Removing a Red Wine Stain

I had a friend tell me that her husband had a red wine stain on his white dress shirt after trying to open a bottle of wine at a wedding recently.  Since it was at a wedding it wasn’t easy to rinse the shirt out so the stain was well set in by the time they got home.  After trying all of the suggested tips and even taking it to the dry cleaner nothing was taking the stain out.  I love a good challenge so I asked if I could work on it for her.

I tried to pretreat it with a dry cleaning solvent and liquid detergent and rinsing it in hot water and nothing happened.  Wine is a tannin stain so the recommendation is to wash in hot water with detergent making sure to not use a natural soap (bar soap, soap flakes or detergents containing natural soap).  Using a natural soap makes tannin stains more difficult to remove.  When this didn’t work I decided to try using fresh lemon juice and salt.

To be honest it made me nervous because when I squeezed the lemon juice on the salt and the stain was getting brighter!  But what I found was that it was pulling the wine out from deep in the fabric.  After it sat in the sun for several hours I rinsed it off in the sink and the stain was definitely getting lighter.  After repeating the process several times the stain was completely gone and the shirt was wearable again!

If you have a problem stain give us a call at AnswerLine.  We will use our research based knowledge to help you remove your tough stains.

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Beth Marrs

I graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in Adult Home Economics Education. I love to cook and entertain and spend time with my family.

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