Removing Red Wine Stains from Carpets

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Today’s homework? Find out how to remove red wine stains from carpets! We were surprised to learn that there are several ways to do this.

Two things to bear in mind, however, when removing that red stain from your beautiful carpet:

  • Time is of the essence – don’t think, I’ll get to it later, not right now. In fact right now is the best time, because letting the red wine settle into the fabric will make it tougher to remove it.
  • Blot, not rub – most experts caution against rubbing too vigorously. People who want to make the stains disappear more quickly are under the impression that rubbing hard on the stain will do the trick. Not quite. You could do more damage by rubbing. The better way is to blot gently!

So time and blotting are what should be uppermost in your mind when you go about the task of removing red wine stains from your carpet. Maybe we should add a third rule: be calm, don’t get mad at the child or adult who accidentally knocked over that glass! Red wine stains don’t justify replacing the carpet because there are effective ways of getting rid of these stains.

We’ve divided our tips into (a) home remedies and (b) commercial products. If these tips don’t work, you have a third remedy: call in the pros!

Let’s start with the home remedies on how to get wine out of carpet, we will then move to commercial cleaning products.

Home Solutions

  • Spilled red wine? Bring out the white! That’s right! As soon as red wine stains your carpet, bring out that white bottle of wine. While there are no guarantees it will make the stain disappear, white wine has a way of neutralizing the chemicals in red wine so that it becomes easier to lift off the stain. Pour some white wine on the spot and gently blot with a thick towel. If you don’t have white wine handy, try vodka.
  • After applying the white wine and after most of the liquid has been absorbed by the blotting, now’s the best time to apply some carpet shampoo on the red wine stain.
  • Have any club soda at hand? This can also help lift the stain off owing to the process of carbonation. The salt in the club soda will help prevent the liquid from settling deep into the fabrics of the carpet.
  • Speaking of salt, it is considered an effective remedy but it won’t remove the stain. It will just keep the wine from settling into the fibers of the carpet until you decide how you want to tackle the stain.
  • Take a teaspoon of your carpet shampoo (depending on the size of the stain, you may need more than a teaspoon) and mix it with one cup of hydrogen peroxide. Soak a sponge into the mixture and without squeezing the sponge too hard, keep blotting on the stain until the color fades. When you’re satisfied, apply warm water on the spot and blot with a clean linen towel or paper towel. If you don’t have hydrogen peroxide, a water/glycerin mixture is a good substitute. If you use glycerin, the mixture should be 50% water and 50% glycerin. Always use lukewarm water.

Commercial Wine Cleaning Products

If you have cleaning solutions specifically for carpet stains sitting in your cupboard, use them. People have shared their experiences and say that certain solutions do work. Among them –

Scotchgard’s Oxy Carpet Cleaner – this inexpensive product is usually sold at retail outlets like Walmart and Target. Some supermarkets also sell it. It is manufactured by 3M, a reputable company. It not only removes stains but also protects carpets, giving them that fresh, brand new look. Scotchgard Oxy carpet cleaner also leaves a fragrant scent and eliminates odors from food and drink.

Wine Away – an appropriate name for a product, this is a popular brand among homeowners. In one discussion forum, a homeowner said that this product works well because it is also effective with stains that have settled in. The company claims that Wine Away has been reviewed in publications such as Food and Wine, Gourmet Cooking, Good Housekeeping and others. It has a citrus scent and because there are no bleaching agents or phosphates, it’s safe to use around children and pets.

Here is what the Wine Away company recommends: spray Wine Away on the stain, wait and blot! Let treated area dry. Follow with a damp rag to remove any excess. Trick: The best way to blot a stain is to take your thumb and place it in a rag or paper towel and push finger into stain and turn clockwise. Try not to "rub" the stain as you may cause fraying of fibers.

Important tip:  if you used substances like salt or ammonia before trying Wine Away, the company says you could have set the stain. If this is the case, it says, saturate stain with Wine Away. Let Wine Away penetrate fibers for 20-30 minutes. Then blot stain as mentioned above. Let treated area DRY. If stain remains, repeat process.

Other commercial products include Shout, Quick and Brite and Dri-Clean. When using these products, follow the standard advice: use warm water, blot and let solution rest.

If all else fails…

Let the Pros Remove Red Wine Stains from Carpet

The upside about leaving this task to professionals is that they know of industrial strength cleaners and steamers. Stubborn stains can be eliminated with stronger chemicals and more sophisticated equipment. Honest professional carpet cleaners will not only remove stains and deep steam your carpet, but will also advise you on how to take care of your special carpets for the long term.

Clean carpets are an indispensable component of health and safety in the home so experts can tell you how to maintain your family’s health with clean non-toxic carpets.

A final note: if you have an expensive carpet that was purchased from overseas and you’re not sure how to remove stains from them, you’re better off calling the experts. You wouldn’t want to ruin an expensive Oriental or Persian rug by using cleaning agents in haste.

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