Red Wine on Your Favorite Sweater? Don’t Despair! Here’s How

by Kaia

Spilling red wine on your beloved sweater can be a heart-stopping moment. But before you resign yourself to a permanent stain, know that getting red wine out of a sweater is entirely possible. With quick action and the right techniques, you can increase the chances of salvaging your garment.


Understanding the Enemy: Red Wine Stains

Red wine contains pigments called anthocyanins, which are responsible for its vibrant color. These pigments readily bind to fabric fibers, making prompt action crucial. The longer the stain sits, the harder it is to remove.


First Response: Act Quickly!

The key to getting red wine out of a sweater is to act fast. Here’s what to do immediately:


Blot, don’t rub: Use a clean, absorbent cloth or paper towel to blot the excess wine. Rubbing will spread the stain and make it worse.


Work from the outside in: This prevents the stain from spreading further.

Do not use hot water: Hot water can set the stain permanently.

Effective Cleaning Methods for Sweaters

Once you’ve addressed the immediate spill, choose one of the following methods to tackle the stain:

1. Salt or Baking Soda:

These household staples are excellent for absorbing wine and lifting the stain.

Generously sprinkle salt or baking soda on the stain.

Let it sit for 10-15 minutes to absorb the wine.

Gently brush off the powder and rinse the area with cold water.

Repeat if necessary.

2. White Vinegar and Laundry Detergent:

This combination creates a powerful cleaning solution.

Mix equal parts white vinegar and laundry detergent.

Apply the mixture to the stain and gently rub it in.

Let it sit for 30 minutes.

Rinse with cold water and wash the sweater according to the care label.

3. Commercial Stain Removers:

Various commercial stain removers are specifically designed for removing wine stains. Follow the instructions on the product label carefully.

4. OxiClean or Similar Products:

These oxygen-based cleaners can be effective on stubborn stains.
Mix OxiClean with water according to the instructions.

Soak the stained area of the sweater in the solution for several hours.

Wash the sweater as usual.

5. Milk:

This might sound surprising, but milk can be effective on fresh wine stains.

Soak the stained area in milk for 30 minutes.

Rinse with cold water and wash the sweater as usual.

See Also: Navigating the World of Sauvignon Blanc: What is a Good Dry Sauvignon Blanc?

Special Considerations for Sweaters

When getting red wine out of a sweater, it’s important to consider the fabric type:

Wool and cashmere: These delicate fabrics require gentle treatment. Avoid harsh scrubbing or using hot water.

Cotton and synthetic fibers: These fabrics are more resilient and can withstand stronger cleaning methods.

Always check the care label on your sweater before applying any cleaning solutions. If you’re unsure about the fabric or the stain is particularly stubborn, it’s best to consult a professional dry cleaner.

Preventing Future Wine Mishaps

While knowing how to get red wine out of a sweater is valuable, preventing spills in the first place is even better. Here are some tips:

Hold your glass by the stem or base, not the bowl, to minimize the risk of spills.

Be mindful of your surroundings and avoid placing your glass near the edge of tables or countertops.

Consider using a wine glass holder when outdoors or in crowded spaces.

Wear a napkin or bib when enjoying messy foods alongside your wine.

Remember, accidents happen. But with quick action and the right cleaning techniques, you can increase the chances of successfully removing red wine stains from your favorite sweaters and keep them looking their best.



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