April 1st, 2012

You’re at a party and someone accidentally bumps into you, spilling your glass of red wine all over the front of your clothes. Don’t cry over your spilled wine and don’t panic. You won’t have to throw the blouse away. Red wine stains are usually easy to remove with items found around the house.

What do you do? No matter where you are, act quickly. The key to efficiently removing any stain is to act immediately. Go to the nearest rest room or kitchen sink and blot the stain with a clean, damp cloth until no more of the red wine can be lifted. Don’t frantically rub on the stain to get it out, this will only cause it to spread, making your problems worse. Rubbing can also weaken the fibers of your garment causing tears and frays. Dampen the cloth and continue to blot until you remove as much of the stain as possible.

If there’s a glass of white wine handy, immediately pour that over the red wine stain. White wine neutralizes the red wine and will make the stain vanish. With the stain neutralized, you can throw the item of clothing in with your next load of laundry, but a word of warning, don’t throw any piece of stained clothing into the dryer unless the stain is completely gone. The heat of the dryer will cause the stain to set making it a permanent part of the garment. The same goes for the iron. Never iron a stain.

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If a glass of white wine isn’t immediately available, you have plenty of other options. Try vinegar, one of the greatest all-purpose cleaners of all time. Pour the vinegar onto a damp cloth and blot the stain until the wine is completely lifted. If needed, you can even pour the vinegar directly onto the stain to saturate before blotting. Once the red wine stain is removed, blot with a damp cloth. Your clothes might smell for the rest of the evening, but the scent is easily removed in the washing machine.

Here’s another home remedy, mix a solution of one part mild dishwashing liquid (one that contains no bleaches or alkalis) and two parts hydrogen peroxide. Saturate the stain with this solution and let it presoak until you do the laundry. It may take two applications and two washings so be sure not to throw the item of clothing into the dryer until the red wine stain is completely cleaned. Another bubbly idea is to pour club soda directly on the stain and let it go to work. With luck, the stain will lift before your eyes. If not, a little gentle blotting is all that’s needed. Once the stain is lifted, blot with a clean, damp cloth and launder as usual.

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Sprinkling salt on the spot is said to lift the liquid from the stain. Coarse salts such as Kosher salt works best. Leave on for a few minutes and wipe salt away. Blot with a damp cloth until the stain is removed. Baking soda can be used in much the same manner. Sprinkle it over the stain and let sit until the wine is absorbed, wipe away, and blot with a cool, damp cloth. Launder as usual.

A paste of cream of tartar and water will also work to remove the red wine stain. Gently rub the paste into the stain and let sit. Remove the paste and blot with a damp cloth. Launder as usual as soon as you can get to a washing machine. As you can see, a spilled glass of wine doesn’t make a ruined blouse. All you need is some quick thinking and a well-stocked kitchen.


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