How to Get Wine Out of Carpet
Anish Patel @ 2022-01-13 07:00:56 -0800
Red wine on your white carpet: not a good combo. Still, spills happen. If you know what to do (and what not to do), this disaster won’t leave a stain.
To prevent a ruined carpet and a ruined night, all you need is the right ingredients. In fact, everything you need to stop the stain can be found right in your kitchen. So, stock up on what you need to get wine out of your carpets, and you’ll be able to open that red wine spritzer without any worries.
In this guide, we’re going to tell you exactly how to keep your white carpet spotless after a red wine spill. But first, let's go over a few ground rules.
Rules to live and blot by.
When it comes to red wine stain removal, the longer you wait, the smaller your chances of getting it out will be.
As time goes on, red wine will sink further into the pores of the fabric and set. This makes the following cleaning methods less effective. If you wait, you’re not ignoring a stain as much as you are dyeing your carpet. So, be sure to clean up spills right away so they don’t set. Promise?
That brings us to ground rule number 2—don’t scrub. Scrubbing a stain applies pressure that actually pushes the wine further into the pores of the fabric in your carpet.
When red wine spills onto your carpet, the liquid moves in two directions at the same time: down into the carpet and outward. You’ll see the stain spreading outward as it settles into the fabric. Scrubbing helps this process along, but blotting gives the wine something from above to absorb into and grab. This makes all the difference.
Last, make sure you let the carpet air dry. It can be tempting to break out the hairdryer, but the heat from the hairdryer actually changes the chemistry of the pigments in the wine. Sadly, this will just reinforce the stain.
Why are wine stains so hard to remove?
Red wine is especially tough to remove because it contains tannins and strong pigments called chromogens. You can see this in the glass, on your teeth, and even sometimes on your lips. Chromogens give the wine its inky, purple color, and it’ll happily give that color to your carpet, too.
Tannins are naturally occurring compounds found on the skin, seed, and stems of grapes. In white wine, the skins are removed before fermentation. With red grapes, the skins are left on, and they impart color and tannins into red wines.
Tannins act as a natural preservative and give wine an astringent, slightly bitter flavor. They also stain the enamel of your teeth and are even used as a natural dye for fabrics. That’s how good tannins are at attaching to materials.
The last reason that red wine spills are so tough to fix is that most fabrics are porous. This means that when you spill your wine, the fabric really absorbs it. After a while, that gorgeous red color you love in your glass gets locked in your carpet.
If you’re feeling a little squirmy about your brand new carpet but love red wine, choose varietals that are low in tannins and lightly pigmented. This will ensure that if you do spill, you’ll be able to get the stain out easier.
Wines that are low in tannins and lightly pigmented include Pinot Noir, Grenache/Garnacha, Gamay, Merlot, and Barbera. Wines that are high in tannins and deeply pigmented are Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese, Syrah/Shiraz, Nebbiolo, Malbec, and most red blends.
Follow these easy steps to keep red wine from staining your carpet.
There are several ways you can remove a stain, but some are more reliable than others. If one method fails, try the next one. The fabric of your carpet may respond differently to different methods.
Here’s what you’ll need:
-A Clean Sponge
-A Clean, White Cloth or Paper Towels
You likely have at least a few of these on hand. The good news is that the simplest ingredients are the most effective.
Step #1: Apply salt to the stain.
Red wine will move toward anything dry, even if it means having to defy gravity. Generously pour salt onto the spill and watch it turn pink. As the colors change, the wine is absorbing up into the salt rather than your carpet.
Let the salt sit for 5 to 20 minutes. Then, remove it carefully by blotting it. Sometimes, this is all you need to remove the stain. If there’s still a mark, move on to the next steps or repeat this process again.
Step #2: Apply club soda.
When it comes to red wine stains, club soda can seem almost magical. We don’t really know why it works so well, although it may be because its acidity levels work to decolorize pigments in wine.
First, be sure to blot the stain dry with a clean white cloth. Remember, don’t scrub! Next, pour a small amount of club soda and keep blotting. Repeat this process until the stain is gone.
If you’ve got a stubborn stain that still won’t disappear, move on to the next step.
Step #3: Use dish soap and white vinegar.
Dish soap and vinegar can be effective stain removers. First, blot the stain dry with a clean, white cloth.
Now, combine a little bit of dish soap and white vinegar in a cup. Pour the solution directly onto the stain, and blot with a clean sponge. Keep blotting until the stain disappears.
Once the stain is gone, blot the wet spot dry with a clean white cloth to remove excess liquid. Allow plenty of time for the stain to air dry, and run over it with a vacuum once it’s dry.
Of course, if this doesn’t work, there’s still hope! Try our next tip below.
Step #4: Use baking soda and water.
Baking soda is a natural stain remover. Create a paste by adding a little bit of water to baking soda in a small bowl. If the paste becomes too watery, add more baking soda.
Blot the stain dry with a clean, white cloth and apply the paste to the stain. Leave the paste on the stain until it dries, and then vacuum it up. If the stain is still there, repeat the process until it comes up.
If your stain is still there, try step 5.
Step #5: Use hydrogen peroxide and dish soap.
Hydrogen peroxide is a bleaching agent, but it can also weaken certain fibers. This means it may cause discoloration in fabrics, so you should test this method out on a small area on your carpet to make sure you’re in the clear.
First, blot the stain dry with a clean, white cloth. In a small bowl, mix two parts hydrogen peroxide to one part dishwashing soap. Blot the solution onto the stain with a clean sponge until the stain disappears. For more aggressive stains, pour a little solution directly on and blot.
Once the stain is gone, blot it dry with a clean, white cloth.
If the stain is a few days old, there’s still hope!
If the stain happened a few days ago, it may take longer to get it out. If the stain is dry, rewet it with water to make blotting easier. Add a heaping amount of salt to the stain and leave it overnight. If you notice the pile of salt turning pink, then you know the salt is pulling the pigment out of the carpet.
Vacuum or blot up the salt, and follow it up with any of the methods above. Keep repeating this until your stain disappears!
Hey, spills happen.
The good news is that stains don’t have to stick. You just need to be willing to act quickly—and if you don’t, you just need a bit of patience.
Consider your spill a sign that your space is being well-loved. Spills won’t ever be a big deal when you have the right ingredients on hand, even on your pristine white carpet.
Need something low-stakes to sip on while you wait for that spot to dry? Try Tinto de Verano, a lightly sparkling red wine cocktail made with all-natural ingredients.