There are few things that beat a glass of red wine. The sophisticated sense of relaxation is one of life’s finer pleasures, and it even comes with the benefit of carrying healthy antioxidants. But all that reward comes with quite a bit of risk – Especially for your clothes. Next time you botch that big dinner date by splashing your lap with some red wine, remember not to panic! You can handle a little wine stain. Or even a big one, go crazy! We’ll go over some of the easiest ways to remove red wine stains in this article. First, a word of caution: The faster you act, the better your results will be.
But rule one: NEVER rub a wine stain!
Before you get started, blot out as much of the stain as you can with a dry, clean cloth. Some suggest that table salt and baking soda also help absorb excess liquid. Whatever you do to get the excess liquid gone is going to help you remove the stain without letting it spread.
It might seem strange to pour out a drink onto the stain of another, but club soda is a great emergency aid for wine stains. The makeup of club soda makes it a great cleaning aid and will break down the pigments in the wine that help it disappear. Blot it into the stain and soak it overnight. If you’re lucky, this will do the whole job for you. But if not, it’ll probably take care of a good chunk of it. Add some vinegar to it for some added kick!
Alcohol is another stain remover that works by breaking down the color of the wine stain itself. Use a sponge for this one, and carefully dab the alcohol into the stain, wiping clean with a paper towel or clean cloth.
Salt and Hot Water
Fresh stains can be tackled right away with some simple remedies. We mentioned this earlier, but a complete method involves absorbing the liquid with a paper towel and then covering the entire stain with salt. Once the salt has soaked into the fabric, pour boiling water from six or so inches over the stain. This will push the wine clear of the fabric, but be careful not to scald yourself. This method also works great for carpets and furniture that have incurred wine stains!
A folk remedy that may be worth a shot is cow’s milk. Soak the stained area in milk, which absorbs the stain, and then rinse clean with cold water.
Mix Up a Cleaner
If you want a sure-fire solution, mix three parts hydrogen peroxide with one part dish soap, and you’ve got yourself a homemade “oxi” cleaner. This can even work on old stains that you’d long given up on! Use it in an isolated space first to make sure it won’t discolor your fabric, then soak it into your stain and let sit for 20 minutes or so, blot it dry, then rinse it clean. The stain should be gone!
Once you’re sure your stain is gone, wash your clothes like normal. But be warned: Never apply the heat of a dryer before the stain is gone, even on cool or air-only settings. Otherwise, it may well be there for good.