Red wine is among the most infamous of carpet cleaning challenges.  Short of calling in the professionals, what’s a homeowner to do?  We’re happy to save you time and put your mind at ease as we treat your carpets.  But if you’d like to try a little TLC of your own, we have the tips you need below. Here’s how to really get red wine out of those light carpets, if it can be done.

wine spill

If your stain is fresh and still wet, the first step is heavy blotting.  Do not wipe your carpet!  Try to use a clean fresh cloth with plenty of absorbency rather than a paper towel or napkin which could shred into the carpet as it absorbs moisture.  Blot up as much as you can of the stain, pressing fresh sides of the clean cloth against the stain again and again until no more wine is coming up on the cloth.

Next, start with plain water or even better, club soda if you have it.  Take another fresh clean cloth and dip it into the water, then begin blotting again.  Getting moisture into the area helps to dilute the wine and keep it from settling down into the carpet fibers and drying in place.   After you have removed as much as you can this week, prepare a solution of two cups of warm water plus one tablespoon of dish detergent and one tablespoon of white vinegar. Use this solution to blot the carpet again. Continue blotting as long as wine comes up. Make sure to follow the vinegar solution with another blot of plain water to help remove the vinegar smell from the rug.  

If you have no time to do anything about your red wine stain while it’s wet, simply dump salt on it!  This is an age-old method but even experts swear by it.  It works by absorbing the red wine.  While it doesn’t work perfectly, it can be a great partial solution if time constraints don’t allow you to thoroughly treat your red wine stain when it’s fresh.   This solution is said to work best when used on top of the club soda treatment mentioned above.   Some experts say this is the only solution you need to use . . . but see what works for you.

If all these techniques fail you can always mix one part dish detergent with two parts hydrogen peroxide and blot the area.  This may bleach your carpet, especially if it is not light colored, so use this method with care and spot check an inconspicuous part of the carpet first.  If it is not too strong for the carpet, this method works without any scrubbing.  Simply pour some solution on, wait for it to do its work and if more is needed, add an additional solution to the stain.  Eventually, it will appear to “melt” away!

Even if you’re dealing with a dry wine stain, do not despair.  Although these are much harder to clean, there is always hope!  Try pouring hot water onto the stain to saturate the area then sprinkle granules of some kind of oxi product onto the now-wet spill and let it sit for up to ten hours to work on the tough stain.  In many cases, this will remove the tough dried wine stains.

While red wine is among the toughest challenge a carpet can face (see about carpet cleaning), there are many solutions known to work!  Try the tips above and if all else fails, call in the professionals! We’d be happy to help you save face, and save your carpet!  Whatever you do, don’t put off dealing with a red wine stain. The sooner you call for help, the more likely we are to have success in dealing with your stubborn stain.