How to Remove a Red Wine Stain

Just about everyone you talk to has a red wine stain story. And folks in the carpet cleaning business have heard them all. There’s the too-enthusiastic-toast red wine stain. The dinner-party-tipped-glass red wine stain. The meeting the in-laws red wine stain. The husband elbow bump or the book club banter red wine stains. The summer sangria slosh red wine stain. The family feud red wine stain. Even the big dog with a large tail that sweeps everything off the coffee table red wine stain.

No matter the reason or the season, wine ends up on the carpet time after time. So knowing how to tackle the stain means you are prepared for the moment and, with a few easy steps, can get back to enjoying life.

Red wine is public enemy number one when it comes to household surfaces like white carpet.

First, when that wine spill happens, stay calm and call. 

Most blogs say it’s the last, “if-all-else-fails,” step. But experts agree, when red wine spills on your carpet, start by calling a reputable carpet cleaning company. D-I-Y sources won’t tell you that “last” is sometimes too late. Local carpet cleaners are the place to start. Unlike national franchises, companies in your area are more accountable to local clients. Your preferred carpet cleaners should be able to schedule you in as soon as possible and they’ll offer a follow up appointment, if needed.

For more about finding a trustworthy carpet cleaner in your area, click here and choose with confidence.

Place several layers of paper towel or a folded white dish cloth over the red wine stain and apply pressure.

Second, Prep for the Pros with this How to Remove Red Wine from Carpet Hack

  • Get a roll of paper towel or white washcloths or towels.  
  • Completely cover the wine spill with a handful of layered paper towels or cloth towels.
  • Stand on top of the paper towel or cloth – use your weight to press down but do not “do the twist” or scrub in any way.
With constant pressure, the red wine stain will begin to transfer to the paper towel or white dish cloth.
  • Stop! If your carpet is a grass product – sisal, coir, jute or sea grass – stop now! Even pure water can damage these surfaces. This is where a carpet cleaning professional needs to take over.
  • If the carpet is a synthetic fiber or wool, sprinkle some cold water on the area of the wine stain.  Better too little than too much-you can always repeat. Lay fresh paper towel down and step on spill area again.
  • Blot only. Do not scrub or rub.
  • Remove remaining liquid from the carpet. If you have a gentle wet-vac device, position the nozzle directly over the damp area. Don’t rub. Simply use the suction to remove excess liquid from the carpet. No wet vac? No problem.
  • Repeat the steps, using water, paper towels, and direct pressure or suction.


Third, Beware Trendy “Tips

“Common household product” methods are all the rage. But salt, vinegar, baking soda or club soda, like a range of cleaning chemicals, can hurt carpets and area rugs. How you clean natural fibers or fabrics is very different from how you care for synthetic surfaces.   A spotting product meant for a synthetic carpet can cause permanent damage to a wool or silk blend. For luxury and Oriental rugs care, we recommend what All Access Services recommends.

Our favorite hack? Consider Stain Protection.

Honestly, this is our real secret to keeping calm when red wine hits the fan. Most professional cleaning companies can offer an environmentally safe fabric protector that will ensure your carpet, area rugs, even upholstery remain as stain-repellant as possible. Fabric protection can keep a red wine stain from setting, buy you more time to blot up the spill, and make the next professional cleaning easier and more effective. Check out our Fiber ProTector website to learn more about one of the most rigorously tested and family-friendly protectors in the world.

Pouring red wine from bottle into glass

When all is said and done

A red wine stain is a job for professionals. So you need to have a trustworthy company to work with. Small, local and well reviewed beats big corporate franchises time after time. Call those local experts and ask them their advice for what to do.

At the least, they can talk you through the panic attack of seeing red wine splattered across that new luxury carpet. At the best, they can advise you of any immediate steps to contain the damage. Together, your response and their follow up can help restore your carpet to factory-exit condition.

So pour with confidence. And when that red wine hits the carpet, call the folks who specialize in carpet care.

Then raise that toast… care-free.

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