We think it’s safe to say — watching red wine spill generally garners the same reactions regardless of whom you’re around. The wine falls in slow motion while everyone around you stands there with mouths agape. Panic ensues while you’re either profusely apologizing to whomever’s house you’re in, or you’re trying to hold in your panic and horror (maybe tears?) at your own furniture that seems to be ruined.
But spilling wine doesn’t have to elicit these reactions! No internal panic needs to take place, nor do you need to jump to the conclusion that your upholstery is permanently ruined. With a few simple techniques, you’ll be able to save your upholstery from red wine stains with no frets.
When red wine spills, it spreads as any liquid does on fabric: outward and downward. And this is important to keep in mind since the unfortunate part of being a red wine lover is that you’re basically drinking liquid dye. That’s because red wine comes from red grapes, and grapes contain chromogens. Chromogens are basically highly pigmented compounds that are used in colored dyes. When you couple the chromogens with tannins (another substance that gives wine its bitterness, but also is used in ink production), you’re creating a highly pigmented alcoholic drink. For reference, the combination of chromogens and tannins is what dyes your teeth and lips red after drinking a lot of red wine.
Right about now, you’re probably confused why we a) told you not to panic and then b) explained how potent the compounds are behind the color in red wine. Don’t worry, here’s how to counteract those tannins and chromo-whatcha-ma-call-its.
First things first, if it were possible to write this in flashing neon lights we would: blot; don’t rub the stain! As right as it may seem, rubbing the spot to get the liquid off will only spread your stain wider and, depending on how much pressure you apply, push it deeper.
To successfully lift red wine out of upholstery, we suggest you use a dry powder, like talcum (found in baby powder). Talcum helps lift the stain out of the fabric. If you don’t have talcum on hand, baking soda or even regular salt works. Again, when applying the powder, try your best not to rub it into the material. The purpose of this technique is to let the talcum powder absorb the liquid, so it’ll need to sit on the stain for a few minutes. Vacuuming the powder should reveal a stain free piece of upholstery, once again!
If the powder doesn’t quite do the trick, there are still a few tricks for you to try. While using a blow dryer to dry a wine stain can cause permanent damage from the direct heat, you’ll see the opposite effect with hot water. Though initially you might see the stain spread as the wine becomes more diluted in the fabric, the heat from the water will actually loosen the molecules so they’re easier to lift from the fabric. To clean up the water, simply use a paper towel or clean rag to lift the stain. This is also the best method to use if you find the wine stain the next morning when it’s already dry.
Another approach to cleaning up a stain comes in the form of some handy-dandy liquid detergent. This method requires a little cooking (so-to-speak) before application. Combine three parts liquid detergent with one part hydrogen peroxide. Apply to the stain and let it set for at least 20 minutes, depending on the severity of the stain. Blot the mixture up and then clean with warm water. Cleaning the fabric after letting this mixture set is crucial to avoid weakening the fabric molecules.
Here are some services we provide:
- Carpet Cleaning Services (Standard or Premium or Dry Fusion?)
- Tile and Grout Cleaning Service
- Upholstery Cleaning (Lounges, Sofas, Dining Chairs & Office Chairs)
- Leather Cleaning
- Commercial Cleaning Services
- Regular Residential Cleaning
- Mattress Cleaning
- Rug Cleaning
- Move in/Move out | End Of lease Cleaning
- Car Interior Detailing | Car Detailing Services
- Post-construction cleaning
- Spring Cleaning Service
- Stripping & Sealing Floors
- Carpet cleaning and maintenance
- Meth & Drug Testing in Properties & Vehicles
- Water Damage Restoration | Flood Clean-Up Restoration
- Mould Damage Restoration & Property Inspections
- Fire Damage Restoration | Smoke & Soot Cleaning
McArdles Cleaning & Restoration Technicians are the “face” of our business and more than likely the people you will have the most contact with. All of our technicians are highly trained – not only in the professional services they provide, but also in customer service. We see staff technical training as being a very important aspect of our service and hold frequent training sessions where all of our staff have the opportunity to develop and extend their knowledge.