be completely removed by now.
Use Baking Soda
Baking soda works much the same way as salt.
- Firstly, wet the stain by applying cold water and blot up excess water with a paper towel.
- Some online articles suggest that you can apply white wine instead of water. But I prefer to stick to water because it’s a safer option and also because white wine is meant to be consumed and not poured on carpets.
- Then mix one teaspoon of baking soda with three teaspoons of water. You can increase the quantity if required but maintain the same water-to-baking soda ratio.
- Apply this mixture on the stain and leave it to completely dry.
- The baking soda will slowly absorb the red wine and turn greyish.
- Once it’s completely dry, use a vacuum to suck it up and leave a clean carpet behind.
A Few Dos and Don’ts
- Before using any form of chemical on the carpet, consult the instructions manual provided by the manufacturer.
- As a precautionary step, test any and all methods of stain removal on a small, hidden section of the carpet before actually applying it.
- Check the manual to find out if certain products (natural or chemical) can be applied on the carpet or not.
- Even after the stain of red wine is removed, a sticky residue might be left on the carpet. This will attract dirt, especially from shoe soles, and look ugly. So, after you have used a particular method to remove the stain, apply cold water over the area and dry it with paper towels a few times to ensure that no sticky residue remains.
Nobody likes having their carpet stained and it’s best to be as prepared for it as possible so that the stain doesn’t set in. Hopefully, some of the methods I have mentioned above, help you in getting rid of the stains from your carpet without leaving much of a mark behind.