When it comes to stains, red wine stains in particular are everyone’s worst nightmare. But what is it about red wine that creates such a difficult stain to remove? Red Wine contains tannins, which are natural biomolecules that are brought out from the grape during the fermentation process. Tannin is an astringent, making red wine a fast bonding agent like witch hazel. So when wine is spilled on fabrics the astringent nature of the wine itself bonds to the fabric very quickly. Here is a step by step guide to removing a wine stain.
Step 1: Act quickly! The astringent nature of red wine will cause the stain to set in very quickly. If you do not act fast and clean the stain before it dries it can become permanent.
Step 2: Blot the stain. Begin removing excess wine by blotting the area with an absorbent cloth. Removing the excess liquid will prevent the wine from spreading through the fabric making the stain bigger. You should never rub the stain as this will force the liquid deeper into the fabric.
Step 3: Dilute the stain. Begin diluting the stain with club soda. Club Soda is effective as removing stains because the carbonation will actually help lift the liquid out of the fabric. Diluting the stain with club soda is effective as long as the wine has not dried.
Step 4: Launder. If you happened to have spilled wine on your shirt or table cloth you can toss it in your washer with your favorite detergent or stain fighter, but your carpets you will need a different approach. Start by mixing dish soap or detergent with vinegar and warm water. Next, gently work the soapy mixture into your carpet. Remove the solution by blotting it with a dry absorbent cloth. Depending on how much time the stain has had to set in you may need to repeat this process.
Step 5: Protect. Accidents happen and Scotch Guarding is a great way to protect your carpets from future stains. Scotch Guarding is a safe chemical that creates a repellant coating around the carpet’s fibers. It will prevent the stain from being absorbed quickly into the carpet and will give you more time to remove it. Scotch Guarding should be considered as insurance to keep your carpets stain free.