Certain stains have a reputation for being impossible to remove. Pomegranate juice, blueberries and red wine pop into mind. When one of these colorful stains shows up on your carpet you might think about moving the furniture, buying an area rug or even replacing your carpet. Before you take one of these drastic steps, there are a few other options.
Time is not really on your side when you’re dealing with red wine stains. If you only notice the stain after it’s already dried, you have a very tough problem on your hands. If, however, you see the stain as soon as it happens here’s what you need to do:
1. Blot up as much of the wine with a clean cloth or paper towels. Be especially careful not to rub, as this could spread the stain or force it down deeper into the carpet.
· Tip: When you go get the cloth or paper towels, bring a bowl, bucket or plastic bag or some other receptacle where you can place the soaked towels once you’ve blotted up the wine. There’s nothing worse than getting the main stain out only to see that you’ve left a trail of red drips from carrying the towels to the trash.
2. Wash away what’s left of the wine with whichever of the following liquids you have on hand.
a. White wine is said to have the power to neutralize red wine stains. Trials have shown, however, white wine will only work on fresh stains and may require further action.
b. The carbonation in club soda is believed to be the reason that this liquid is able to pull up red wine from practically any carpet. You can increase the chances that this remedy will work if you first pour a little salt on the stain.
c. Diluted laundry detergent or dishwashing liquid or vinegar
· Tip: Be especially careful not to use too much liquid. Over wetting your carpet may seem to be the solution to flushing away the blush, but improper drying will lead to serious issues such as the growth of mold and smelly mildew beneath the carpets surface.
If it’s the day after…
If you’ve already missed the boat and the wine has had time to dry and set in, you still have hope for getting the red out.
Option one: Call in a professional cleaning service. Their powerful steam cleaners should be able to do the trick quickly and efficiently. If it’s been awhile since you’ve had your carpets, upholstery and window treatments professionally cleaned, this might be a good time to kill two birds with one stone.
Option two: There are several commercial products available at your local grocery, hardware or home improvement stores. While these products have varying degrees of effectiveness, be sure to look for a product that is designed for removing red wine stains.
Option three: One more tried and true home remedy for white carpets is to pour hydrogen peroxide (full strength or dilute) on the stain, cover it with a clean, dry towel, and then remove after about half and hour.
A word to the wise
Before using any cleaning product, homemade of store bought, be sure to test it on an inconspicuous area of your carpet before using it on larger, more obvious spots.