Does White Wine Really Remove Red Wine Stains?

There are many old wives’ tails when it comes to achieving domestic bliss and many of them are fantastic. Lemons really do offer some great cleaning fixes and bicarbonate of soda can be fabulous in the bathroom. White vinegar has long been a great solution to streak-free glass cleaning.

With all these tips though come some that sneaked in while no one was on watch. We hear a lot of them from our customers and we do sometimes have a chuckle with them when we break it to them that their trick really won’t work.

One of those abounding myths in our industry is the notion that white wine will remove a red wine stain. For years this has encouraged the waste of perfectly good white wine at parties as people rush to pour wine on someone who they’re already stained.

It’s a great myth, but white wine really doesn’t remove a red wine stain.

Stop chucking wine at people!

We’ve all heard the tip about chucking white wine on a spill of red wine but it’s time to stop this madness. Don’t believe a word of it. It doesn’t work. You might see the red disappear or at least change from dark red to light but all you’ve done is dilute the stain – you’ve not removed it at all.

Just look at the stain the next day and you’ll see it’s still there and the white wine will have stained it too, just not as badly, which is why it’s often missed in comparison.

White wine and red wine are often the same product. Some red wine varieties are made by leaving the wine in contact with the grape skins longer. So what you’re actually doing it pouring on more of the same. It’s not going to make it any better.

Stop, listen, blot!

If you’ve spilt red wine on yourself or someone else then save the white wine; don’t waste it. Instead do something that will actually help the stain. The first step is to blot as much of the wine up as possible with kitchen roll or a clean cloth.Don’t be tempted to grab a current tea towel with a set of stains that would keep a forensic lab busy for days. No, get a clean cloth and dab it.

DO NOT RUB the stain. The aim here is to soak up the stain; not to rub it deeper into the fibres of the material. Dab very gently and mop up as much of the wine as possible.

Pass the salt, old bean!

If you don’t have a cloth or some professional cleaning fluid (which is usually missing from the dinner table or exquisite dinner parties) then salt is a good alternative and there’s usually some nearby.

Salt can used to soak up the stain much like a car garage will do with an oil spill. Simply cover the stain in salt and allow it to dry and then clean it off gently, being careful not to rub it in if you can help it.

Obviously this won’t help you if you can’t sit for a while and let it soak in but if you can change your stained clothes then go for it.

Nothing beats a pro clean

The above are merely a better ‘on site’ alternative to wasting good white wine. They won’t help your stain long term though. None of the above are guaranteed and you’re always best to treat the stain professionally as soon as you can.

We always have a good supply of Wine Away in-house, which funnily enough doesn’t list white wine as one of the main ingredients.

We launder a lot of wedding venue table cloths which bare the brunt of the red wine spills and it’s brilliant for restoring the clothes back to their white and gleaming glory.

You need to spray it on and then launder or dry clean as soon as possible before the stain has a chance to dry itself in. Once a stain has had a chance to dry in it becomes much more difficult to get out. Speed is of the essence here if you can.

Wine Away is an all natural product with a lovely citrus smell and it really is like magic.

So there you go. Myth busted, so just drink it!

Wine is a great product, just not for cleaning. Feel free to drink a glass when you do the ironing as you’ll enjoy it a lot more. Or better still – get us to do the ironing for you!

White wine does NOT remove red wine stains so in the worst case scenario dab it with a clean cloth or cover the stain with salt. Never rub it in, and stop chucking perfectly good sauvignon at it!

If you need help with a stain or cleaning then give us a call now or pop into the Ironing Lady on OxfordRoad in Reading.

Feel free to bring some wine – red or white, we don't mind. J

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