The Foolproof Way To Get Red Wine Stains Out Of Carpet

Whether a party guest has been — ahem — overserved or you simply stumble on the way to the dinner table with your wine glass in hand, a red wine stain on the carpet is often cause for panic. People typically dash for the closest remedy, perhaps a paper towel or a box of baking soda, without really thinking through the problem for the best solution.

Because a red wine stain is definitely a problem that needs immediate attention. The deep red pigments of the wine as well as the tannins and acid it contains make the alcohol one of the trickiest stains to remove — just look at how it can stain your teeth — and the wine can quickly soak into the fibers of your carpet and begin to set immediately, per Good Housekeeping. However, there is a tried-and-true approach to cleaning up red wine stains that will have you raising a glass again in no time.

So, before you uncork your next bottle of cab, read on for the foolproof way to get red wine stains out of your carpet.

Tackle that red wine stain immediately and correctly

First off, even if you're a little bit tipsy, don't leave that red wine stain on your carpet for tomorrow. The longer you wait, the more the stain will set, so you need to jump on it right away. However, if you're on the way out the door and can't give it a good clean, at least flush the spot with sparkling water or club soda so the bubbles can get to work pushing the stain out of the carpet fibers, according to Good Housekeeping. Despite what you may have heard, salt is not a good remedy for red wine stains and will make the situation even worse, setting the stain so that it's nearly impossible to remove later.

Instead, try this foolproof method. Dab the area with white paper towels or a clean white cloth (never use colored napkins or towels as the dye could transfer) and sparkling water or club soda. Make sure to blot and not rub, which could set the stain further. You can also use a product designed specifically for wine stains, such as Wine Away, which will help lift the stain as well. Let it sit for a few minutes, and then blot the stain again. If the stain has faded but isn't gone, repeat the process as needed.