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5 Really Good Ways To Deal With Red Wine Stains

Illustration for article titled 5 Really Good Ways To Deal With Red Wine Stains
Photo: Piotr Makowski (Unsplash)
5 Neat Things5 Neat ThingsJolie Kerr is a cleaning expert, advice columnist and the host of the podcast “Ask a Clean Person.” Each week, she’ll round up five essential cleaning products, tools and organizational systems to help you live your tidiest lives.

It’s the end of January, which means two things: Many of you are about to break your Dry January fast and also, oh God, there is so much of winter still left to go. SO BRING ON THE RED WINE! Red wine is wonderful in so many ways but oof, is it ever stain-y. Which is why it’s handy, if you’re a regular (or even infrequent!) drinker of the stuff to know about these ways to deal with a red wine stain.

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Wine Away, $7
Wine Away, $7
Graphic: Ana Luisa Suarez

If you’re a big red wine drinker and are, perhaps, also prone to spilling, Wine Away is such a good product to keep on hand. There are other ways to remove red wine stains that don’t require a specialty product, but Wine Away really works incredibly well — and can be used on other red/purple/blue stains like pomegranate, cranberry and blueberry.

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Table Salt, $8
Table Salt, $8
Graphic: Ana Luisa Suarez

This is one of the handiest party tricks to know about: You can use table salt on a fresh red wine stain to soak up the liquid. Pouring a liberal amount of salt on the spill and allow it to just sit there — it will act as a desiccant, absorbing the liquid from fabrics like carpet, upholstery or tablecloths.

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Hydrogen Peroxide, $3
Hydrogen Peroxide, $3
Graphic: Ana Luisa Suarez

A friend’s mom once very excitedly told me about how she’d gotten red wine all over a cream colored sweater, hung the thing up, sprayed it with hydrogen peroxide and the stains vanished virtually overnight. I’ve never forgotten that! Hydrogen peroxide is, indeed, an excellent stain remover — just be aware that it can have a bleaching effect, and spot test it on darker items to make sure it doesn’t cause color loss before proceeding to use it for stain treating.

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Upholstery Cleaner, $85
Upholstery Cleaner, $85
Photo: Amazon

Sometimes the big guns are needed when it comes to red wine stain removal. Enter: The handheld carpet and upholstery cleaning machine. If a large red wine stain has happened on your carpet or on a couch, spot treating probably will be too time-consuming and not effective enough to save the day, but these machines — which work by forcing a cleaning solution into the fibers and then sucking the liquid back out — will do the job in very little time.

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White Cooking Wine, $9
Towels, $13
White Cooking Wine, $9
Towels, $13
Graphic: Ana Luisa Suarez
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This is not my favorite red wine stain removal trick! (I find it to be a waste of perfectly good white wine, you see.) But in a pinch, yup, white wine works to remove red wine stains. Apply the white wine to a light-colored cloth like a bar towel and dab at the stain, repeating as necessary until it’s gone.

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Jolie Kerr is a cleaning expert, advice columnist and the host of the podcast Ask a Clean Person

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