With the holiday season fast approaching you may be planning a large gathering of family and friends or just a few close associates to join you in celebrating the season. While you may be busy envisioning the décor, the food and the mood it is important not to overlook one of the most common party mishaps – spills. These spills can include everything from appetizers to dessert but red wine can often be the most damaging. If you are planning on serving red wine it is important to have a back-up plan in case there is a spill. When you’re prepared for anything, including red wine stains, your guests will feel comfortable, spill or not, and you get to remain the gracious host or hostess. So before you fill your house with family and friends ready to celebrate the season, here is what you need to know about dealing with red wine stains.
• Be prepared! While it is not a given that you will have a red wine stain, being prepared for one will reduce your level of anxiety about the possibility. If you have located towels that you will use to blot up stains, put all your cleaning supplies together and have a plan in mind then you can react quickly and calmly should the worst happen.
• Think before you decorate. While there really is not anything you can do about protecting your carpet from stains, there are ways you can lessen the impact should a guest spill red wine. For example: is using your great-grandmother’s hand sewn lace tablecloth on the dinner table worth running the risk of having it stained? While no one is saying you cannot use heirlooms or expensive items in your holiday decorating, would you be devastated if red wine were spilled on it? There are plenty of good looking, inexpensive holiday tablecloths available and you can cover a side table with great grandmother’s tablecloth, thus reducing the risk of it being damaged.
• Be aware of how much you serve. Too often in a party atmosphere bottle after bottle of wine gets opened. While a party host does not want to deprive guests, it is important to keep in mind that potential for spills increases exponentially with each bottle opened. People become relaxed, slightly tipsy and less careful as the wine continues to flow.
Now that you know what you can do to help prevent red wine stains, here are the steps to deal with a red wine stain discreetly and carefully while your guests are still at the party. Keep in mind that if the stain must sit, the odd of completely removing the stain decrease greatly.
• Begin treating the stain by pouring lots of cold water onto it.
• Next, use a cloth to gently blot up the stain. Do NOT rub since this can further set the stain.
• Sprinkle salt onto the stain as this will help absorb it. At this point you should let the stain sit for at least 2-3 minutes.
• After 2-3 minutes you can then rinse the area with cold water while gently rubbing out the red wine stain.
• You may need to continue to repeat the first 4 steps until you can’t get any more of the stain out.
• After you can no longer see the stain, rub the area with liquid laundry detergent and allow to stand for several minutes before rinsing thoroughly with cold water.
• For items that can be laundered carefully apply a spot stain remover stick, spray or gel and wash according to clothing directions with liquid laundry detergent. For carpet consider using a commercial carpet cleaning solution.