We have updated our thinking. Check out Remove Red Wine Spills.
If you've not seen it happen, you've imagined it happening. You are sitting with good company enjoying a glass of delicious red wine. On the floor is a beautiful hand-dyed, hand-knotted wool rug. "I sure wouldn't want to spill wine on that rug," you say to yourself.
Then it happens. The beautiful stemmed goblet hits the floor and a reddish purple stain spreads out at your feet. You are glad that at least some of the wine got on your shoes.
Among the most frequently asked questions about hand-knotted wool rugs is, "what do I do about wine stains?"
We have explored this nightmare extensively. And our friend Steve Wilson from Premier Cleaning Systems has explored it even more extensively. Cheer up. The news is good.
Blotting tends to push some staining deep into the pile. That's why an inexpensive wet vacuum from Home Depot may be the best friend your rugs and your upholstrey ever has. Get one and keep it exclusively for your spotting needs. "1.5 hp. and approximately 2-gallon capacity. Larger is not necessary!" according to rug-cleaning expert Wilson.
Extract the wine and its pigments as soon as possible after the spill.
Second: Add Water and Extract
Repeat until you can't see the pigment any more.
Third: Dry and Extract
Experience has shown that water works best for red wine removal if you deal with the spot right away.
If you neglect the red wine and it dries, call an expert like Wilson! There is no other option for dried stains in our opinion.
The Ultimate Test
- We did not use a vacuum
- We did not use a spray bottle
- We used Tampa tap water and not distilled water
First we poured a generous dollop of Merlot on to a sample of rug. The rug had been dyed and hand-knotted in Nepal.
Using a roll of paper towels, we blotted up as much as we could, pressing down hard which is not advisable.
Then we poured water on to the remaining spot. Then we blotted that up.
We repeated this treatment several times and eventually the spot disappeared.
Just for fun, we tried other treatments that we found on the Internet. We covered the spot with salt. We tried vinegar instead of water. Finally we poured a heart-breaking amount of Kendal Jackson Chardonnay on the spot. None of these came close to removing the spot like good old H2O.
Even if your don't have a well-appointed spotting kit, blot up the wine as best you can and then add water and blot until the spot goes away.
If you have any questions or comments, please share them in the comments below.