How To Clean Wine Stains from Carpet
Even white wine can stain a carpet, and even the darkest carpet can be stained by an accidental splash or spill of wine. Professional treatment may be expensive, and more difficult to obtain as promptly as approaching the stain yourself. Keep in mind that carpets come in a wide variety of materials, and unusual carpet pigments or materials such as leather and suede may not react favorably with cleaning solutions. Any stain remedy should be tested in an inconspicuous area. When at all possible, treat the wine stain promptly and hopefully while still wet. Old wine stains can also benefit from this technique, but may be more resistant than stains that are freshly treated. If the stain resists repeated treatments, professional assistance may be required.
Wine is a watery combination stain containing tannins, sugar and alcohol. To attack the stain you will need a few clean rags, glycerin, white vinegar, mild dishwashing liquid and water. First use a clean rag to dab the wine stain and soak up excess liquid. Then, apply glycerin to help lubricate and breakup the stain. Glycerin can often be found in the supermarket baking aisle, drug and health food stores. Apply the glycerin with a clean rag or clean cotton balls, using a dabbing/wicking motion. Use cloths dampened with water to remove the glycerin. Follow the water rinse with the application of vinegar. Vinegar, like the tannin portion of the stain, is a mild acid (an example of like dissolving like). Alternate applications of vinegar with dishwashing liquid diluted with water. The diluted dishwashing liquid will help remove the overall stain as well as the vinegar. Follow stain removal with a water rinse and blot dry.
For small, unbacked rugs, the stain can be treated from the back. Cover your work area with a protective, disposable material like a garbage bag. Place the stained area face down on an absorbent material like paper towels or clean rags. Treat the stain from the back, using the above glycerin/vinegar/dishwashing and final rinse technique.
Caution: Never mix cleaning agents or chemicals, the result can be dangerous or deadly. Before cleaning, always test the agent on an inconspicuous location to determine its suitability and to make certain it does not damage the material. Wear appropriate clothing such as gloves and protective eyewear, and work in a well-ventilated area. Accidental inhalation or ingestion of cleaning agents can be hazardous and even fatal, particularly to pets and children.