Householders around the world are brought out in a cold sweat at the merest mention of a stain on their beloved carpet. However, nothing strikes fear into the heart of a house proud person like a red wine stain on a light-coloured carpet.
Unfortunately, a combination of panic and anger hits as soon as the red stuff hits a carpet; and this can lead to all the wrong cleaning decisions being made. There are several misconceptions about red wine stains out there, and some of them can actually make the problem worse. The next time your carpet gets the red wine treatment, follow these steps, one by one.
1. BLOT, DON’T SCRUB
In a fit of blind panic, some people will grab the nearest rag and begin to furiously scrub their carpet in the hope that red wine will simply disappear. However, this could grind the wine further into the pile of a carpet. There is also a chance that rigorous scrubbing will permanently damage the fibres. Instead, make sure you always have a supply of paper towels on hand, or a micro-fibre cloth will provide similar absorbent properties. Blot the wine by pressing down lightly in small, smooth motions.
2. SALT IT
Once you have soaked up as much of the red wine as possible, cover the entire area in salt. Normal table salt will soak up wine from deep down in the pile of your carpet. After an hour or so, you will see that the salt has begun to congeal; at this point you should use the cyclonic suction power of a Shark vacuum cleaner to remove all the granules of salt from your carpet. If you can’t find enough table salt, everyday baking soda will do the same job.
3. TRY SOME ALCOHOL
The trick to successfully removing a red wine stain before it sets in is fast action. As soon as you have blotted the area and sprinkled salt or baking soda over it, you should be able to see whether or not your actions have succeeded. If the stain is still visible, more drastic action may be required. Grab some white wine or some vodka, and pour it over the red wine stain. The alcohol could break down the stain before it sets in.
4. TRY A CARPET SHAMPOO WITH PEROXIDE
If your initial actions haven’t had the desired effect. You might need to step out and buy a specialist carpet shampoo. However, you can give the shampoo a little extra help by adding a teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide to it. Once again, you should blot the area with an absorbent cloth, giving the shampoo and hydrogen peroxide mixture time to work its magic. Soak up the excess shampoo, and then clean the affected area with a Shark Lift-Away Professional Steam Pocket Mop. There is a Carpet Glider attachment included with this powerful steam mop, which effectively transforms it into a compact carpet steamer.
5. TRY WHITE WINE VINEGAR AND A DETERGENT
If your efforts with shampoo haven’t worked, or if you’ve been unable to find a good carpet shampoo, you might find that a mixture of white vinegar and detergent does the job. Mix around a third of a cup of white vinegar with two thirds of a cup of water. Liberally pour the solution over the affected area of your carpet, and then blot it up as gently as you can. You should then fill a cup with water, and add a quick squirt of washing up liquid. Pour a small amount of the soapy solution onto the red wine stain, and begin blotting it up once again. You might want to add a little hydrogen peroxide to the micro-fibre cloth you use for blotting, as this could speed the process up.
If you have light-coloured carpets in your home, it’s a good idea to be ready for spillages and stains. Gather the substances and cleaning materials mentioned here in advance, and you’ll be ready to act quickly the next time red wine threatens to ruin your carpet.