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How to get red wine stains out of your carpet

While solid wood floors are very resilient to stains, many people still prefer the warmer feel of carpet, at least in certain rooms. The disadvantage of carpet, however, is that constant vigilance is needed to prevent spills from occurring. No matter what precautions you take, though, if you enjoy red wine, it is almost inevitable that some will end up on your new carpet at some point, so here’s a quick guide to handling red wine accidents.

Seeing red

Liverpool folk love social get-togethers, so let’s say you invite some friends over for dinner. Everything is going well, the food is being appreciated and your guests seem to be enjoying themselves when someone suddenly makes a wrong move and a full glass of Cabernet Sauvignon is sent crashing to the floor. As you watch the red liquid seep through your almost-new carpet, you wonder what the best course of action will be.

Most people have had an experience like this, but if you act quickly, you can mitigate much of the damage. Your first thought might be to grab a wet cloth and start rubbing, but the best approach is to soak up as much wine as possible as quickly as possible.

Blot, don’t rub

Paper towels are perfect for this, but if you don’t have any handy, a dry cloth or some toilet paper should suffice. You should resist the urge to rub, because this will push the wine further into the carpet and make the stain even larger. Instead, stick to a gentle pressing motion that will help the towel absorb the red wine. Starting with the edges of the stain will help stop it spreading further, and then you can progress to the centre of the stain.

At some point, you will notice that you are hardly getting any more wine out, but it’s not time to quit yet. Instead, add a little cold water to the stain to dilute the remaining wine and resume blotting until the carpet’s dry again.

Salt the saviour

If you are quick enough, this will get the vast majority of the wine out, but there’s usually at least a little remaining that will cause a stain if not treated. One suggestion here is to taking the stain while it is wet by pouring a generous amount of salt over it, although you can add a little more water beforehand if the stain is already almost dry. When you then leave it to sit, the salt should collect the moisture of the red wine. You can tell it’s working if the salt turns pinkish over time.

The salt should be left at least until the area becomes completely dry, but there’s no harm in leaving it longer to be sure. Once it’s dry, you can scoop up the bulk of the salt and discard it. You should be able to collect the remaining salt with a vacuum cleaner, but if a residue remains, add a little water to the area and vacuum again. With a little luck, your timely intervention will have avoided a potentially nasty stain.

Left it too long?

The above approach only works with fresh red wine spills, and you will have a much harder time trying to remove dried-in red wine stains. One suggestion is to make a vinegar solution by combining a tablespoon of washing-up liquid and a tablespoon of white vinegar in about half a pint of water. It’s very important to only use white vinegar here, because other vinegars—such as balsamic, apple cider, and malt vinegar—are coloured and will therefore cause a stain of their own.

You should then soak a clean cloth in this solution and dab it onto the stained carpet. With luck, this will seep into the fibres and loosen the stain, enabling you to start blotting it up with a dry cloth. You can then alternate between dabbing the solution on and blotting it up.

You can follow this by adding some clean water directly to the stain to dilute the red wine and blotting it up with a clean, dry cloth. It’s very likely that you will need to repeat these steps several times to get a good result, but it still may not be perfect.

There are other suggestions that you could follow, but always ensure that any method is suitable for your carpet. For example, one method involves making a solution from washing-up liquid and hydrogen peroxide. The danger here is that hydrogen peroxide is a bleaching agent, so it may affect the colour on darker carpets. If you want to see how a particular solution will affect your carpet, you could try it on a small area that’s not normally visible. If you really don’t want to take chances with your carpet, though, consider getting some professional advice instead.

Get an expert

Despite your best efforts, you may still be left with some kind of a stain, even if it’s just a pale one. This is never ideal, but it’s especially annoying if you have a relatively new and expensive carpet that you were not planning on replacing anytime soon. This is when it can make sense to hire a carpet cleaning expert that serves the Liverpool area. You’ll want to clean your carpet now and then anyway, so it is only logical to combine this with removing any stains that have accumulated.

You will not want to let just anyone loose on your carpet, however, especially if it’s made from something like wool or faux suede, so make sure you hire a professional that has experience with your carpet type. You will also want someone with expertise in stain removal and the technology to deep clean your carpet. If you want to make sure you will be happy with the work, ask any operatives to perform a test patch when they visit to provide an estimate.

Once you have an immaculately clean carpet again, you may want to consider applying a Scotchgard treatment to help keep it that way. This will act as an invisible barrier for your carpet and protect it from any future red wine mishaps.

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