It’s happened to everybody at one time or another: you’re sitting in the living room drinking red wine, chatting, and suddenly somebody spills their wine. All over your beautiful carpet!
You don’t have to panic, says Christopher Meyers from Christopher’s, Inc., in Merrifield, Virginia, who uses this video to demonstrate how wine can be cleaned from the carpet. He starts by pouring wine on the carpet for purposes of demonstration and showing how the wine has soaked right in. He notes that if the carpet had been treated with a fabric protector, the wine wouldn’t have set in quite as rapidly, and therefore treating your carpets with some sort of protection is probably a good idea.
Have a clean white towel available
The first thing you want to do when you or your unwary guest spills red wine is use a clean white absorbent towel to blot the area immediately. Of course, you don’t always have a towel right to hand (though it would be useful to know ahead of time where you keep them, and have one handy in the kitchen anyway). So the couple of minutes it will take you to locate and fetch the towel are two minutes more for the stain to set—another reason to opt for carpet protection.
Once you start blotting, you’ll immediately see some of the wine being transferred to the towel. Progress! (That’s why you want a white towel: so that you can see the progress you’re making.)
Keep blotting, pressing hard and turning the towel as necessary so that you’re still seeing how much wine you’re getting. This can take some time, so you need to be patient. The more you can remove this way, the better.
Use a detergent
Wine has seeped well into the carpet and it’s possible that you won’t get it all out by blotting. So you’re going to want to apply a detergent next. Make sure that you have a detergent on hand that matches your carpet (the manufacturer can recommend one that will work on this specific fiber). Just apply the detergent to the area of the spill and with a new towel, start blotting again. Work from the outside in.
You’ll find that there’s still wine that the detergent is releasing. Keep on blotting until the spot is completely dry. You’ll want to check it frequently to make sure that there’s not still wine seeping through. The longer you blot, the more likely you are to get it all.
The grand finale
So the demonstration procedure was successful and Meyers got all the wine out of his carpet. But, he notes, his demonstration carpet is a looped pile carpet—which means that the pile has been pressed down by all the blotting with the towel. Your final step, therefore, is to get a spoon from your kitchen and insert its rounded edge between either the carpet fibers or (as in this case) the carpet pile loops. All you have to do now is press them one way and then the other, in one direction and then in another direction. What this does is lift them. Do this for a while, also, until the area you cleaned matches the rest of the carpet both in looks and in the way it feels.