Red Wine Stain

Red wine stains are a common and troublesome stain for the householder. Fortunately, for the professional carpet cleaner they are usually quite easy to treat successfully.

Most successful treatments are dependent upon prompt and correct first-aid treatment. Use a folded cotton towel or cloth and absorb/blot the excess liquid. DO NOT RUB, BRUSH OR SCRUB. DO NOT ADD ANY WATER/LIQUID OR DETERGENT. Once this process has removed the bulk of the spilt liquid, take at least three sheets of plain white kitchen paper towel and fold into a pad. Continue to absorb the spillage, applying a little body weight to attract any deeper down liquid. Repeat as required.  The last paper towel you use must remain dry.

If your carpet or fabric has been treated with a good quality stain protector such as Enviroshield or Stainguard Professional, this may be all the treatment required.

For any remaining soil, treat the stain with a (preferably) Woolsafe Approved spot/stain remover or diluted carpet shampoo. Test the carpet/fabric in an out of sight area first to ensure that there will be no damage caused to the dyes or texture.

Working in small areas at a time, apply the minimum amount of product, place a clean cotton towel or cloth over the treated area and using the bowl of a teaspoon, make gentle circular motions over the treated area. This is all the agitation your carpet needs. The towel will absorb any released soil/spillage. Repeat as required, using only minimum amounts of  product at a time. Always start at the outer edges of a stain and work towards the centre.

When you are satisfied that there is no further soil removal, as observed on the absorbent towel, it is important to remove the shampoo residue, just as you would when washing your own hair with shampoo. Again working a small area at a time, apply a small amount of water to the treated area. Gently tap/massage with a finger to create a little foam then absorb with a clean towel as in the first aid treatment above. On most carpets, a teaspoon of water will treat an area approximately the size of a 50p coin.         

Many red wines have the characteristic of an indicator dye. A bit like the litmus paper we used to use at school to identify acids and alkali.  If your red wine stain should turn a dark blue/black colour, don’t panic. It can easily be corrected by a professional carpet cleaner using a mild reducing agent.  This is not the type of process I would recommend for the untrained householder. 

Ken Wainwright

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