How to Remove Red Wine Stains From Almost Anything

There’s no use crying over spilled red wine. Sure, that big crimson blotch on your eggshell-colored carpet or stark white t-shirt might look daunting now—but, if you act quickly, your stained items will be looking as good as new in no time.  

Don’t Wait Too Long

Cooking dinner shouldn't be complicated

You probably don’t feel like doing much deep cleaning when you’re a few glasses of vino deep, but it’s important to act fast when red wine is concerned. Wine contains chromogens, the primary substance in many colorful plants that are used to make dyes. The longer you let the stain sit, the more time it has to sink into (and permanently dye) the fibers of your carpet or clothing. 

Blot, Don’t Rub

Scrubbing is a mistake for two reasons: First, by rubbing the liquid you’re pushing the stain further into the fabric. Second, it ensures that the stain spreads outward instead of dissolving.  

Blot as much of the wine as you can with a clean, white cloth. Try to soak up as much as you can before you add any cleaning agents into the mix. 

Use Salt or Baking Soda 

Liquid will move toward any dry material that it comes in contact with, so sprinkling the area generously with a dry powder like salt or baking soda is an efficient way to absorb the stain. Let the powder sit for a few minutes before vacuuming or gently blotting (never scrub!) it away.   

Use a Stain Remover

If you’re a frequent wine drinker, it’s not a bad idea to keep a store bought stain remover on hand. There are plenty of options out there, but one in particular has proved extremely effective on red wine stains. Let me introduce you to your new best friend, Zep:

Take it from me (a very clumsy red wine lover), this stuff is a miracle sent straight from heaven. There’s no feeling quite like the relief that washes over you as it dissolves your spilled merlot right in front of your eyes. 

Buy two bottles of Zep Carpet Cleaner Instant Spot Remover here for $18—you’ll thank me later. 

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