How To Remove Red Wine Stains
From Carpet

The thought of spilling red wine on your carpet can be sobering. Red wine stains, however, can be successfully removed.

Red wine forms a red or purplish stain and can be absorbed by the carpet fibers and or sink to the carpet backing. Red wine contains alcohol, sugar, tannin, and possibly a coloring agent (dye). It is on the acid side (pH 3) of the pH scale.

Procedures to remove red wine stains from carpet

  1. Time is of the essence! Immediately blot up as much of the spill as possible. The longer a stain sets the more stubborn it becomes to remove. Use a clean white bleach-free cloth to remove a stain. The color from a colored cloth could transfer to the fabric or surface you are cleaning.
  2. Apply an alkaline cleaning solution (pH 9-10) and blot. Always pretest any stain remover on an inconspicuous area of the carpet. Apply a few drops to each color in the carpet test area. Press a clean, white cloth on the wet area for approximately 30 seconds. Check both the towel and the carpet for color transfer, color change or any other damage. Repeat same procedure with another stain remover if you notice any change. Do not scrub the area. Scrubbing can distort the pile and harm the fibers. Scrubbing can result in making the stain set into the carpet or rug. Work from the edges of the stain to the center to prevent the stain from spreading. Continue as long as the stain is getting transferred onto the towel. Apply more solution to a fresh area on the towel and repeat the process as long as the stain is being removed. Patience is a virtue as far as this step is concerned! If available, utilize a carpet cleaning machine or a spray bottle to apply the alkaline cleaning solution to flush the stain. Then extract to remove red wine stains from carpet. As an alternative a shop vac may be utilized for extraction purposes. Dry treated area as much as possible. Care must be taken not to over-wet the carpet.
  3. Any red wine stain remaining can be treated with an oxidizing bleach. Depending on the carpet fiber caution must be exercised when treating stains with an oxidizer due to possible color loss, fiber damage or permanent setting of the stain. Oxidizers to use include: commercially formulated oxidizers available to the carpet cleaning industryhydrogen peroxide, safest on all fiber typessodium percarbonate, safe only on synthetic fibersa 50/50 mix of hydrogen peroxide and ammonia will work faster than hydrogen peroxide alone, however, this mixture should not be used on natural fibers
  4. When the desired results are achieved, thoroughly rinse oxidizer from carpet with an alkaline cleaning solution (pH 9-10) and dry carpet as much as possible. When most of the moisture is removed, you may use clean, dry towels weighed down by flat, heavy objects like a book or brick on the damp area to absorb any remaining moisture. This helps prevent wicking of any deep staining material not removed that will move to the surface as the carpet dries.


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