Before we get started there are two quick steps everyone should do.
Blot up the spilled wine right away. The longer you let red wine sit in your carpet, the harder it will be to get rid of the stain. Do yourself a big favor by acting fast! As soon as you notice the spill, grab a paper towel or rag and blot the stain to pick up as much liquid as possible before it can set.
- Always use an up-and-down blotting motion, not a side-to-side rubbing one. Rubbing will pick up some of the wine but force the rest deeper into the carpet fibers, making it much harder to remove the stain. This can also make the stained area from the wine even larger by spreading the liquid to the sides.
- Work from the outside in, blotting the edges first and then moving to the center. This helps prevent the stain from getting any larger than it already is.
Apply some cold water and keep blotting. Eventually, it will get difficult to blot more of the wine out. At this point, try getting the stain wet again with a small amount of cold water. This helps dilute the wine remaining in the carpet. Continue blotting (not rubbing) until the carpet is dry again.
Use White Wine and Baking Soda
Pour a little white wine onto the stain. It may seem like the last thing you want to do is to pour more wine on your carpet, but clear-colored white wine can actually be a lifesaver if you don't have water handy. White wine dilutes the color of the red stain much like water, lessening the impact of the stain.
- Some sources recommend clear, plain vodka if you don't have white wine. Try to avoid moscato and sweet dessert wines, which can leave a sticky, sugary mess.
Blot the stain with a sponge. As long as you do it lightly enough, this will soak up some of the colour without pressing the stain into the carpet fibers.
- If your sponge is already wet, wring it out before using it.
Apply a baking soda paste. Baking soda can remove a "loosened-up" stain similar to the way salt's used in the section above. Instead of using dry baking soda, most sources recommend making a watery paste, then spreading it generously over the stain. Three parts water to one part baking soda should work well.
Cover the stain with a clean cloth overnight. Set a heavy weight (like a dictionary) on top of the cloth while it sits. This constant, gentle pressure pushes the baking soda down into the stain so that it can clean more deeply.
- The cloth you use will get a little damp, so you may not want to use a weight that's vulnerable to water damage.
Vacuum up the baking soda once it dries. The baking soda should soak up the moisture from the stained area and form solid clumps on the surface. You can easily remove these clumps (and with them, the stain) using a vacuum.
- As with the salt method above, if your carpet still has a powdery residue after the first vacuuming, pour a little cold water on it to dissolve the baking soda, then vacuum again.