Preparing for the long weekend with Dusty!
I’m Dusty, Alicia, and Chris’s adorably charming dog and this is my first blog for AspenClean which I’m very excited about. I’ve been around long enough to notice that when humans come together in the sun, some spillages happen. It seems to be that the gesture with their hands and wine slops out of their bowls. It occurred to me that I should share what I’ve learned about how to remove red and white (and champagne!) stains from different places around the house so that humans everywhere are prepared before we enter into the long weekend.
So in this blog, I’m going to share with you how to remove wine stains from different fabrics with a variety of techniques I’ve picked up from these occasions. I don’t need thanks, I know the humans need a helping paw or two.
Before we get started, make sure to check your fabric labels for instructions. I’ve seen the humans do this every time there’s a wine stain… I can’t read, but each fabric must have a different instruction otherwise the humans would do the same thing for each stain. They also seem to move very quickly, like me when I’m chasing my ball, so when you have a wine stain act quickly, regardless of the color.
How to remove white and champagne stains?
I love special occasions because the family treats me to extra special whole food treats while they make popping noises with champagne bottles. The champagne and white wines still leave stains (like the red wines do) around the house when there’s an accident because they contain something Chris calls tannin. So although they look less obvious than the red wine spills, they still need cleaning up quickly.
How do the humans take white wine stains out of clothes, upholstery, or carpets? Personally, I like to keep a close eye on them to make sure our home is sparkling clean, and these are the steps I make sure they do each time.
- Run some cool water over the white wine or champagne stained area
- Spot clean the stain by dabbing on some all-natural laundry detergent
- If the fabric can be removed, put it in the washing machine (reading the label first)
- Rinse and repeat until the stain is no longer visible - don’t give up!
It can be a little frustrating for the humans if they have to repeat the earlier steps, so I give them some playtime while they wait for the washing machine to finish. But remember - no playtime until the cleaning has started, dried stains seem to take much more effort for the humans to remove.
How to remove red wine stains?
Red wine spills seem to insight panic amongst the human guests if they have an accident. Chris and Alicia are always telling them everything will be ok, and it always is because of my handy tips and watchful eye.
I’ve heard Chris saying that red wine is harder to remove (but not impossible) because the pigments from red wine soak into the fabric fibers and start setting very quickly, that’s why I make sure the humans get to work right away no matter whether it’s clothing or carpet that needs treating.
Our goal is to lift the red wine off our fibers without scrubbing or heating the stain. If you scrub or heat it, you’ll risk making the red stain a permanent addition to your home… so stay away from the dryer until it’s out.
Once again, I have some clear steps for the humans to go through each time they want to remove some red wine stains:
- First blot the stain with a clean all-purpose micro-fiber cloth. Make sure you dab, NOT RUB, the area because if you start scrubbing you’ll help the stain to set in. Save your rubs for your dog’s belly.
- Treatment time. You have a few options here which I’ll give more details on below, but pick your favorite from salt, club soda, dishwashing liquid, and oxygen bleach, white vinegar, or laundry detergent and apply it to the area.
Does salt remove red wine stains?
I’ve seen this one used on a few occasions. Salt, exactly like the human's use in their food, can help remove a red wine stain. It works by absorbing the wine and ‘pulling’ the liquid (and color) away from whatever fabric it landed on and giving it a gentle scrub to loosen any remaining stain.
Only sprinkle the salt once you’ve blotted the area first. Once again, we have a bit of playtime for the humans because they need to leave the salt for 2-3 minutes before rinsing with cold water. Sometimes they’ll even leave it overnight if they need a more effective clean for a harsher stain. If the stain is still there after cold rinsing, the humans will repeat the process again.
Depending on what fabric has the stain, you might be able to try something a little different with the salt approach. I’ve seen Chris and Alicia placing sturdy fabric (like heavy cotton) over a bowl and pouring boiling water onto it. When we’re happy with the result we then wash it as normal. This is great if we’ve put out a tablecloth for our guests as sturdy fabric works really well with this technique.
Top tip: if you add soda water on top of the stain before the salt, Alicia tells her friends this works even better.
Dishwashing Liquid and Oxygen Bleach to remove red wine stains
This is a combo you can personalize, which is pretty fun. I’ve seen humans mix dishwashing liquid and oxygen bleach in proportions anywhere from 1-1 to 3-1 (oxygen bleach to soap).
Mix the two together and when you have your solution test it out on a ‘not so obvious’ area of the fabric first, we don’t want the bleach to take out any fabric colors by accident.
If everything is hunky-dory, you can go ahead and pour your mixture onto your red wine stain and leave it there. Check it every now and then to see if the stain has disappeared and if it hasn’t, add more of your mixture until it does.
Once the stain has vanished, wash the fabric as soon as you can - if it’s going to be a little while before you can get to a washing machine, rinse it in cold water and let that sit until you can reach the machine.
This method builds on the lifting effect that red wine needs, whilst breaking up the red color - all without using harsh chemicals which is why it’s my favorite method for humans to use and why I’ve insisted that they bring out an eco-friendly oxygen bleach for our friends to have too. It’s coming soon so watch this space and learn more.
White vinegar and laundry detergent to remove red wine stains
This is another option that humans sometimes use, it is simple but very effective. They start by covering the red wine spillage with white vinegar and then adding some all-natural liquid detergent.
Chris says it works because the vinegar neutralizes the red pigments in the wine while the detergent cleans the fabric. A double-action cleaning duo. Once you’ve got that mixture on you can wash your fabrics in hot water until the stain has been removed from your life.
Chris says it works because the vinegar neutralizes the red pigments in the wine while the detergent cleans the fabric. A double-action cleaning duo. Once you’ve got that mixture on you can wash your fabrics in hot water - see our guide on how much detergent to use, until the stain has been removed from your life.
What if you need to remove stains from upholstery or carpets?
Often when we have a large number of other humans at our house, it’s not just their clothes that can get some unwanted wine on. Sometimes we need to remove wine stains from upholstery or carpets as well.
How to remove white wine stains from upholstery and carpets?
The humans don’t have a washing machine big enough to fit furniture or carpets in so I need them to get creative with their cleaning.
I suggest they:
- Use an all-purpose microfibre cloth to soak up the remaining wine
- Use some of the AspenClean Natural All-in-one Cleaner Concentrate mixed with water on top of the stain
- Blot the stained area until it is clean, being very careful not to scrub or rub the area as they might damage our fabric.
- Allow the patch of carpet or upholstery to dry naturally, in the air.
How to remove wine stains from sheets?
After an exciting day of entertaining our guests, sometimes the humans like to kick back in bed with a glass of wine and a good book. It’s not uncommon for little slips to happen here as well, but don’t worry we’ve got this one down too and can give you some handy tips.
- Don’t try and clean the stain while it’s still on the bed. Quickly strip the bedding which has been spilled on.
- Presoak the material with my favorite combo - the washing-up liquid and oxygen bleach and let it sit for a few minutes while you get your dog a little treat for being such a good boy.
- If you don’t see the stain vanishing during this time, add a bit more of the solution but keep an eye on it so you don’t end up bleaching the bedding too.
- After the stain has faded, go ahead and wash your bedding as you would for any other laundry day and it should come out completely stain-free.
I hope you find these tips on how to remove white and red wine stains from your fabrics helpful and that knowing what to do in these situations will allow you to get back to enjoying your long weekend faster. Reach out and let us know if you have specific questions, I’m always on hand to help out a good human.