For those who have white carpet in their home, the threat of a red wine spill is always lurking. It only takes one abrupt movement and your floor can become a canvas of crimson. We’ve all watched it happen — the glass of red wine falls in slow motion toward the winter white carpet as every eye in the room watches. It’s an accident that many have experienced first hand.
As common as a red wine spill is, there is still confusion regarding best practices when attempting to remove a wine stain from carpet. Scrubbing the stain, for example, is a common misconception that can just contribute to it worsening. This is why it is important to understand what steps to take and what steps to avoid when you have an accident.
Why Red Wine Causes Stains
Have you ever wondered why red wine, above all other beverages, can create the stains most difficult to remove? Many find that no matter what they do to clean up a red wine spill, it is still not enough. Red wine contains chromogens, the dominant substance commonly found in plants that is responsible for dyes. Red wine is essentially ink — and when spilled on carpet, it is ink that is quickly seeping into the pores of the carpet’s fabric.
While the wine serves as the ink, the carpet serves as the paper. When the red wine hits the carpet the liquid matter gets into the fibers and they become immersed into the fabrics pores. The liquid then settles in wherever it can find space, moving outward from the spot of the spill.
Tips To Remove Red Wine Stains
The most immediate and most common response to a spill is to panic. The new carpet had just been installed and you had just opened that brand new bottle of wine and now you have to deal with a mess. Rest assured — there are methods that have been proven effective to remove these type of stains.
Acting immediately can be the difference between complete removal of the stain and a partial one. While cleaning a red wine spill is a time-consuming, tedious process, waiting to address it for a few hours or even days later is not recommended. The longer the wine has to settle into the fibers of the carpet the longer they will stay there.
Do NOT scrub the stain
Scrubbing the stain might appear to be the best course of action to soak up the liquid but it can actually be counterproductive. While it may remove some of the liquid resting on top of the carpet, it will actually push down liquid further into the fibers of the carpet ultimately making the stain harder to remove.
Use a dry material to lift red wine out
Table salt, club soda and milk are the three primary options to consider when initially working to remove a stain. If you choose salt, cover the stained area with a layer of salt and it will slowly begin to absorb the red wine. Like any liquid, red wine will move toward dry objects.
If you use club soda, pour the soda across the entire stain and wait for the liquid to bubble up. The carbonation in club soda is generally believed to be the secret ingredient in helping remove a stain. After the stain begins to bubble, begin blotting the stain with a paper towel.
Finally, milk has been a proven method to tackle stains. Cover the stained area entirely with milk and begin blotting the stain with a paper towel until the stain is removed.
Professional Carpet Cleaning
If you have tried these methods and the red wine stains just aren’t going away, it might be time to consider professional carpet cleaning. If too much time has passed and the stained carpet has been drying for far too long, your stain may not completely go away after applying one of the recommended methods.
If this is the situation you find yourself in, professional carpet cleaning can provide a solution. Explore our residential carpet cleaning options!