Red wine. It’s a full-bodied beverage reserved for occasions both milestone and mundane. From a celebratory tipple to a quiet cabernet on the sofa, it’s easy to find a reason to decant a bottle. One place wine is always unwelcome? Spilled on our clothes and table linens. Here’s what to do if you end up wearing your Bordeaux. Just remember, for the best results, time is of the essence.
   

Why does red wine stain?

Red wine is a notorious stain-maker thanks to anthocyanins, the pigment that gives it its burgundy appearance. What’s more, all vintages contain tannins, a naturally occurring substance derived in the roots, fruit, bark and wood of some foods which contain dark pigments. Think: coffee, tea and chocolate. Historically, tannin has been used to create dye, so we can understand and appreciate that spilled wine can be stubborn to remove if not treated promptly.
  

What you’ll need:

 
How to remove (wet) wine stains from clothes and table linens

Always check the garment care label first. Dry clean only items and those made from fussier fabrics (like silk) should go straight to a professional cleaner.

Step 1: Dilute the wine. Locate some club soda (ideally) but cold water will work, too. Pour atop the blemish to begin diluting it. It’s best to do this in a sink or basin where the wine won’t transfer onto another fabric.

Step 2: Blot the stain. Use a clean paper towel (if you’re not zero waste) or a towel you don’t mind staining to mop up the excess liquid. If you’re on-the-go, a paper napkin will do the trick.

Step 3: Optional: sprinkle the stain with a flakier salt like kosher or sea salt, allowing it to sit covered overnight. Alternatively, re-dilute with distilled white vinegar and allow it to sit overnight. For both of these options, do not allow the stain to dry out; keep it moist by placing in a container if needed.

Step 4: Pre-treat the stain using a Tru Earth stain remover concentrate.

How to create a concentrated stain remover with Tru Earth laundry detergent eco-strips: First, tear a strip into small pieces and place in a shallow bowl. Add one tablespoon (15ml) of tap-hot water to begin dissolving it. Stir with a spoon to form a paste, adding small volumes of water as needed. Smear the concentrate atop the stain, gently pressing the mixture into it to allow the surfactant to get to work, releasing the residues from the fabric.

 Step 5: Rinse and wash on the garment’s typical wash setting. Add one Tru Earth laundry detergent eco-strip.

Step 6: Hang dry. Never put the item in the dryer until you are completely finished stain treating it. We repeat, completely done stain treating. Applying heat will only serve to set the wine stain deeper, if not permanently.

Step 7: Inspect the stain. If the stain persists re-visit step three.

     

How to remove dried-on or old wine stains from clothes

Always check the garment care label first. Dry clean only items and those made from fussier fabrics (like silk) should go straight to a professional cleaner.

Step 1: Re-wet the stain with cold water. Soak overnight.

Step 2: Pre-treat the blemish using a Tru Earth stain remover concentrate allowing the garment to soak for an hour (minimum) or ideally, overnight.

How to create a concentrated stain remover with Tru Earth laundry detergent eco-strips: First, tear a strip into small pieces and place in a shallow bowl. Add one tablespoon (15ml) of tap-hot water to begin dissolving it. Stir with a spoon to form a paste, adding small volumes of water as needed. Smear the concentrate atop the stain, gently pressing the mixture into it to allow the surfactant to get to work, releasing the residues from the fabric.

Step 3: Rinse and wash on its typical wash setting. Add one Tru Earth laundry detergent eco-strip.

Step 4: Hang dry. Never put the item in the dryer until you are completely finished stain treating it. We repeat, completely done stain treating. Applying heat will only serve to set the wine stain deeper, if not permanently.

Step 5: Inspect the stain. If it persists re-visit step two or step three of the (wet) wine stain cleaning instructions above.
   

What if the wine stain is still there?

Bad news, at this point, it might be permanent. Bring to a professional dry cleaner as a last-ditch effort if the item is worth saving. 

     

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