2 practical ways to remove red wine stains

Looking for practical, effective solutions to common holiday spills can be frustrating. Here is the method I have used with promising results every time.

Thanksgiving may look a little different this year than years past, but I think it is safe to say that the meals we prepare are probably going to resemble those of years past. If you are anything like me, your thanksgiving foods are steeped in traditions going back generations, whether its the big turkey dinner or Chinese food take out.

After most dinner parties, there is the inevitable job of cleaning up. The mountains of prep pans, serving bowls, glasses, cups, and utensils. And holding it all is the beautiful tablecloth you chose to be the basis of the theme for your party. Unfortunately this cloth takes a beating. After the dishes are cleared away you are able to survey the damage. The roll crumbs scattered about, the sticky fingers along the edge where the kids used it as a napkin, and the spills.

Here are a few tips on caring for these stubborn spills.

If you catch the wine spill while it’s is still wet, sprinkle it generously with table salt (I’m sure you have some on the table), and forget about it until the dishes are done. The salt will draw the moisture out of the tablecloth and keep it from soaking in further. Baking soda will work as well

Once the cloth is off of the table, you can soak the stain in a club soda (if you have it), and white vinegar mixture. The minerals in the club soda may help to break up the red wine molecules.

In addition to the method mentioned above, one more practical solution is to try or some dishwashing detergent (made for the dishwasher) directly on the stained area. Allow the detergent to sit for about 30 minutes, then gently tap the stain with an old toothbrush to lift the remaining wine stain. If you do have to work the stain out, use a tapping technique with a paste of baking soda and water. You can use a blotting method as well to draw out the stain with the paste. Never rub the material, you may disturb the fabric or pull the color out where you were rubbing.

Another practical method of drawing red wine out of table linens or a favorite top is to try an oxi cleaner. These cleaners use sodium percarbonate that will break down the stain when combined with water. You may have either the powder or liquid form on hand, and either will be effective. Simply sprinkle/spray the area and wait between 20-60 minutes before blotting the surface.

If you do not have an oxi cleaner, you can make your own by mixing 3 parts hydrogen peroxide and 1 part dishwashing liquid and try the same process. I would be careful with trying this on a material that has multi colors in it as it may disturb the colors if it comes in contact with the stain remover. Test a small are for color fastness prior to attempting this process.

The only time I have ever attempted using bleach to remove red wine spots is when the tablecloth or other garments are 100% cotton and white. Using bleach on any other combination of fabrics may cause yellowing. I use the bleach sparingly and always dilute it with tepid water. I treat only the affected area and then rinse almost immediately to avoid any yellowing from such a concentrated dose.

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Red wine stains can be a task that takes some time and effort to effectively remove. Approach this treatment with patience and perseverance and you will achieve your desired results in no time.

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