There is no better feeling than sitting down and enjoying the first sip of your favorite, full-bodied glass of red. But that joy can instantly turn to horror when you end up spilling it on your clothes. All it takes is a slip of the wrist and your favorite dress or shirt seems to be ruined. But from homemade remedies to understanding laundry symbols – when the worst happens, fear not – here is a handy guide for removing red wine stains.
Reach for the Salt
As soon as the spill takes place, grab the nearest shaker of salt, apply a thick layer on top of the stain (make sure not to rub the stain or you will make it worse!), and leave for an hour. The salt crystals will soak up any excess wine and significantly reduce the severity of the stain. You have to act fast though – salt is most effective in the first two minutes of the wine coming into contact with the fabric.
Bicarbonate of Soda and Vinegar
Another effective homemade solution is mixing bicarbonate of soda and vinegar. Sprinkle a layer of bicarbonate of soda on top of the stain and once covered completely, add a teaspoonful of white vinegar. Depending on the size of the stain, you may need more or less, but don’t overwhelm the fabric with vinegar. Once the stain is covered with both substances, throw the garment in the washing machine.
White Wine & Baking Soda for Dry Stains
“White or red?” – When it comes to getting rid of red wine stains, you may still want to have a spare bottle of white stowed away for emergencies. The combination of white wine and baking soda is well known for treating red wine stains that have already dried. Simply soak the stain in white wine, create a thick paste of baking powder and water, and then generously apply it over the stain. Leave for an hour and then wash.
There are a number of cleaning products that are specifically designed for getting rid of wine stains. While homemade remedies are usually sufficient, you may need something stronger to combat stains that refuse to budge. However, as specialized cleaning products contain stronger chemicals, they are also more likely to damage the fabric. So if you have a particularly delicate piece of clothing, make sure you check the label before liberally applying cleaning products.
The Final Step – Check Your Laundry Symbols
What do the above remedies have in common? – They all need a thorough wash afterward! So before throwing clothes into the washing machine, check the laundry symbols beforehand to avoid further mishaps! Wash the garment on low heat and avoid tumble-drying as this can set the stain, making it more difficult to remove in the long run. If your clothing is particularly delicate or fine, you may need to go to the dry cleaners. When it comes out of the washing machine and there is still a hint of a stain left, wash the garment again until it has completely disappeared.
Prevention is better than cure, so if you are regularly spilling red wine onto your clothing while you are opening the bottle, consider purchasing an electric wine bottle opener! Or, if you are particularly clumsy, maybe you should consider converting to white wine. But let’s not go overboard…
The great news is that there are many inexpensive and effective ways of cleaning red wine from your clothes – often using common ingredients found in your kitchen cupboard and on the dinner table. Now let’s toast to that!