How To Remove Red Wine From Carpet (And Other Spillages)
Red wine is definitely one of the more common stains we’re asked to remove.
Indeed, a quick glance at the diary reveals we’ve tackled about a dozen in the last month alone (granted, this recent increase is probably a Welsh thing – likely due to increased alcohol consumption during the six nations rugby tournament!)
Most commonly, we find a glug of vin rouge puddled on living room carpets and rugs.
Sometimes in bedrooms.
And even in the corners of carpeted closets…
I daren’t ask.
Anyway, let’s picture the scene…
You’re there in your living room, feet up, watching the rugby, a glass of Bordeaux’s finest cradled in your lap.
Wales score and you leap to your feet and roar with excitement!
And the glass of wine…
All over your new cream carpet.
In a suspended state of shock you watch in slow motion as the wine dances from its glass, painting a devilish purple splodge on your plush new carpet.
So what do you do?
Panic sets in and you reach for the nearest towel and run it under the tap before rubbing and scrubbing vigorously.
Then, when all you’ve done is succeed in slightly lightening the colour of the stain (while spreading it over a larger area of carpet) your sense of panic deepens.
There’s nothing else for it!
You dash to the kitchen cupboard and reach for the “stain remover that shalt not be named” (but there’s 1001 names I’d like to call it).
Before you know it, you’re spraying the stain like you’d hose a raging fire, dousing it with all your might!
But something disconcerting happens…
The stain changes in colour and an angry green border appears, defiantly highlighting the perimeter of the spillage.
The original stain has morphed into something entirely different, and as you scrub away there’s no longer any hint of the red wine being transferred onto the white towel.
No amount of increasingly desperate spraying or scrubbing changes a damn thing.
You’re stuck with it. (Well, maybe not, but we’ll get onto that later).
How You Should Tackle Any Liquid Spillage
The above scenario depicts exactly what you should not do.
The first mistake was to panic and scrub the spillage. The second was to over-wet the stain. And the third was to liberally apply a shop bought stain remover.
But how should you have dealt with it?
If you Google “red wine stain removal” you’ll find all manner of suggestions and remedies.
Some are entirely sensible and err on the side of caution…
Others seem to literally suggest throwing the kitchen sink at the problem.
While many of the “twee” lifestyle type websites seem to require you have a PHD in botanical medicine and chant a mantra while waving a magic wand.
But while you may not be able to remove all traces of the stain yourself (particularly if it’s been lying in the carpet too long) here’s what you should actually do:
- Act quickly. At first it’s a spillage, and not yet a stain.
- Using a white towel or kitchen roll, press all your weight on the stain, blotting up as much as possible. This may take a few minutes but is worth the patience.
- Check to see if much of the stain has been transferred to the towel or kitchen roll and replace with a clean one as often as necessary. Do not be tempted to rub or scrub the stain.
- Once no more colour is being transferred, dab a clean towel with a small amount of water and continue blotting the stain for few minutes.
- Now place another clean dry towel over the stain and weigh it down with something reasonably heavy for several hours.
- Assess the stain and if any colour remains, call a professional carpet cleaner.
The above process is pretty effective, and at the very least will remove the worst of the stain while causing no further damage to your carpet or making it more difficult (or impossible) for a professional to remove.
As always, if in any doubt, please do give us a call for further advice.
We don’t bite.