So, you’re having a house party and the alcohol is flowing. One of your guests drops their glass of red wine on your pale coloured living room carpet. An all too common occurrence, and often considered a disaster by many, resulting in hundreds of pounds being spent to replace the permanently stained carpet. It may seem like a disaster at first, but if you follow a few simple steps, you can get it cleaned up and save a lot of money in the process.
Here’s the science behind the stain. Unlike white wine, red wine contains anthocyanin from the grape skins, which gives it that deep red colour. When spilled, the anthocyanins attach themselves to the carpet fibres, causing the stain. So, what should you do in the event of a spill?
First of all, don’t panic, if you rush in and start scrubbing like mad, you’ll make the stain bigger by spreading it around. What you must do is address the problem straight away, like many substances, (particularly curry interestingly), red wine, if left, will actually permanently dye the carpet fibres. On top of that, damp stains are many times easier to remove than dry ones, so don’t leave it until the “morning after, the night before” clean up.
The first thing to do is to take an absorbent material such as kitchen roll and dab the stain, working from the outside inwards. This dabbing motion lifts the red wine out of the carpet whereas rubbing will spread the stain and push the wine into the fibres. As the wine comes out of the carpet, your dabbing may become less efficient. You can help by adding a little cold water which dilutes the remaining wine, and this can be done a number of times.
Unless you are lucky enough to have commercial stain removing products in the house, the late hour will probably mean you’ll have to turn to stain removal remedies using every-day household items. The old adage of adding white wine to the stain is actually true however, if you have any gin at the party, it is even more effective. You can also use vinegar but do make sure it is white vinegar, as the brown variety will create a stain of its own.
Even after all that dabbing and adding liquid, it is possible that a faint stain will still be visible. Pouring some salt or baking soda onto the affected area can help. Both salt and baking soda attract liquid and will draw out the remaining pale wine stain over time. It doesn’t happen immediately so leave it overnight, and during the “morning after, the night before” clean up, you can hoover up the dried remains. The salt will have a pink tinge and the baking soda will be slightly grey in colour, both indicators that the satin has been drawn out.
So, remember, if you find yourself in a situation where red wine has been spilled on your carpet, don’t panic but act fast, and you’ll avoid an unsightly permanent stain or buying a new carpet. You can also contact us and we will happily send someone out to clean you carpet and remove any unsightly stains.