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How to Get out Red Wine Stains

Thinking of switching to white wine just to avoid stains? Memorize these cleaning tips instead.


  • Step 1: Use white on red Pour white wine or club soda on the stain while it's still wet – just make sure the fabric is washable. If you don't have either, use cold water.
  • Step 2: Blot it Blot it with a white cloth napkin or a clean white T-shirt.
  • Step 3: Sprinkle salt Sprinkle salt on the stain to absorb the remaining moisture. Let it stand for a few minutes.
  • Step 4: Rinse Rinse in cold water. If the stain remains, repeat the process until you've removed as much as possible.
  • Step 5: Pretreat Dab a little liquid-enzyme detergent into the wine stain; find it at the supermarket. Let it stand for about 10 minutes before rinsing with cold water and rubbing out the stain.
  • Step 6: Spot-treat If you can still see the stain, apply a spot stain remover before machine-washing in cold water with a liquid-enzyme detergent.
  • Step 7: For carpet spills, blot up as much of the red wine as you can with a clean cloth and then saturate the stain with club soda or cold water and blot that up. Repeat until the stain is gone.
  • Step 8: Try baking soda If repeated saturating and blotting does not remove the whole thing, make a paste of three parts borax or baking soda to one part water. Gently rub the paste into the stain with a clean toothbrush and let it sit. Vacuum up the paste when it is completely dry. Repeat as necessary.
  • FACT: Sales of merlot slumped in the U.S. after a character mocked the grape in the 2004 movie Sideways, but they eventually rebounded.

You Will Need

  • White wine
  • club soda
  • or cold water
  • A white cloth napkin or clean white T-shirt
  • Salt
  • Liquid enzyme detergent
  • Spot stain remover
  • Borax or baking soda
  • A clean toothbrush
  • A vacuum

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