Red wine spillages – the do’s and don’ts

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Only too often we are called in to deal with a red wine spillage after the home owner has unsuccessfully tried to deal with the problem themselves… There are lots of myths about what to do when you spill red wine on a carpet, so here we deal with Red Wine Spillages – the do’s and don’ts.

These myths are out there because there are many different types of carpets and carpet fibres, some are wool, others synthetic and many are mixtures of fibres.  What may cause terrible damage to one type may not to another and so on. Here we deal with the most common red wine spillages – the do’s and don’ts, relevant to many common carpet types and fibres.

Don’t throw white wine after red wine, its a complete waste of wine and will not help in any way whatsoever.

Don’t put salt onto the spillage, this will make a lot of mess, potentially damage your carpet fibres and even clog your vacuum cleaner, what it wont do is help get rid of the red wine spillage. If your carpet is wool the salt actually damages the wool.

Don’t rub, this isn’t just the case with a red wine spillage it is a general rule of thumb with all carpets.  The rubbing action damages the carpet fibres making the carpet appear fuzzy.

Don’t use hot water, any water used in this situation should be lukewarm or warm, not hot. Hot water may set the stain.

Don’t go to your larder, the solution is unlikely to be in there… Some of the common mistakes include wine vinegar, bicarbonate of soda and of course salt, none of these will help and may indeed cause more damage and spread the stain.

Don’t go to your cleaning cupboard, lots of carpet damaging products live there! Seriously unless you have a carpet cleaning product that you have used before on the same carpet with good results then don’t do it!  And before you put any cleaning solution on your carpet ask yourself three questions: Is this product specifically for carpets? Have I tested this product in an inconspicuous area? Can I properly rinse this off after cleaning? If the answer to any of these questions is “no” then don’t use it.  (We are going off the red wine spillage topic here but if you use products that aren’t for carpets and where you cannot properly rinse after cleaning you are likely to end up with rapid re-soiling, yes, dirty patches of carpet which will get worse and worse.  If you use product without testing in an inconspicuous area and the product causes colour loss from your carpet (and lots and lots of them do!) then you will only end up wishing you’d tested it behind the TV or under the sofa first..

Do get white kitchen roll as quickly as possible, blot, blot, blot and blot again.  Put three or four layers of white kitchen roll onto the stain at a time and use either your palm or foot to press on top of the stain. The objective is to blot as much of the wine up as you possible can, so change the kitchen roll frequently so that you blot up as much as possible and at the same time avoid spreading the stain.  Do this until there is no more of the wine coming up on the kitchen roll, you cannot over-blot, but remember don’t rub.

Do leave kitchen roll on the stain with some heavy books on top. Put 6 or 8 layers of kitchen roll on the stain and weight this down with some books. If you are concerned that the books may get damp then you haven’t sufficiently done the “blot blot blot” stage detailed above, however to protect the books you could put a piece of white plastic between the kitchen roll and the books.  Leave this overnight to see if more of the wine is transferred onto the kitchen roll.  If the red wine spill occurred during the evening then this is all you should do until the next day.

Do treat any remaining stain carefully – if after carrying out the above steps there is a stain remaining try use lukewarm water only, lightly spray this onto the stain and then blot with kitchen roll, if you can see evidence of the red wine on the kitchen roll then continue this process, spray, blot, spray, blot and so on… You could also try this process with soda water, the bubbles seem to help. But remember this is a light spray followed by blot, not a flood, and be carefully not to spread the stain by restricting the activity to the stain area only. And be patient, this will take a while but it will be worth it!

Do test in an inconspicuous area before using any carpet cleaning product on your carpet, and be sure to rinse well.  And before you put any cleaning solution on your carpet ask yourself the three questions covered above.

Do know when to quit, if the above don’t work then its time to call in a professional.

Bonne Fresh Clean are professional carpet and upholstery cleaning specialists. We offer stain removal services and are happy to help.  We will give you an honest and frank appraisal of the stain and the likelihood of removal or improvement.

Bonne Fresh Clean cover Bristol and all areas of South Gloucestershire including Thornbury, Yate, Chipping Sodbury, and Bradley Stoke and all surrounding villages.  Call Karen on 01454 436001 / 07774 908410 for a free no obligation quotation, advise or further information.