Red wine stains, scourge of wine drinkers everywhere! Join us for the science of green cleaning and how to remove them…
Red wine – It is something many of us enjoy, just as I did exploring some of Colorado’s 100 vineyards this weekend. We savor the treat that is until it spills on our clothes, upholstery and/or carpets. Red wine stains are notorious, independent of if we care about safe, natural green home cleaning or continue to use traditional cleaners. Seeking to counter red wine stains, it helps to understand the science of green cleaning.
Science of Green Cleaning | Red Wine Stains
Red wine stains for the same reason that grape juice does. It is the coloring of the grape skin that does it. It can also stain your teeth over a period of time.
Red wines contain a pigment found in red grape skins which contains a chemical in is related to the food coloring pigment. The pigment is part of a family of food-coloring chemicals called anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are water-soluble pigments that may appear red, purple, or blue depending on the pH. Anthocyanins occur in all tissues of higher plants, including leaves, stems, roots, flowers, and fruits some are more potent than others.
Anthocyanins are basically the chemicals that we use to dye fabrics, so of course when we spill anything containing this chemical onto carpet or clothes; it is going to leave a stain. Similar to fabric dyes, anthocyanins quickly and easily attach themselves to fabrics and fibrous items. As a result it creates a lovely shade of red that, of course, does not match the colors on the fabric that has been stained.
How to Remove Red Wine Stains
There are many home remedies for red wine stain removal you can try including:
- Dilute the stain with water, club soda, vinegar, vodka, or even white wine
- Use a hydrogen peroxide and soap formula on colorfast fabrics
- Absorb it with salt
- Apply a baking soda paste combined with time
- Saturate with milk
- Smear with shaving cream
- Pour boiling water
If these natural green home cleaning options are not for you, there are commercial products available. The most effective are those that are enzyme based, such as wowgreen Stain Pen or the wowgreen Carpet & Upholstery Cleaner. As the enzymes attract the bacteria that are targeted to breakdown the organic matter associated with the stain, it disappears. Apply, let sit, and then clean.
As with every stain, time is of the essence. Of course, the sooner these stains are attacked, the more effective the removal strategy will work. Best is when it is so fresh that it is still wet. Another factor of effectiveness is the type of fabric that has been stained. A great feature of the wowgreen Stain Pen is that it can be applied immediately and allowed to dry, unlike other stain removers that direct you to apply and wash immediately.
Some additional red wine stain removal tips are:
- Blot, do not rub.
- Do not apply heat (i.e. put garment in dryer) until stain is fully removed.
- Dry-clean-only fabrics are the hardest to treat and should not be pretreated at home.
- When using bleaching agents like hydrogen peroxide, be sure to first test colored fabrics for colorfastness.
- If you use paper towels, make sure they are white. You do not want to further complicate the situation with dye from the colored paper towels.
When in doubt, take the garment to a professional dry cleaner.
Just as we have provided information about the science of green cleaning, Green Cleaning Products strives to provide solutions for you that are safe, non-toxic and friendly to our environment.
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