Nothing says the holidays like having people at your house, or going to someone else’s house and there are a lot of people, or going out to an event and…oh, look, there’s people. And you know what people have a tendency to do? SPILL THINGS! At parties, people are really good at spilling tea (“Uncle Phil’s not here because he’s sick, dear. He and Auntie Dedra separated last month”), but that’s not the only thing that gets spilled. If you’ve been to a holiday party, there’s a chance someone’s gotten a little too tipsy and spilled their wine glass (or maybe it was you that had one merlot too many).
Now, while it can be a tragedy to waste the wine, the bigger tragedy is the stain left behind. (Did I just rhyme?) At best, a stain just becomes a manageable eye-sore that you can cover up. At worst, it makes an item unusable, or worse, it’s that special shirt/dress/cardigan/pant that you are always afraid will get seriously stained by some unsung substance. But guess what? We are here to save you from some potential misery. Your favorite clothing item may not have to be sent off to the great closet in the sky if it gets a stain. Here are some solutions to help you avert a wine spill disaster. (Specifically–red wine disasters).
BUT, before we begin a couple things to remember. First is to take action as quickly as possible. The longer a stain settles in, the harder it is to remove. Second, apply moisture to the stained area to break up the molecules of the alcohol. Get a cloth or towel to blot the wine. Avoid scrubbing, as that can expand the reach of the stain. Taking these actions will do a lot of initial damage control.
NOTE: All the suggestions that follow are made with the assumption the above actions have taken place.
BOILING WATER: When water is heated, it can help the stain break away from the fabric. First, you will need to boil a few cups of water. Second, you will need to enlist a second pair of hands to hold the compromised fabric over a bowl. Then when the water is boiled, you will carefully pour the water over the stained area (recommended from a height of 6 to 8 inches above the stain) and flush the stain right out. Repeat as necessary.
CLUB SODA: A handy, and often the go-to response to wine stains. Pour the club soda over the stain, leaving it to soak for about 10 minutes. Watch as the carbonation fizzes away the red pigment of the stain. After the soda has settled, take a cloth or towel you have on hand to wipe up the liquid. Repeat as necessary.
BAKING SODA: Just as easy a solution to club soda, baking soda will handily remove stains. Once the stain has been blotted, cover the area with baking soda and just a few drops of water to mix in (emphasis on A FEW). Once the baking soda has been dried you can then remove it; if on carpet, you can vacuum it up, or if on clothing or other fabric, launder in hot water.
BLEACH: If a white-colored fabric has been the victim of a wine stain attack, bleach is your best option for stain removal. After you’ve taken the preliminary steps, soak the stained fabric in bleach for 10 minutes and then launder it in hot water.