Removing red wine stains

There are some things that, whatever you put on them, remain stubbornly attached to the fabric and refuse to budge. Chocolate, oil, tomato sauce and tea stains are all notorious for being hard to shift, but the title of most stubborn of stains must go to red wine.

Every lover of the red stuff will regale you of the time they ruined their favourite top, or spilt it on a white rug, and while this at one time condemned them to the bin, this is no longer the case. While you should still be careful with a glass of red wine and not just dismiss a spillage thinking you will get it out later, there are some easy stain removal tips to follow to help to remove the stain completely.

Red wine stains, while still harder to remove than most, can now be removed from most fabrics relatively easily if you know how. It is the pigment in the wine, or anthocyanin, that gives it its red colour that causes all the problems as this is made from the skin of the grapes and it attaches itself to anything that is fibrous.

The golden rule is to try and treat the red wine stain before it dries. While this may seem awkward if you are out in a bar or restaurant, the quicker you treat the spillage the easier it will be to remove, and your favourite top can be saved and won’t have to be thrown away.

If this does happen head straight to the bathroom and soak a paper towel in water. Never rub the stain as this will both smear it and rub it further into the material. Dab it with the paper towel gently to soak up the wine. Do this from the outside inward to prevent it spreading, and follow this process several times until you are satisfied that you have got the wine out, only then attempt to dry it off.

If you are in someone’s house when you spill your wine, ask them for some salt. Whether on clothing, furniture or carpets, the salt will dry up the wine and then dab it with a dry cloth. You may have to repeat this several times to remove the wine, and as soon as you possibly can, pop it into the washing machine with one of the quality products that is designed to remove tough stains when added to your normal detergent.