The Grape Escape: Wine 911: Red wine, white carpet

Jul 14, 2010 at 5:00 am

Our quick-response team here at LEO’s Wine Central took an emergency call the other day:

Q: Help! How do I get red wine out of a light-colored rug?
A: White wine! Quickly! Pour white wine on it, then gently pat it dry.

When a party atmosphere prevails, a happy crowd sharing fun (are you listening, Bar Belle?), fellowship and frivolity are bound to give way to an occasional wine spill. Red wine can leave serious stains, so you might want to keep this tip sheet handy.

White wine works because its neutral color and alcohol help dilute and dissolve the red-wine spill. Pour it on! Jug wine or whatever you’ve got left over in the fridge will work fine.

Once you’ve poured on enough white wine to turn the red stain pale pink, pat the spot as dry as you can with a big wad of paper towels or a bath towel. Don’t rub. You’ll just spread the stain around or force the red color deeper into the carpet.

It’s not a bad idea to follow up with a commercial carpet cleaner or stain remover to banish the last bit, but white wine’s the key, and get it on fast.

If you’re stuck without any white wine, try club soda. Some say the carbonation helps scrub out the red-wine color as it dilutes the stain. But it’s not a bad idea to keep a little extra white wine around anyway. Just for emergencies, you know.