Red wine spills on carpets are a common callout for us at Bright and Fresh. It’s one of those mishaps that often throws the home owner into blind panic as to what has to be done first (blot? Detergent? white wine? Salt? search on the net?) So I have compiled an action list that may help in removing the stain before it has time to set but will not hamper a professional carpet cleaner later.
First a bit of information on why red wine stains and why some red wine stains are more difficult than others to remove. Tannin is the cause of the stain from red wine, the tannin comes from the skins, stems and seeds of the grape being left in contact with the grape juice (must) during the fermentation process. The longer the skins, stems and seeds are left in the must the higher the tannin content will be as this allows the tannin more time to dissolve into the must/alcohol. Further on the wine making journey wine is often aged in oak barrels the contact of the wine then releases more tannins from the oak that add another dimension to the end flavour of the wine and increase the tannins in the end product. The higher the tannin content of a wine the harder it will be to remove from a carpet.
- Blot the wine spill, preferably with a white towel or kitchen roll.
- Do not rub the area, put the towel/tissue over the spill and stand on the towel/tissue, gently rock backwards and forwards, moving to a dry area of the towel/tissue to absorb as much moisture as possible.
- Mix a solution of white vinegar and water 50/50, put it into a mister/spray bottle and apply to the area.
- Repeat the blotting process as above
- You may need to repeat the white vinegar and the blotting process a few times but do not over wet the area.
- When you believe you have removed as much of the stain as possible place a wad of kitchen towel 15 sheets over the area and place a book on top of the kitchen roll and leave to dry. Moisture dries to air if there is a residue of wine at the base of the carpet during the drying process it will wick to the surface of the carpet, now with the kitchen towel on top of the damp area the residue will transfer into the kitchen towel. Remove once dry.