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How to Get Red Wine Stains Out of Clothing — Even After It Dries

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Like most stains, the key to treating a red wine spill on clothing usually involves acting fast. You typically want to start working on it before it dries, but sometimes that’s just not an option — like when it splashes all over your clothes in a public space. Ugh! Before you resign yourself to getting rid of the clothing item when you get home, there just might be hope for recovery.

Food writer Morgan Goldberg shared her own harrowing experience after an unfortunate red wine spill while out enjoying dinner with friends. She kept a brave face throughout the night, but was sure she’d have to say goodbye to her favorite jeans and denim jacket. Luckily, she called her mom before tossing anything out. Apart from a nice reminder that no matter how old we get, our mamas will always have our backs, Goldberg was happy to hear all hope was not lost. 

Following her mom’s advice, she poured regular detergent over the stain, but made sure not to rub it in. That could potentially damage the color of the fabric. Instead, she just let that soak in overnight and work its magic. After waking up and running the clothes through a cool cycle the next day, Golberg was happy to find zero evidence of any stains remaining. 

It’s important to note that although she wasn’t able to treat the stain immediately, Goldberg was able to act relatively fast. If you accidentally get a few splashes on wine on your outfit, don’t let it sit for days without attempting to treat it. The longer you wait, the less likely you are to have similarly amazing results. Goldberg’s stains also happened to be on denim and other fabrics might not yield the same results. Still, considering how simple the trick is and how it uses ordinary laundry detergent, there isn’t really any harm in trying it on other types of clothing.

The experts at Cleanipedia offer similar advice for getting red wine out of fabric, but also recommend using salt on spills that haven’t dried in order to eke out all of the moisture before it can soak into the clothes. If someone has a glass of white wine they don’t mind you stealing, you can also try pouring that over the red stain to neutralize it before washing.

Whether you’re naturally clumsy or especially accident-prone while enjoying red wine, here’s hoping we can all keep our outfits free of lasting stains once and for all!

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